Friday, September 26, 2014

Connecticut Cyclists: Mark Your Calendars

   Cyclists in Stamford, 2014 

I hope you all noticed the ear-to-ear grin of Gil Simmons on News 8 today. That's right: if you're in the Connecticut area, summer has been granted a stay of execution for at least the next couple of days. 

But now, while you're still at work dreaming of what you're going to do when you get off the clock, you're reading this blog, which is cutting into your productivity. However, if you want to look busy in case the brass strides around the corner of your cubicle, get out your calendar and jot these things down. Better still, jot these things down on social media so you can tell your friends.

1) Bridgeport: Bikeport Co-op Bike Ride (Saturday, September 27th, 1pm at McLevy Green)

If you live in or near Bridgeport and like cycling, ice cream, or both - this is the ride for you: At McLevy Green at 1pm on Saturday, the Bikeport Co-Op is having its monthly bike ride - and given the lovely weather forecast they are lucking out with the destination: Timothy's Ice Cream in Black Rock at 2974 Fairfield Avenue. All riders of all skill levels are welcome, and if you want more info email them at or use The Twitter: @BikeportCT and follow Bikeport on Facebook here

The people running Bikeport understand that bikes lift cities - and a community development bike program (similar to the Ohio City Co-Op I volunteered for in Cleveland) is just what the city needs. If you want to help raise funds for the Bikeport Co-Op in Bridgeport, visit their Indiegogo page and make a donation (read: difference). 

2) Stamford: Hearing on High Ridge/Long Ridge Study (Tuesday, September 30th, 7:00pm at 888 Washington Boulevard in Stamford)

I will concede this probably will not nearly be as much fun as the Bikeport Co-op ice cream ride. This is the equivalent of the Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Ride that takes place annually in Portland, Oregon.* But it is a follow up on the crowded rally for bike lanes in June. 

   Rally for Bike Lanes on High Ridge Road, June 2014 

And this hearing isn't even a ride unless you pedal to the Stamford Government Center at 888 Washington Boulevard in Stamford: Simply turn right into the parking garage and you'll find the bike rack near the door. Try not to scuff the bike Stamford Downtown gave Mayor Martin during Bike to Work Day

When you do lock up, head inside and be ready to talk about the benefits of bike lanes. 

                 Scale model of road with 12' travel lanes (left) and 11' travel lanes (right)

This hearing starts at 7:00pm, and I urge you to be there with your bike helmet sitting neatly in your lap. And when the time comes for public comments about whether or not the city should proceed to install bike lanes on High Ridge and Long Ridge road, make them. Don't assume someone else will put their hand up. Remember: there are a lot of people in Stamford (or, any city, for that matter) who'd be much more inclined to choose the bike and leave the car at home if they knew they could do it safely. That would mean we'd all make it to work or back home faster. 

3) Stamford: Mill River Greenway Bike Ride & Rally (Saturday, October 11, 10:00am - 2:00pm. Optional ride starts at Scalzi Park/event takes place at Kosciuszko Park)

     Cyclists enjoying Mill River Park, Stamford, Fall 2013
If you're going to build car-free bike paths, the place to start is in the shadows of skyscrapers. That's where most of the people are and where bike infrastructure can do the most good. 

And like the beautiful Mill River Park in Stamford, it can really improve the look of a city. Who can forget Philadelphia: the city of brotherly love, cheesesteaks, and Bruce Springsteen shuffling around with his hands in his pockets? 

     From DIYBIKING.COM's Philadelphia Trip, Fall 2013

That music video would have been different if The Boss was riding a Cannondale, wouldn't it?

But back to Stamford: if you didn't read my post a couple of weeks back and haven't been paying attention to the text on the right of your computer screen, here goes: This family-friendly event, aimed at showing support of the Mill River Greenway and a more bikeable and walkable city starts at 10:00am with an optional 3-mile bike ride that starts at Scalzi Park and ends at Kosciuszko Park. 

At Kosciuszko park, there will be live music, games and food trucks. All our welcome - including all candidates for public office. Much like Cycling with Candidates, this is a Bikepartisan event. 

