Monday, February 4, 2013


"Anyone interested in changing their life (style) or community for the better is going to love Joyride"- Earl Blumenauer, Member of Congress.

Joyride tells the inspiring story of pioneering transportation leader Mia Burke's 20-year crusade to integrate bicycling into daily life. With a table scrap of funding, Mia led a revolution that grew Portland, Oregon into the #1 American cycling city.

Here are excerpts of obstacles Mia encounters along the way.

Traffic Engineer Mike:  ".... keeping car traffic moving is very, very important." Engineer Stephen: "The businesses aren't going to like it, especially if we touch their parking." Engineer Rob: "Fifty feet. Eight feet of parking on each side, three 12-foot-wide travel lanes. Pretty tight. Not sure how we could squeeze in a bike lane." Fireman to mom clutching toddler: "Where's your child's bedroom? It takes another 40 seconds to reach his room. These speed bumps will slow down our response time. Your child's life is at stake."  Ponytail man at podium: "You're going to have to pay me for the damage to my motorboat." Lumberjack at podium: "You'll have to pry my cold, dead hands from my steering wheel."

Chapter 1, at the Police Bureau:
After a series of unnecessarily aggressive police actions that result in dozens of pricey tickets to cyclists, I arrange what I envision as a cordial discussion about enforcement of cyclist-related laws. This, I am sure, will end with a common understanding and newfound close partnership. We'll walk in as strangers and walk out as friends.

Once the doughnuts are consumed I pass out a one-page summary. A nano-second later an officer cuts me off with "Under who's authority do you speak? Are you a lawyer?" I hold my smile. "Well no I'm the (Portland) bicycle coordinator. I am very familiar with these laws and ...."

He raises his hand in protest. "We are sworn to uphold the law. Your personal interpretation means nothing to us."

Seconds later I am staring at an empty room. "Ah yes" I think, "that went well."  Joyride by Mia Burke, Amazon Books.

No comments:

Post a Comment