Paul Fattaruso’s latest book, Bicycle, which
falls somewhere between prose and poetry, with one sentence, one
thought, per page, accompanied by an occasional sketch by Adam Thompson.
It is, above all else, an ode to the bicycle, not merely as a machine
but as a phenomenon that shares characteristics with so many living and
nonliving things that it somehow comes to encapsulate life’s
experiences. Fattaruso’s observations, fantasies, and adorations of the
bicycle veer from the quirky (“Though it does not complain, my bicycle
is clearly uncomfortable on the couch”) to the beautiful (“Already
noon, and still the sunlight is thin as Bible paper; women ride through
the streets in their nightgowns”). It’s touching enough that you’ll
want to go polish your bike for good measure.
The 17-year wait for restoration of Klingle Road through Northwest D.C. may finally be coming to an end, as Mayor Adrian Fenty's proposed 2009 budget includes $2 million to jump-start the controversial project.
WABA, among other groups on this woefully out of date website, is against the restoration of the road. They point out in this letter from 1999 that the Park service offered to assume responsibility for the road and remove it. There's no doubt that it would make an excellent trail (paved or otherwise).
Fenty has always supported reopening the road so this isn't a big surprise. One of the options in the Klingle Road Feasability Study done by DDOT in 2001 was called the Bicycle, Recreation, and Facility Management option. "The Bicycle, Recreation, and Facility Management option would have converted the closed portion of Klingle Road to a bike path with appropriate resurfacing while permanently banning vehicular traffic." It was eliminated in response to the Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Support Act of 2003.
Several of the road rebuild options included a bike trail, but after consultation with NPS this was changed to a "recreation path." [NPS is requiring them to limit the footprint, so they took out the bike trail instead of a lane of traffic] Of the six proposals, two include the path. In both of those the path is 4 feet wide. It doesn't matter too much since I suspect most cyclists will ride in the road - which should please drivers if Beach Drive is any indication. A final option hasn't been selected yet (that's what the $2 million is partly for). The Sierra Club supports the two with the path - though really they want to not rebuild. RepairKlingleRoad supports the two way road without a path - which is also DDOT's preferred alternative.
I'd like to see WABA get back into this fight. It ain't over till it's over as they say. Mary Cheh opposes the reopening.
“That area is a gorge subject to very serious flooding and we can
expect to spend millions more to prevent the road from eroding yet
again,” Cheh said in an e-mail.
A lot has changed since 2003 (including most of the city council, the cost of gasoline and people's views on global warming). It would make an excellent bike trail.
I went out to the exhibition game last night (the stadium is really nice) and I have some info to report on biking and parking your bike.
Most importantly the bike valet is just off 1st Street SE not N Street SE as the Nationals say it is. This was confusing. Still, you zip right in and there is a fenced off area filled with bike racks to the left (covered and everything). This being a dry run, there was no valet when I got there after the National Anthem. Another cyclist had already cornered a Nationals employee who was on the walkie-talkie trying to figure out where the valet was. After the game there was a valet there and he (pictured below with the receipts) explained that there was a miscommunication but showed me the printed out valet receipts that they'll use. One reason for the exhibition was to work out the kinks for opening night and it appears they have.
There are also oodles of bike racks outside the stadium, some were packed and some were empty so keep looking if you don't find one you like.
WABA worked really hard with the Nationals and Tommy Wells to get the stadium
to a bike friendly point and from what I saw they have. Kudos to them all. (Though, do the police have to park in the bike lane?)
They’re meant to narrow the traffic lanes so that drivers get nervous and slow down, but residents aren’t seeing much effect.
Although there haven’t been any accidents since the chokers were
installed, local cyclists say they’re an accident in the making.
berms will force a cyclist to swerve out into the lane,” said local
cyclist Adrian Brandt, who has heard similar worries from other bike
riders. Or, if a bike tire hit one of the chokers, “they’d instantly
throw you down.”
“The residents on McGarvey have a legitimate
need for some manner of traffic calming,” Mike Jacoubowsky, owner of
the Chain Reaction Bicycles shop, said. “The irony is, they’ve made
McGarvey hazardous to cyclists, and with probably very little effect on
Some McGarvey residents said they wanted the city
to install traffic circles or stop signs to reduce speeding, but
leaders couldn’t find enough support for those measures after a long
public process, Smith said.
This spring, city employees will survey residents to find out how the chokers are working.
“If it doesn’t make any difference, they’ll be removed,” Councilmember Ian Bain said. “There are other options.”
Newsworthy for more than the fact that it's Lance Armstrong
The store, scheduled to open in May, is to be
called Mellow Johnny's, the Austin American-Statesman reported. The
name comes from the nickname for the yellow jersey or maillot jaune
worn by the winner of the previous day's stint in the Tour de France.
hopes to turn Austin into a city like Portland, Ore., where many
residents use bikes routinely for commuting and running errands. Austin
already has plans for the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, which will provide a
route across the city dedicated to bicycle riders.
"This city is
exploding downtown. Are all these people in high rises going to drive
everywhere? We have to promote commuting," Armstrong said. "This can be
a hub for that."
Mellow Johnny's will also provide bike storage,
showers and locker rooms for bike commuters who need a place to wash
off and change before work.
I know the district is excited about the bike station, but instead of opening a $2 million bike station with changing rooms and storage and then opening a bike store with it, why not incentivize bike stores to include storage and changing rooms (and even showers as Lance is doing). I'm not sure what it would take (tax breaks, subsidies, etc..) but seems a bike shop would have a natural incentive - increased traffic - and would be willing to take a small loss in the operation in exchange for the increased business. Economically we would only need to find the threshold and might me able to get more bang for our buck.
Other Items of note
"There are times I ride in Austin, and I'm afraid of cars," Armstrong said. "Imagine what the beginner cyclist must feel like?
The shop will celebrate the culture of biking, from the historic
memorabilia hanging on the walls to a counter where customers can sip
coffee and ask questions as they watch bike mechanics at work.
Part of the basement level will include a Carmichael Training Systems facility, where cyclists can do power-based training.
"If you're a commuter, you're just as important to us as the state champion on a road bike," Knaggs said.
So the feds aren't going to incentivize biking (this year), but cities and colleges - where biking makes the most sense are. Ripon College in Wisconsin is giving away bikes to students who will leave their cars at home.
If incoming freshmen promise
not to bring a car to campus for a full year, Ripon College will give
them a Trek 820 mountain bike, a helmet and a lock — a $400 value.
"We're a residential college with a beautiful, historic
campus in the middle of a small town," said President David Joyce, an
avid cyclist. "Paving it over was not an option I was willing to
He hopes the 1,000-student campus'"Velorution Program" will protect it from building more parking lots.
And Denver is going to reward people who bike to work during the Democratic National Convention with gift certificates.
An incentives program for people willing to get commuters off the roads
during and after the DNC, funded with a $174,000 federal grant.
Commuters will be offered free passes and gift certificates for taking
alternative transportation such as a bus, light rail, bicycle or
While Long Beach is instituting a bike fleet of 16 bikes.