The Oct. 11 ride is presented by People Friendly Stamford and was created by the Mill River Park Collaborative, Stamford Downtown, Regional Plan Association and Harbor Point. The sponsors include the four great Stamford businesses of Lorca, Exhale, Pacific Swim Bike Run and Danny's Cycles as well as Purdue and Hampton Inn & Suites

4) Gun Buy Back Program (Stamford Police Department, 805 Bedford Street, Saturday, September 27th 10:00am - 2:00pm) 

Other than the fact the best ones are made out of high-quality steel (in your face, carbon fiber fanboys!) guns and bikes don't have a lot in common. 

But no matter how you feel about firearms or the second amendment I think we can all agree that if you have a gun in your home and…I don't know…don't want it there, you can turn it in to the Stamford Police Department on Bedford Street tomorrow (Saturday, September 27th) between 10:00am and 2:00pm. If you bring in an operational firearm, you will receive a gift card for $75 (rifles or shotguns) $100 for handguns and $150 for assault weapons. Guns have to be unloaded and carried inside in a box or a bag; more information can be found in the Stamford Advocate. 

Not only are initiatives like this one of those things that helps keep cities safer, but you also might have some cash to spend if you want to buy a bike at, for instance, Danny's Cycles or Pacific Swim Bike Run. Bikes are better than guns for a lot of reasons - and I'm not even counting the fact that if you're cleaning a bike and it slips out of your hands there is no chance it will kill or injure your next door neighbor. 

So mark your calendars, wear your helmets properly, drop your weapons, raise your voices, eat that ice cream, apply that sunblock and have a fantastic weekend. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.  

*There is no Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Ride in Portland, Oregon. I made it up.**

**However, knowing firsthand how weird Portland is, it may actually exist.***

***And if it does, it wouldn't surprise me at all if the words 'organic' or 'vegan' were thrown into the mix.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dear Scotland: A Cyclist Pleads for You to Stay With the UK

Dear Scotland,

Hi, It's me. The American bike blogger you welcomed with open arms last year when I rented a Brompton and toured Edinburgh

Let me start right off by saying: I love - and respect - Scotland. I never believed Mike Myers' assertion in So I Married An Axe Murderer that most Scottish food is based on a dare. I didn't laugh at Renton's anti-Scotland rant in Trainspotting. And I never, ever found Groundskeeper Willy from The Simpsons to be funny.

Well, maybe only a little. 

Now I can't speak for cyclists everywhere but I have to weigh in about the vote you're going to make tomorrow: I'm asking you to stay with those crazy and wonderful Brits. 

Come on, it's a great match and you can do a lot worse than Britain: London's got Transport for London's Cycle Hirea great bike share program worthy of study, they've got Top Gear, the English countryside is wonderful and you both share a  passion for cycling and…paradoxically…cobblestones. 

But here's my real issue: in addition to the children's book I want to publish I am trying to find an agent to help me sell Biking Cities, which will feature the cycling adventures I've done and bike culture observations I've made in cities around the world: Brazil, India, Great Britain, the Dominican Republic, Portugal, Spain, Canada, the U.S. - they all get at least one chapter. 

If you guys go independent it will totally mess up my proposed table of contents. I can just see the agent telling me that I have to leave my Edinburgh trip on the cutting-room floor because of the circumstances. How is it going to look?

Cleveland, United States of America….Page 14

New York City, United States of America…Page 63

Edinburgh, TBD…Page 89

I read that if independence goes through it will take effect on March 24, 2016. If I find a publisher right away, I'll probably have the hardcover come out during this 'TBD' period and the paperback might come out after independence - which means I'd have to change the Edinburgh chapter or, even worse, write an 'afterword.' I'm sure I'll be too busy writing other things to take the time out and write an 'afterword' about Scotland. 

You're worth more than an 'afterword.' After all, any city that has breathtaking castles (and a bagpiper playing the theme to Star Wars in a public square) is a city that deserves significant page space. 

Prime Minister David Cameron is offering you incentives to stay united. I can't match what he's offering, but if you decide to stay with Great Britain and I get that book deal I'll be sure to add a special section about riding in Edinburgh - and will even lobby the book designer to use this image as the cover.

Oh, wait: that's the sign I saw blocking the road to Holyrood Park when I went riding before sunup. I carried the Brompton past the sign and eventually saw the sun rising over Edinburgh - and that's the picture I'd lobby to use as a book cover. 

Now there's more to think about here other than my book project, I admit. There are a lot of worries if you go independent. For starters, does that mean the London-made Blaze bike light now has to be imported to Scotland instead of shipped? Must you make it harder for Scottish cyclists to be safer and for Scottish cats to be entertained?

