Car Culture & Contested Streets

Writing for the Seattle PI, Washington State Senator Dan Swecker defends car culture as being necessary. Dan apparently missed the basic tenet that when you build bigger roads, people fill them up, and it never ends. Dan’s mindset is the same as those that want to save the Viaduct or thought it was a good idea to run I-5 right through the middle of downtown Seattle. To the absolute contrary, if you add more bike lanes, and less car lanes, people will ride bikes and drive less.

I believe that fact even more after watching Contested Streets, a documentary that studies how NYC relinquished quality of life for the automobile and contrasts NYC to London, Paris, and Copenhagen. Those cities have focused on the bicycle as a primary transporter and changed their streets and traffic flow to allow for more bikes. I also saw thousands of cyclists in Spain riding beautiful boulevards to work, for errands, and just getting around.

What I’d ask Dan and anyone lobbying for more traffic lanes is what quality of live does that benefit? How much does anyone enjoy sitting in 4 lanes or 6 lanes of traffic? I’d also hope they could watch Contested Streets. It’s an excellent work. I grabbed a DVD from the Interbike press room and finally ripped it to my iPod Video and watched it on a flight a couple weeks ago.

Maybe Bike Hugger should host a screening with local bike shops and groups like Cascade and the Bicycle Alliance?

Related links



Bike Cam!

Cross-posted from Snow Hugger, we’ve got the ATC2K Waterproof ActionCamera from Oregon Scientific. The camera mounts to your handlebars or helmet and you can shoot your favorite training ride, office park crit, cyclocross race, or your incredible explosion off the back when the annual day-after-thanksgiving ride goes up the first steep hill. It also promises to be much safer than holding a camera in one hand while pedaling around a roundabout – also reminiscent of the original Late Night Monkey Cam. Hat tip to Gizmodo



Hugga Mail

Courtesy of our friends at FeedBurner, we’ve added a new hugga email feature. You can now keep up with our blog by email. Just click, enter your email, verify you’re not an evil spammer, and boom!

Our next hugga post will arrive in your inbox faster than the cancellation of K-Fed’s world tour.



Re.Load Baggage

By way of the Pedal : Reloaded (every photo there is a photo of the day) galleries, I found custom handmade messenger bags by Re.Load Baggage and drank two cups of espresso while clicking through their site.

Having just bought a new Timbuk2 Pro Series Backpack for our trip to Spain, I’m impressed by the craftsmanship, creativity, and art. I’ll have a long-term review of the backpack up soon (overall a very good bag) and disappointed to learn that I’ve missed the window to order a Re.Load bag as a gift (damn)

Reload



The Browning SmartShift Story

In an unrelated Google search this morning, I found a news article from 2002 about the Browning SmartShift. I’d only heard about SmartShift and don’t know the story, how it worked, if it worked, and if cyclists are still riding it.

The background is intriguing: “a new generation of more comfortable bikes, could bring a return to growth,” and the RD was largely backed by the Browning firearm fortune.

Anyone ever see a SmartShift?



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