Critical Leadership

Karl, author of Do the Right Thing, picks up on the “critical” meme to discuss how to promote a vibrant bicycle culture. He focuses on critical design and the political leadership necessary to make driving in urban centers difficult as part of a design plan to make cycling easier.

I just finished strolling around the downtown core of Springfield this morning to survey the state of bicycle parking. Watch for that report later this weekend. While Springfield is now adding racks to the downtown area, the emphasis remains making it easier for people to drive and park cars.

Seeing as how the economy is having real impact on driving (despite a recent and temporary downturn in gas prices), I’m wondering if this is the way to go.

Luckily, most of the streets are narrow enough to keep the average speed of cars low. I’ve always found downtown to be an easy and safe place to ride. It really would not take much to begin encouraging cycling and walking over driving. More bicycle parking is a start. But creating a thriving bicycle culture — that gives people real, cost-effective transportation options — requires bold leadership.

Anyone up to it?

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