Will domain names need to change from '' to…'.tbd?'  Will you start having to listen to crazy constituents who want Scotland to start driving on the other side of the road just for spite? And will British citizens need a passport when they want to visit the Loch Ness Monster? 

See: you never really stopped to think about these things, did you? 

There are other unknown dangers involved with independence. If the graphic I saw on Monday night's NBC Nightly News story is to be believed, banks will move back to Great Britain and Scotland will crack off and drift into the ocean. Equally unsettling: CNN's graphic indicates there is a giant pair of scissors floating just offshore to east - in the open position. 

Yes. Open

I'm not sure if those are real dangers or lost artists working in graphics departments, but either way you've got another reason why you should do the right thing and stay united - cobblestones and all. 

There you have it. Stay with Great Britain. I hope when I find you on Friday morning you will have remained the outstanding cycling destination that you are - and, just as important, I won't have to learn a new country's quirks. 

This is a picture I took leaning out the window of the Raddison Blu the day I returned the Brompton, only hours before my wife and I were due to leave. I was told they were soldiers who had just returned from Afghanistan. I was in awe of how perfectly they marched. 

So Scotland, march on. March with pride. March with purpose. And above all: march with those Brits. 

Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

Yours truly,


Monday, September 15, 2014

Dear Connecticut Gubernatorial Candidates: Cycling Matters

     Cyclists in Stamford steering out of one of the few bike lanes in the city to avoid an illegally parked car on Jefferson Street, Aug. 2014

Today, I attended the CCIA's transportation forum to hear Governor Dan Malloy and his Republican opponent Tom Foley speak about their visions for the state. In doing so, I felt as though I was in the middle panel of a Dilbert comic strip. 

The reason is because the forum was held in North Haven, which is about ten miles from the closest Metro North station. The road the hotel was on had no bike lanes, sharrows, or share the road signs to be seen. It took place during a time of day when bikes are not allowed on Metro North. And directions on the invitation said I could get there from two roadways where cyclists are not permitted to travel: "Exit 12 off I-91 or Exit 63 off Wilbur Cross/Merritt Parkway (Rt. 15)".

Note the use of the word "or" as if nobody could possibly, possibly fathom anyone getting there any other way but with a car.

So right out of the gate I was unhappy with this forum. I wanted to take an early train and ride there - possibly with the Dahon Matrix - but neither of the two New Haven bound trains would have worked (in unrelated news: remember the Metro North bike racks I tested years ago? They're finally rolling some out…but they can't be used during peak hours). 

Unhappily, I chose to drive. Sorry, WTNH's Teresa DuFour: if there was a traffic problem on I-95 or I-91 today, I was part of the problem. 

After I arrived and parked my Honda Element, my unhappiness deepened as none of the questions, responses, or opening statements from either candidate made a mention of the value of cycling. I was also appalled that Tom Foley made a point to remind everyone how awful traffic is, particularly in Fairfield County, but twice said something along the lines of a strategy to "push people out of their cars" probably wasn't going to work

I really wanted to tell him about the people I've met everywhere who tell me that they want to ride their bike to work, to a friend's house, or to a grocery store but they can't because they don't feel safe. So they do what I did today: they took the car because they felt they had no other choice. 

If you feel trapped in your car and want to share your wish for better options to get where you are going, please use the following on Twitter: @TomFoleyCT #pushmeoutofmycar

As for Governor Malloy, he blew it on a question about how to alleviate the parking problem at train stations. His response should have mentioned that making secure and welcoming bike parking available at train stations and making sure all roads leading to the station have bike lanes and good sidewalks. Station bike parking needs to be improved: the moped-choked Stamford rack isn't cutting it. 

     Stamford Metro North station bike rack, along track four. Note the large number of bikes chained to the rail on the far right. 

If you have a Connecticut parking nightmare to share on Twitter with Governor Dan Malloy, please use the following: @DanMalloyCT #ctneedsbikeparking.

To get back to Tom Foley's comments: nobody is being pushed out of cars by building bike infrastructure. They are encouraged to get out of the cars on their own and thus give extra automobile spaces to people who really need them, since bikes take up a whole lot less space than cars do. Happy cyclists get to ride, happy motorists find more parking spots. Everybody wins. 

      Bikes at Sunny Dae's ice cream shop, Stamford. The cyclists spent just as much on ice cream as motorists and took up less space.

