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Regarding the first use of "CaBi". Fun question. I am not sure who can lay claim to coining it. We started to hear it soon after launch, which was Sept 2010. The source you found was from before launch, so that might well be the first. I will note that it was purely organic. We did not push the name out from the management/marketing group at all. In fact, we still don't use it as an official nickname, although it might be inevitable as the name gets ever more common.

Don't do it. When McDonald's started calling themselves MickeyD's they got a lot of flak for it.

@Washcycle: Two more football maps that you might like:
- Facebook: www.urbanophile.com/2013/01/30/infographic-nfl-fans-according-to-facebook/

- Common Census: www.urbanophile.com/2010/09/17/replay-spheres-of-influence/

I recall a lot of discussion at GGW about what to call the new bike share system. Alpert probably knows

re: bike DC.

The story gets curiouser and curiouser. Is NPS saying the WABA/BDC did not warn them. OTOH, if you refuse bike access to a road, its not surprising that the bike event will be cancelled.

More interesting to me is DC. Bikes are political issue in DC, so I have to think that the failure to approve BDC is not just an oversight. Will there be an erosion of bike-friendly policies? If Gray starting the campaign, with more dog whistles along the lines of bikes and dog parks? Or, are the Feds moving in, leading to shoring up his base?

I review permits for DC. I wouldn't have reviewed any permits associated with BDC, but I'm in the machine and can offer a view from the inside.

Blame can land anywhere. I deal with owners, developers, contractors and agents. Agents are middlemen that do the legwork on moving the application. It is not uncommon that an agent who comes up short for his client blames "the system" for failure to get a permit. Sometimes the permit is for something the code does not allow in first place, sometimes the agent fails to meet a deadline, etc. Permits can get complicated and it's easy for poor agents to completely mess it up. It's easy for a permit agent who fails to get a permit to simply blame "the system."

Technically, all of DC's permits are issued by the Mayor. But the Mayor can't sit around approving 600 permits every day. So the Mayor appoints agencies and boards to approve permits on his behalf. Day to day these agencies approve permits according to regulations. Technically, the Mayor could still approve any permit he wants to, regardless what the regulations say, but that would put him out on a limb and expose him politically. So the Mayor's office has a special events office that includes permit ambassadors, people who make sure events meet the regulations and then expedite permit applications through the system. This is not new. It's existed for several mayors now. I don't know how far back this started.

Many of the big street festivals you can think of downtown that require street closures and tents (both of which require permits) get their permits walked-thru the permit system by someone from the Mayor's special events staff. The staff is limited, and the Mayor can't like every project, so not every event is going to get this special treatment. If BDC was getting the permits themselves, they were taking the harder road. Do we know if BDC asked the Mayor's special events office to use their ambassadors and they said no, or BDC never asked to utilize that route? This question has to be answered before political judgements can be made.

Yes, it's bureaucratic with a heavy dose of politics but at least in theory the DC process is subject to constituents' wrath.

Then there's the NPS who can tell any DC constituent to jump in the lake without risk of blowback. NPS does not work for any voter in this town except the people on Capitol Hill who vote for their budget. And we all know how much The Hill loves the people of this town these days.

Anon: all true, but this is a regular event, and the organizers are, I believe, not newbies at this. So, if I messed up my street party, OK. But if the BDC people could not get this done in time it is likely not due to the BDC organisers per se.

This leavees
(a) someone higher up didnt want it to happen and/or
(b) the permitting process is so unweildy that this sort of thing is likely.

Either is bad.

As for NPS: yes they are not directly accountable to voters. But they can be sued if they are discriminating against cyclists.

Could we shed a little light on the permit "process" itself? If it's rule-based process, where are the rules? Does the NPS have a web page called "How to reserve roads and parks for your event?"

MV Jantzen


As for helmets, imagine that you have a raw egg in a shell on your handlebars. Your goal is to never break the egg. You are almost certainly going to ride more carefully and have fewer crashes on your bike. Now imagine the egg in layers and layers of padding so that it's very unlikely to break. You'll ride faster, take more risks. That's risk compensation in a nutshell (or eggshell?). To evaluate the wisdom of helmets, you need to know how many head injuries there are compared to other injuries and the difference a helmet makes in preventing those injuries. It's clear that even if a helmet makes head injuries less severe, it makes crashes and therefore other types of injuries more common. Then you factor in the reduction of cyclists on the road and loss of safety in numbers if helmets were required, and you really have to question the wisdom of requiring helmets.

Jack: that problem is especially acute for cars. The USA has some of the most stringent safety guidelines for cars in the world: but they focus entirely on the occupants of the cars, not the people outside. In the old days, you might end up smashing your head on the chrome dashboard.

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