Friday, November 4, 2016

Sunday's Cargo Bike Festival, Cranksgiving San Jose...and Traffic

   Reflectors on my shop floor - based on CETMA cargo bike used by Cowgirl Bike Courier.

The other day I read a piece in the San Jose Mercury News about the growing trend of the 'megacommute' (defined as a one-way drive to work of 90 minutes or more) of a lot of Silicon Valley workers.

I had a few problems with the article. Not at all with how well it was written or the validity of the points made, but the way we tend to look at our traffic problems as a side effect of economic growth instead of looking at it as what it is: a direct effect of our reliance on solo car travel

And yes: more bike infrastructure won't mean much to someone who lives too far from work to pedal there. But if more people get out of their cars and onto a bike the commute for motorists gets easier - not harder. 

 In front of Moonbeans Coffee in San Jose with a Box Bike (photo is from last year when I wrote my review of the Box Bike). There is absolutely no bike rack to be found here so I don't go often. 

I have pointed out - numerous times - that part of the greatness of bicycles is that they take up a lot less space than cars do. When we think about how San Jose and other cities are laid out there is a lot more room for a motor vehicle that is not in use than there is for a poor family that needs a warm place to sleep. 

It's embarrassing.

So in the interest of making life easier for yourself (I'm talking directly to the folks reading this who don't ride because they have a lot to carry) and for our community I suggest you visit the Cargo Bike Festival this Sunday. As last year, it'll be inspiring. You'll meet people who like to make, like to ride and want to show you how you can do both. There will be bikes for you to test ride and local businesses and non-profits represented. And when you start to hear and read stories about what people carry on their bikes, the more possible a ride to the grocery store to buy milk is going to seem. 

The electric-assist cargo bike made by Box Bike Collective

I'll be there too - mostly talking up and trying to recruit more riders for Cranksgiving San Jose - that's still on Nov. 13th. and you can read the piece I wrote about it here. 

The Cargo Bike Festival will be taking place Sunday, November 6th at the San Jose Armory at 240 N. 2nd Street from 11am to 3pm. 

Please go and remember: the more you leave the car and take the bicycle the nicer a place to live in Silicon Valley becomes - and maybe this megacommute thing can become ancient history. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

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