I hope both candidates think about these things as they continue to travel throughout the state on the campaign trail. And I hope they keep an eye on their inboxes because I am inviting them both to Stamford's Mill River Greenway event on October 11th, sponsored by some great local businesses, and to take a short bike ride with me

On the way home from the event today, around 1:00 in the afternoon, I got stuck in traffic on I-95. I had put 'home' in the GPS after stopping in New Haven for lunch, and like all GPS devices it shows what time you will reach your destination. I got to watch 20 minutes of my life slip away quietly. 

When my car was at a dead stop, I put on the parking brake and opened the door so I could lean out to take the picture below (I wasn't texting and driving) but a couple of motorists nearby probably thought I was pulling an 'Everybody Hurts' from that R.E.M. video. 

If neither candidate takes cycling issues more seriously - and if we don't work harder to make sure they speak about it -  all we can all hope for is to get used to this view. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thanking Stamford Businesses that Support Cycling

As some of you know already, People Friendly Stamford has partnered with Mill River Park Collaborative, Harbor Point, Stamford Downtown and Regional Plan Association to create a bike ride and rally to support the Mill River Greenway (and a more bikeable/walkable city) on Saturday, October 11, 2014 from 10:00 to 2:00pm. It'll start with an optional bike ride from Scalzi Park to Kosciuszko Park, which will feature food trucks, music and entertainment. 

I'm volunteering for People Friendly Stamford when and how I can, and one of the things I wanted to do was reach out to four businesses I'm familiar with to ask for sponsorship. There is a poster and a flyer - both being designed by an astonishingly hard-working and talented person named Emily - that need money to get printed as well as other things that need to be paid for to make the event successful. 

I sent four emails to each of the four businesses within a few minutes of each other. Before I had finished sending the fourth email, the first person I contacted had already responded with the words: COUNT US IN!

The capital letters and exclamation point were hers. 

And at that point, the tone was set as the other three responded saying they wanted to be sponsors, too. I was four for four. 

I know I'm an ineffective salesperson so getting them to become sponsors clearly had nothing to do with my interpersonal skills. These folks - and a lot of business owners, for that matter - are already sold on how much better the city of Stamford will be if more people ride bikes in it; and those who aren't need to consider some statistics

Here, in no particular order, are the four businesses I pedaled to this week that I, and every commuter in this city, have to thank. First up: Lorca, which is at 125 Bedford Street. 

Lorca is the caffeine fueled nerve center of Stamford and the kind of independent coffee shop you wish you had in your hometown. It is led by a woman named Leyla, who once gave a presentation about the art and science of coffee at the Ferguson Library. Take my word for it: she is a coffee Jedi Knight. 

Lorca hosted my artwork for a month. I meet friends there. And they make a great breakfast sandwich, an always tasty quiche of the day - and cookies. As I've pointed out, I save enough money by biking to Lorca to buy one of their ginger cookies instead of driving, but it is the alfajore cookies that are stuff of legend. I recently hid one in my wife's suitcase when she was about to leave on a business trip that happened to fall on her birthday. When she found it at her destination, a picture of the cookie appeared on Facebook with the hashtag #besthusbandever

That is the power of Lorca's cookies, everyone. Go have one today or order a plate for your next dinner party. 

Next: Danny's Cycles at 850 E. Main Street - and the only wide photo available is from my Bike to Work Day promotion in May. 

Danny's Cycles - whose mechanics I have so far been unable to stump with my odd wheel size requests - is also a sponsor. For fans of Folding Bike Week, you know they carry the Dahon, but they also have a lot of other good bikes and accessories. The day I visited, they were talking with a representative from the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program, which develops youth cycling programs and is presenting next weekend's Connecticut Cycling Festival in Hartford. The manager put the CCAP poster in their window before I even had a chance to leave: hope a lot of Fairfield County cyclists register for the Connecticut Cycling Festival, which is taking place in Hartford September 20th and 21st. 

Next up: Exhale Stamford - and for some reason I do not have a photo of the outside of the building handy, so I offer this. 

Exhale has a full gym as well as spin, yoga and barre classes. A barre class, for those of you who don't know, is an addictive class that transforms your body into its own torture chamber for an hour but leaves you feeling rather pleasant and energized at the conclusion.

You already know how I feel about yoga: it is a great chance to be in a room full of beautiful women once a week and gain flexibility useful when installing a kitchen sink.

That isn't a euphemism. But I guess it could be. 

Anyway: I've met some of the nicest people (instructors and classmates) at Exhale, and right now they are doing a special promotion for first-time guests: one month of unlimited classes for $99. Visit them at 2200 Atlantic Street or go to for details - and look for them as the Oct. 11th ride goes right by their front door. 

Not far from Exhale is Pacific Swim Bike Run, located at 575 Pacific Street. 

When I biked there on Wednesday, I was immediately greeted by an enthusiastic and knowledgeable member of the staff. 

But first I said hello to the dog, Linus, who was relaxing by the door enjoying the warm weather we were having this week.

I apologized to the two-legged personnel for being unable to attend what I heard was a very successful bike rodeo the store ran on August 30th (similar to the one I volunteered with at my sister's village in Red Hook, New York)

PSBR is the equivalent of the mountain village where Bruce Wayne got his training in Batman Begins - but with better clothing and a nicer atmosphere. 

In addition to selling some beautiful bikes - some of which cost more than the Blue Book value of my Honda Element - PSBR does high-end equipment rentals, mostly aimed at triathletes in training. But recently they began doing bike rentals: several comfortable beach cruisers are for rent, so if you want to participate in the Oct 11th rally, don't have a bike and want to rent from a place near the event, give them a call.

So those are the four businesses I needed to give a shout out to this week. Others are joining them, and in general businesses are collectively realizing the benefits of bike infrastructure, complete streets, and just intelligent city planning. Be sure to visit Danny's Cycles, Lorca, Exhale and Pacific Swim Bike Run and thank all businesses that support cycling and encourage the skeptics to come around. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Four Great Things Said at Stamford's Public Safety Press Conference (And Four Things That Should Have Been Said)

On Tuesday - almost a year to the day I took a one-mile bike ride with then-Stamford mayoral candidate David Martin - I rode my newly built city bike (I still hate Presta valves) to the Stamford Government Center and parked at the rack inside. As it happened, I locked up next to the bike from Danny's Cycles that was given to the Mayor of Stamford on Bike to Work Day a few months ago. 

I noticed the tires were fully inflated and I didn't see dust on the seat when I looked closely.

Good, I thought. Not only does that bode well, but the gift from Allied Barton and the Stamford Downtown Special Services District doesn't look like it's going to waste.

But I'm off the subject.

                      Stamford Mayor David Martin 

I came to the press conference to see the Stamford Street Smart public safety and awareness campaign take off (the link is here: 

Stamford Mayor David Martin, Police Chief Jonathan Fontneau, Sergeant Andrew Gallagher and others made a serious presentation in front of a good sized audience. After all: three pedestrians have been killed so far this year (and in the most recent case, according to today's Stamford Advocate post, the driver was charged).

The city of Stamford is moving in the right direction with this initiative - kicked off by a 21- day crackdown on distracted driving and a $25,000 grant. There were a lot of great things said at the event, but for the purposes of this 'listicle' I'm going with my four favorites: 

"Safety is a shared responsibility." - Mayor David Martin

Some motorists out there are just dangerous and, like I've said, the stakes are different when a car hits a pedestrian or cyclist, but I was glad to hear the mayor wasn't letting cyclists or pedestrians off the hook for their (our) own bad behavior. The message out of the gate: be safe and look out for others no matter how you get around. Gold star. 

"If we are just giving tickets, we are not successful." - Sgt. Andrew Gallagher

In some places I've lived - particularly in rural New Hampshire - it felt as if police had an incentive to give out tickets so the town may collect the fine. I remember, years ago, being upset about the size of a fine but don't recall ever being told to drive slower - and speed traps put a lot more emphasis on the 'trap' part with deserted, Fargo-like roads given an impossibly low speed limit. Sgt. Gallagher had no glee, hidden or otherwise, when talking about giving tickets and issuing fines. They are absolutely going to be doing those things (and I've already seen them do it), but the main goal is to convince people to drive and get around more safely. 

It was good to hear someone other than me remind cyclists, drivers and pedestrians that they should take ownership over their own safety - and the 'be predictable' and 'rules of the road' part can't be said enough when one is talking about cyclists. Stamford is a great place to ride, but when cyclists don't ride with traffic, don't pay attention and don't do their part when it comes to sharing the road -  nobody wins. And please, cyclists: even if it is safe, stop going through red lights. You wouldn't do it in your car - and besides: you make the rest of us cyclists look bad and hand ammo to The Angry Town Hall Attendee - and there's at least one in every town. 

