Former VeloReviews mechanical editor Josh Boggs posted a link to this article on Facebook. I read it, but not having the context of being a local in the jurisdiction the article was talking about I didn’t have a strong reaction to it. However, a recent article in the New Your Times also touched on the theme of the politics of bicycle infrastructure. Others have picked up on this theme as well, and I have to admit that I feel encouraged by the general tone of these articles. I, of course, am immersed in the bike culture in San Francisco. San Francisco is a bit of a bubble of safety for those that want to find a platform to advocate for “fringe” opinions and agendas. But the fact that mainstream publications are referencing cycling topics as points of major political importance would seem to imply that cycling issues – our issues – have come to the forefront. While many of these articles seem it imply that somehow there is a pending backlash coming, I very much disagree. At least in the major metropolitan areas, it would appear that the benefits of the bicycle are starting to be understood by the general population.
Apparently, social polling in this area is quite encouraging:
In a poll by The New York Times in August, 66 percent of New Yorkers said the bike lanes were a good idea; 27 percent called them a bad idea.
— The New York Times: “Anxiety Over Future of Bike Lanes“
In cities across the nation the reports of an increase in cycling seem to keep coming in. Despite the varied arguments against, the political climate seems to be moving towards on of acceptance, or at least being open to dialog. Here on VeloReviews I try to not get too political – but it would seem that the iron is hot now for those of us that are advocates for integrating cycling into every day life. If you love to ride for fitness, competition, practicality, ecological or environmental reasons, now would seem to be your time.
Step up, my friends, in all your varied ways. Express your opinions in your votes, in where you choose to spend your dollars, in how you chose to live your daily lives.
Together, we will revel in the passion.