Thots re: Making bicycling contagious (Bikes Belong)

Simple article with obvious points. But it doesn’t really enroll anyone, does it? The only thing simple studies like this don’t help with is promoting cycling in un-sunny weather. The article’s points are all fine but don’t have any penetration into the thinking of a nation of comfort-entitled people. We could learn from football fans on this point–if you paid 100 bucks for tickets in December–you go if its snowing, right? You bring blankets and coco. Biking is just more like camping.

Employers, grocery stores neighbors and friends need to expect each other to bicycle even when its less than comfortable outside. This can be incented with much steeper parking rates, and much steeper property taxes on parking lots acreage for businesses, and extra licences requied to park on residential streets. This revenue would go not only to cycling improvements, but bicycle and avalibility funds , and car-free rewards (celebrations, recognitions) that local businesses can competes for (al-la Bike Month). The level of these events is almost invisible to those not seeking to participate. Taxes and fines would really make wide incentive.

We also know from some twitter-enabled-bathroom-scales out there that some level of humiliation is effective at forcing habits and adopting a forthright attitude on topics like weight loss and diet. If friends and neighbors started holding important social events at no-parking locations, it would exclude the car entitled and strip away the more immediate social status of driving privileges. Humiliation schemes could also be harsher, but really we want to celebrate our active lifestyles. Contests, parades, and faires are all positive reinforcement.

When will we see Bellingham, for instance, make Railroad avenue and the Farmers Market become no-parking environments? Not only would we gain more area for smaller moble street vendors downtown, shops would face green space, and there would be copious room for bike lockers. Then the next time you wanted to hit some posh spot with your buds, they’d all expect you to bike there like they did, without the hassle of downtown car traffic.

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