ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION – ACTIVE PLANNERS
BART Director Robert Rayburn recently forwarded me a link to a study about how becoming an active transportation participant is both good for you (by increasing your health) and good for others (reducing your carbon emissions). The aim of the article is to show what various future scenarios might look like under a variety of policy actions (or inactions). For those of you who are interested, here is the link to the article synopsis: http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2012.300939
We can tell from our own (CCJPA) mode of access survey that there are about 20 percent more of you out there who would bicycle if something about bicycling was “better” than the current dominant travel mode (“better” meaning things like safer and/or more convenient). I think one of the points of the article is that making things “better” is both a personal, but in this context, but also a public policy choice, and that is where the “collective we” can make decisions about our future through our elected policy makers.
I remember Eugene Skoropowski, the former CCJPA Managing Director, would frequently say that without transportation options, people’s travel choices were largely condemned to the automobile. He was usually speaking in support of passenger train travel, but it is no stretch to extend that mindset to getting to and from the Capitol Corridor train. Public policy supporting a wider variety of travel mode options can begin to address the needs of those 20 percent who would be open to riding a bicycle to and/or from the train. And of course, those who do ride a bicycle to and/or from the train today, which is somewhere between 10 to 20 percent, would benefit from more facilities on the street and at the stations to help improve the bicycling conditions.
The good news is that public policy makers on the CCJPA Board will have the chance to address this issue in regards to the Capitol Corridor and make a difference with the adoption of the Capitol Corridor Bicycle Access Plan. I am writing this blog post the day before the vote and don’t expect too many surprises or, for that matter, a vote to delay the adoption of the Plan. More importantly, I want you to know that in implementing this Plan, our elected policy leaders will be choosing a positive future scenario for Capitol Corridor passengers.
VALENTINES DAY ON A BIKE FRIDAY?
We all need love and on February 14, 2013, I think my Bike Friday loaner bicycle fell in love as evidenced by the picture below:
That is right folks – two Bike Friday Tikit bicycles sitting side by side like peas in a pod – they just look so content stuffed away outside of the aisles, in the luggage compartment. The blue one belongs to a Capitol Corridor customer and the green/black one is the one I am getting to use. Definitely an exciting first day (or is that first date?) as I was finally able to take the Bike Friday Speeding Tikit for a spin courtesy of the folks at Bike Friday (bikefriday.com) who have lent me this folder for a couple of months. Here is how the Tikit looks in my office.
The Tikit arrived a few days before and I spent some of my time at home putting it together from the box and suitcase in which it was shipped. It folds down very quickly and on this version (it has a special extend-rack), I am able to use my full sized panniers, the ones that carry my laptop and clothes. The handlebars make it a bit bigger in folded space than, for instance, the other customer’s blue Tikit, but those do come in handy with my exercise ride home from Davis to Sacramento. In fact, the ride home was just a tad slower because I stopped to take a few photos of the lender Tikit on the way.
As you can see, a small wheeled folding bicycle with panniers on it. Ta – da! I wish I had a picture of my full sized bicycle with the same set up on it to show you (even a similar color scheme). They both play the same role except the Bike Friday Tikit folds up and away. I will review this bicycle more as I will be riding it almost exclusively in the coming months, but I from my vantage point now, I see a folding bicycle fitting the very same niche as my full sized bicycle. Check, check, check. I am ready to keep rolling.