Tagged: activism

Rally for Great Streets: tomorrow!

Hey people.  Just a reminder that the Rally for Great Streets is tomorrow, 2 September, from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM, in front of City Hall, 125 N. Main Street.  Here’s a TV interview of local biking guru Anthony Siracusa on Fox 13‘s Good Morning Memphis.  Also, here’s another TV interview of Anthony on WREG.  Whatever you think about bike lanes on Madison Avenue, I think we can all agree on one thing: Anthony can cold rock a bow-tie.

By now you’ve likely heard about this website, which is a great resource for more information on the issue, including a list of businesses who support bike lanes.  You should also check out Our Memphis, a local organization that has some great ideas on how to make Memphis a better place.  Don’t forget to email the Mayor and the Councilpersons whose jurisdictions include Madison.  As always, be respectful in your communications with our elected officials.

And if you’d like to show your support on facebook, you can change your profile picture to this:

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Sadly, I won’t be able to attend tomorrow’s rally.  I’m really disappointed about this, but I’m under doctor’s orders to stay in bed and rest.  Long story short: I was admitted to the ER at Methodist this morning with profound lower-abdominal pain.  I fully expected to undergo an appendectomy today (based on where the pain was centered), but the blood test results and CAT scan came back negative for appendicitis.  In fact, the doctor couldn’t find anything wrong with me at all.  He sent me home with a couple of prescriptions and an order to rest.  Which is what I’m doing right now, even as I write.  (Blogging and resting aren’t in conflict, are they?)  I feel quite a bit better now than I did this morning, and my doctor expects that I’ll be back up and biking in no time.

So have fun and enjoy the rally.  Don’t forget about the group bike ride beforehand; it leaves from the parking lot across from Playhouse on the Square at 11:45 AM.  And don’t forget to take pictures.  I can’t wait to see how many people turn out in support of making Madison Avenue a truly great street.

Rally for Great Streets

My people.  The time has come for us to join together and make our voices heard.  The time for disinformation about the effects of bike lanes is over.  The time for standing up for our city is here.

Join me at the Rally for Great Streets next Friday, 2 September, from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM at Memphis City Hall, 125 N. Main Street.  There will be a group bike ride from the parking lot across from Playhouse on the Square (on Cooper Street) at 11:45 AM.  Let’s all ride downtown together and show our numbers.

Power to the people!

Call to Action

My people.  As you’ve likely heard if you are on the facebooks or read the local papers, but Memphis City Council member Janis Fullilove claimed today that bike lanes on Madison Avenue would be  “a disaster waiting to happen” and “irresponsible.”

What’s interesting is that Ms. Fullilove appears to be basing her claim on the concerns of one business owner, Selma Brinson of Brinson Tax Service, located at the corner of Madison and McLean.  I don’t recall seeing Ms. Fullilove at any of the past meetings about bike lanes on Madison, so her late entry into this debate is, well, curious.

But whatever the case, here’s what we can do.  First, contact Ms. Fullilove’s office and express your support for bike lanes on Madison.  Feel free to mention all of the evidence that contradicts her claim, but please do so respectfully.  We don’t want/need this dialogue to devolve into the comments section of the Commercial Appeal.

Also, don’t hesitate to contact Mayor Wharton’s office.  In the most respectful manner you can muster, tell him how much bike lanes on Madison would mean to you.  I already have, and will do so again.

While you’re at it, drop a line to Councilman Jim Strickland, whose jurisdiction includes Madison Avenue.  I’m sure he’s caught an earful about bike lanes on Madison from those businesses who are opposed to them – let’s let him know that lots of Memphians support those lanes.  Again, be nice.

Lastly, visit this website for more information on businesses on Madison that, gasp, support bike lanes on their street.  Also, if you haven’t already, please sign this petition and leave a comment about why you want bike lanes on Madison.  The original goal of the petition was to collect 250 signatures.  As of this writing, 1,187 people have signed on.  I did, and if I could do it twice, you know I would.  (In the spirit of voting early and often, of course.)

People, we can do this.  I feel like the momentum is on our side, thanks to the efforts of people too numerous to mention, and articles like this.  (Major props to Les for that one.)  The time for action is now.  Let us all join together and raise our voices in support of bike lanes on Madison.  We’ve waited too long and worked too hard for this opportunity to slip through our fingers.

Weekend Wrap-Up

Welp, I have a crap-ton of links to share with you all this week.  I’m still not yet caught up on my blogging – it’s been a busy few weeks – but here’s a few items that grabbed my attention this week.

First, this guy is a tool.  So much of what he says is typical of the not-cycling-friendly crowd.  First, he portrays us as humorless and arrogant.  Then, he claims to be not only bike-friendly, but a former cyclist himself.  (GAWD if I had a dollar for every time I had heard that I … well, I’d have a few bucks.  But still.)  Finally, he portrays cyclists as being entitled and privileged (and “faddist”).  He then goes to discuss his automobile driving habits for several paragraphs and makes the claim that because he spent untold hours driving slowly around Manhattan looking for parking, that his driving is somehow equivalent to cycling.  Right.  Because most drivers I know drive really effing slow.  But what is most appalling is his claim that cyclists want to “poach on our territory.”  As though the roads belonged only to the drivers and their cars.  Wow, you can’t drive from home to Manhattan and find dozens of empty parking spaces waiting for your gilded steel-belted tires to grace them?  And that’s the fault of cyclists and our bike lanes?  Perhaps population growth has something to do with that?  Also, because he doesn’t see cyclists, they don’t exist.  And when he does notice them, they are doing bad things.  Asshole.

(To get a different read on biking in New York, read this.)

But this guy is completely awesome.  This is my favorite type of cycling activism, or any type of activism really.  One person with a really cool idea who’s working to make it happen.  Kudos to you, my friend.

Also, this guy rocks.  I should use him as an example in my intro-level economics courses about how changes in prices (here, the price of gasoline) can cause people to change their behavior.  It’s all about incentives, baby.

Hats off to the city of Minneapolis for constructing the nation’s first “bicycle freeway.” I can’t wait until that bike facility connects to other bike facilities in nearby parts of the U.S.

Speaking of, did you know that there was once a planned highway system for cyclists?  I didn’t, but I am super excited to know that progress is being made to revive this wonderful idea.  And that Memphis is on the map.  Hooray!

Here’s another cyclist who rocks.  I just started following his blog, but I love his summary of the first year he became carless.

Also, Memphis needs one of these.  Or several of them.  All over town.  Maybe some shaped like forks installed outside restaurants.  Anyone have a wood shop?

That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading.