Ride Me is dedicated to the lifestyle and culture of living Car Free in Portland, Or. Traveling only by bike and public transit is a great way to get around the Rose City.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lyon Protocol

Car free cities. Sounds like a dream, but more and more it's becoming a reality. Although no major cities are 100% car free there are some who have devoted large portions of the center and in some cases created car free zones through out the entire city. Using Lyon, France as the model, The Lyon Protocol sets a very lofty goal: converting large districts to carfree areas.
The Lyon Protocol defines multi step strategy for reaching consensus on how to design and implement such a radical change, involving community input, media relations and political will. The goal is to give the city back to residents by reducing the domination of the automobile and to create a strong local identity.

Strong local identity?
Community involvement?
Sounds like P-town...!

Kyoto accord

An interesting article from the BBC. It is refreshing to see at least Europe has taken the Kyoto accord seriously. Why can't our own leaders here in the US begin to recognize these regulations as global will ?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Bike Date

For the last few weeks Carolyn and I have been going on 'bike dates'. We go out on the town on a Friday evening, on a 'date' via bike. Our objectives are have fun, socialize and travel at a casual pace. Last night we hit a couple local spots on the Eastside. What a great evening for a bike date. The moon was full and the weather has been stellar!
Heading down the Clinton bike route we zipped thru the intersection at 7 corners and both instinctively began heading down Ladd Avenue, toward work...Ooops! A quick right put us on 20th and back on track. We took the tourist route toward Hawthorne weaving thru the back streets. We met some friends at Imbibe, laughed about the old days living in the dorms and enjoyed some fine tunes ala Little Sue. After the music had wound down about 9 o'clock, Carolyn and I jumped on our trusty rides and peddled off to Belmont to check out 'the Blue Monk'. We both love this place. Belgian Beers out the wazooo, live Jazz music and great food. We sampled a little of all 3.
The great thing about bike dating is the relative freedom it offers. It's a chance to slow down on the bike and plod along. Something I think we all forget to do sometimes. I know in the mornings headed downtown, I'm like everyone else. How fast can I hammer to the office...? On a bike date it's just You and your Sweety cruising thru the neighborhoods, enjoying a pleasantly casual pace, maybe you stop to look at something in a store window, check out that really sweet house for sale, or change direction mid-trip. We really enjoy these dates. For us it's all about meandering to get to our destination. Especially when the weather is as nice as it has been the past couple weeks.
I'd like to see more folks out on bike dates. Maybe we could start a bike date Friday or something. Encourage pubs/resturants to offer incentives for Bike Daters to come to there establishments one Friday night a month. Just a thought.

No Parking

I am curious where we are headed with our bike lane/bike route infrastructure. Portland is a GREAT place to travel by bike. To work, school, down to the store, where ever... Recent articles on BikePortland about the "interested but concerned" demographic & "concerns about the crossing"; as well as my recent experience living in the Netherlands for most of the past year, have me thinking about our infrastructure.
My thought is that we remove parking along bike path/bike routes and give that space to 'Dutch style' bike lanes. It would seem the best way to truly move Portland ahead of the curve, and mobilize the "I but C" folks is to provide better protection for all of us. These lanes would be partitioned off from auto traffic, be wide enough for 3 or more bikes, like the dutch lanes, and also provide a means of turning left without leaving the safe confines of the the bike lane.
I'm sure many of you have visited the Netherlands, and seen the model. Especially if you've ventured out of Amsterdam into the rest of the nation, like Den Haag/ Leiden you have seen or experienced the beauty of a full scale bike-way (fietspad) system covering the entire country. Having experienced this firsthand I can tell you it is exactly why a majority of the Dutch make most trips by bike. They feel safe on their bikes.
I'd like to start an initiative based on this idea. I'd love to hear from anyone on this issue; pro or con....
Believe me I'm all about sharing the road, but part of sharing is giving. How about giving us a fietspad system.