December 06, 2013

Our Cafeteria: Put More Bikes on the Menu

When you work on bikes, everyone assumes that you bike all the time. 

BUT ... I drive also. How do I justify this?

I think driving in the city is like eating junk food.

I try to eat healthy, but I eat junk food too. Just not all of the time.

The question is; do you eat junk food because you want to, or because you have no other choice?

Let's take this further. Imagine that our city is a "Local Transportation Cafeteria". What's on the menu? Junk food.

The current bicycle infrastructure in Nashville is only 'digestible' to people in a certain demographic, the young invincible men between 18 - 34.  The type that have no fear. The crowd that will ride straight down Nolensville, Gallatin, and West End and chase down anyone that honks at them.

Full disclosure, I am in this category. Maybe that's why I bike all the time.  But having reached 30 without being deterred by traffic, I'm getting tired of defending myself every time I commute. It stresses me out, and like the rest of the population, I'm starting to wonder if it's worth it.

Thankfully, we can all eat from the 'greenways' section of the cafeteria, but unfortunately, those paths only give you enough nutrients to get through a tiny portion of the city.  

Of the bike lanes that we have, none of them are protected commuter routes.  In other words, you're going to have to be very brave to eat what the city is feeding you on Charlotte, Thompson Ln, Hillsboro, etc.

If you need to go to the mall, the office, your church, the post office, a school, or a restaurant, you'll probably end up eating a lot of junk food.

We need more bicycles on the menu.