Category Archives: In other Cities

Streets are for People! Kids at Play in the UK

I love this video from Playing Out! (Thanks to Sarah Goodyear for sharing it along with her insightful post). Continue reading

ATP (Alternative Transportation Project): Leave the Car at Home

Thanks, Jorge, for sending us this video!

The entire Car Free Days family enjoyed watching this whimsical video that’s a refreshing reminder of the fun involved in leaving our cars at home on occasion!

Happy Bike-to-School-And-Work-Day tomorrow!

 – Anne

Little Green Bike (Brompton rocks a hilly Italian commute + doing better here)

As Anne mentioned recently, we’ve been loving the Bromptons and the role they’ve helped play in letting us live car-light. Beyond the expanded Zipcar range, or the fact that a gorilla-sized dad and his 9-year-old daughter can ride the same bike, we’re in love with how easy they mix with transit. This is especially clear when bussing across the bike-hating 520 bridge (which normally requires us to ride a special—non Xtracyclebike, and then hope that the bus bike racks are clear).

Altogether the Broms allow for some nifty, who-the-hell-needs-a-car-at least-when-it-isn’t-raining-three-inches-a-day options.

But if we lived in a real city, with real density and real transit solutions, well, the mind boggles at the imagined practicality of our little yellow folders.

Well, thanks to this fine video from the 2010 edition of the Toward Carfree Cities Conference, in which the Little Green Brompton OWNS a freakishly hilly, dense-city commute in Genova (Genoa), Italy I’m boggled no more.

(hat-tip to video creator Massimiliano Amirfeiz from the Brompton Talk list)

After watching this commute (for the 3rd time or so) I’m also struck by how little* Seattle has done to flatten our fair city for the non-driving folks.  How about a Trampe up Queen Anne and Capitol hills, for example?

These motorized bike-lifts can flatten out the steepest sections of a city. Check out the video, but save yourself by muting the sound. If I was slapping them down around town, I’d also like another placed to ferry riders over Phinney Ridge.

I’m sure you’ve got some locations to nominate—0bviously West Seattle, downtown, and Beacon Hill seem like naturals—so let’s hear ‘em.

Of course I know this idea is fantasy. A mere mention of the option in San Francisco brought out the haters, who failed to see that this was an option to get non cyclists out of their cars and onto bikes, not a way to pamper already-riding hipsters who don’t want to “walk up the damn hill.”

I can’t imagine the spew and outcry such a plan would generate around here.

Sigh…  at least the Brompton video was cool ;-)

-Tim

* Don’t get me started on the SDOT propensity to route bike lanes up and down hills when they don’t have to. Instead of forcing riders to sweat their way up the Dexter hill for a Fremont-to-Downtown bike route, why don’t we just bite the bullet and build better infrastructure a mostly flat and under-traveled Westlake Ave?

Hills like Dexter may be fine for the neon-clad Cascade fitness riders, but casual commuters you know, the people who don’t call themselves cyclists, but still need to start riding if we want cycling to move out of the transportation fringeare never going to do it.

In Training for Fiets of Parenthood

2 up PandaDon’t call us this week cause we probably won’t answer. We’re in training for fiets of parenthood in Portland next weekend. Continue reading

New Car-free School in Milton, Ontario

Walking to SchoolIf you think car-free schools aren’t possible in North America.  Think again.

P.L. Robertson elementary in Milton, ON (a suburb of Toronto)  just opened this month with a car-free drop off policy.  And they didn’t just create a policy in their school operation manual, they also designed a car-free process to back it up.

How in the H E double hockey sticks did they do that? Don’t they know it’s the middle of winter? They live in Canada….it’s cold outside? Continue reading

Biking to School…Without Parents

biking to schoolI spent two fantastic days in Marin, CA this week visiting with old friends and hanging out with their families. Just north of San Francisco, Marin is the epitome of car culture with traffic jams, packed parking lots and streets clogged with luxury cars.

At least they are doing something right with the kids: they get to school on bikes. Continue reading

SXSW Adventures: Bike Hugger Mobile Social Ride

Getting Directions on the Mobile Social RideAs I mentioned, I was in Austin last week at SXSW. While there, I had the good fortune to participate in the Bike Hugger Mobile Social Ride and BBQ. Anne and I are fairly regular participants in Seattle-area cargo rides and so I thought it would be fun to check out the dynamic of a mixed tech-texas hybrid event.

The day dawned like any other in Seattle. Wet, cold and dark. It wasn’t actually raining so I was raring to go. One problem:  we weren’t in Seattle and the Austinites aren’t quite used to gray skies and wet roads. Though roads dried by the time morning SXSW sessions finished, it  was only their 3rd day of rain since summer or something.  I’m thinking this had to have an impact on the number of riders , yet the turnout was impressive (somewhere between 100 and 150) anyway. Continue reading

SXSW Adventures: Large Guy, Small Bike

large-guy-small-bikeI went to the South by Southwest  Interactive festival (SXSWi) in Austin last weekend for work. While there I was lucky enough to score a loaner bike from our friends at the great Austin bike blog/magazine: Austin on Two Wheels.

Oh, and this wasn’t just any beater… it’s was a sweet Azor Transport all the way from Holland (via our pals Dutch Bike Seattle—small world)! Anyway, as you can tell from the reflective Panda snapshot, the bike was a tad small, but that sure didn’t stop me from having an excellent time riding it all over Austin (side note: how freakin’ cool is the Internet when other bloggers loan you their very own bike, just ’cause you’re a fellow bike-life blogger and long-bike rider?).

Continue reading