"Daylight hours are getting shorter." - Police Chief Jonathan Fontneau

I saw plastic pumpkins for sale at Fairway this week, which kinda freaked me out. I also noticed apple cider and wince when I hear my 110 psi road tires crunching over leaves more. Yes, summer is over and the icy hand of autumn death is closing in. 

Nobody wants to hear it, but the police chief's reminder means that cyclists need to start remembering the bike light and the reflective vest when going out in late afternoons - because daylight a mere four weeks ago isn't at the same time as daylight now. It is a good time to revisit my three-part feature on staying safe safe while riding at night. 

And now, here are four things I wish were said at the conference:

"Please take your seats, everyone." 

When you do communications consulting and research for a living, it's hard to turn that part of the brain off. It sounds like a little thing, but it matters. At the press conference on Tuesday, there were a lot of people there, including representatives from the Stamford Downtown Special Services District, the Mill River Collaborative and city representatives. There were also other folks in the room, but almost all of them were standing behind the chairs - and the TV cameras. When News 12 Connecticut's Allison Bybee's great story on the Stamford Street Smart campaign (complete with a familiar-looking area cyclist) came out later, the opening shot of the conference made it look like just a few people were in the audience. Take my word for it, there were a lot of people there, but because few were sitting down, it didn't look like a lot of people were interested in hearing about safer streets in Stamford.

"We're keeping a dialogue open on Twitter with the hashtag (#blank), so please remind your friends, family and colleagues to be safe and let us know of problem areas you know about."

The News 12 story indicated there will be a social media component of Stamford Street Smart coming out in the future. But Tuesday's conference would have been a great time to allow word to spread to those who were not there - especially given the size and scope of the kickoff event. Social media mostly works when you get people to do your promoting for you, and even though the city and the police department are clearly no strangers to doing more with less, putting social media out there on day one would have made the conversation about safety even louder. There'd be junk posts, for sure, but it would also allow the city to learn more about dangerous roads and intersections that may have been overlooked.  

"If it can be done safely, bike and walk more and drive less."

As you remember, I was very frustrated in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy when Governors Dan Malloy, Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo didn't say those thirteen words. Thousands upon thousands of people - many of whom had their lives turned upside down from the storm - were running around Fairfield County searching for gasoline like a business casual Mad Max film.

I tried my best to keep the line at the gas stations short by using a bike during that period; I even towed a cooler with me so I could do big grocery trips. Imagine if state and municipal leaders actually said those words. 

Most people would have shrugged it off, but we have to be realistic about something: the fewer cars there are on the road, the fewer traffic jams and car accidents we will have. Not only that, but motorists will have an easier time finding a place to park if more people bike instead, and Stamford will collapse and fall in on itself if every single person living in one of the new condos and apartments sprouting everywhere drove a car whenever they wanted to get around. You know those fights people have been having on airplanes lately about a couple of inches of legroom? With cars, it will be worse.  

"People don't choose to live in unsafe cities. They also don't choose to go shopping, open businesses, or take a job in cities or towns when they don't feel safe."

Obviously, the leaders at the podium were right to talk about the pedestrian deaths the way they did - and Police Chief Jonathan Fontneau nailed it when he mentioned the massive growth of residential properties in the city. But there's another point that needs to be hammered continuously: the future of this city depends on safer streets - and on implementing a complete streets policy. If there's no music, they can't dance, if they can't dance, they can't kiss, and if they can't kiss, they can't fall in love. 

Wait: that's a line from Back to the Future.

Let me try again: If Stamford picks up a reputation for being a dangerous city, families and businesses will move out. If they move out, apartments and commercial properties go vacant. If they go vacant, tax revenue falls…and so on. Safe streets aren't just important, they mean everything to everyone. 

I thank the city of Stamford for creating the Stamford Street Smart campaign. I hope it works and everyone does their part to be a better driver, a better cyclist, and a better pedestrian. And it's time for some grit: it took decades of good leadership and good policing to create a city mostly safe from muggers. It'll take a lot more than $25,000 and a lot more than 21 days to make Stamford an ideal place for cyclists and pedestrians. Be safe today, tomorrow and forever more. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.