Friday, March 28, 2014

#unblockbikelanes #1

As the number of tweets to #unblockbikelanes grows, from time to time I'll be featuring some of the more egregious examples.

Take this car, for three weeks this car has been parked at 21st & Spring Garden.

If you see this car in the same spot post more Tweets to #unblockbikelanes. Lets see how long it takes to for the PPA to do more than monitor the situation. A picture of the car with a parking ticket(s) would be even better.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Go # yourself

In December the Philadelphia Parking Authority and the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia rolled out a new initiative, #unblockbikelanes. A Twitter hash-tag where people could report vehicles parked in bike lanes. But this is only being used to gather information to determine locations that are problem areas. Enforcement is still a ways off. 

While you can search for the #unblockbikelanes hash-tag, its hard to get a sense of where the problem areas are. So to that end I have created a Google map to track the reported locations. 

There are some criteria that I have used delivery; vehicles like UPS, Fed-Ex and similar delivery services are excluded because they are parked for a very short period of time The same goes for PPA vehicles and emergency vehicles that are doing their job. However police vehicles parked for nothing more than getting coffee should be setting an example for the rest of the public. Parking in bike lanes on Sundays along Spruce and Pine streets is not going to change so just tale the lane and if the cars honk, to bad for them. 

So what do you need to do? Take picture of the vehicle (you don't need the license plate),  Then post the picture and the location to Twitter using the #unblockbikelanes hash tag. With warm weather not that far off lets make sure that from now to September this hast tag is flooded with pictures vehicles parked in bike lanes. It will be harder for the PPA to avoid implementing an enforcement plan by next year. There will be a copy of the map embedded on the Philadelphia Bicycle Journal's Facebook page so you can watch for updates. 
Black Pins = Police car
White pins = commercial or private vehicles
Blue pins = Multiple vehicles in one spot

Monday, March 17, 2014

Movie Review - Klunkerz

No matter what type of bike you ride Klunkerz is a wonderful documentary that tells how “a group of stupid hippies turned the bike world on its ear”. It reveals how mountain bikes evolved into what they are today. Not through the minutia of the parts they used or the frames they built, because in those early years building a “klunker” as mountain bikes were first known. It was “part scavenger hunt, part black art” as the early builders were working with parts and frames not designed to be used the way they were. 

Klunkerz tells the story of the individuals and groups who influenced the development of a new way of cycling, in their own words. You'll hear from many of the original riders of these early mountain bikes, including those who went became industry names. People like Joe Breeze, Tom Ritchey, and Gary Fisher. Along with Wende Cragg; the first woman mountain biker and John Finley; a sociology professor who was an early investor and 20 years early had built a klunker of his own. 

Through their memories you'll see how mountain bike rides were “a party in the woods” that allowed for more exploration nature. How the Crested Butte Bike Week became the worlds oldest mountain bike festival. And how a friendly arms race to have the fastest bike became the motivation to create what we now recognize as a mountain bike. Klunkerz provides a unique insight into a sport, a bike, and an industry developed and created in America. Through the people who made it happen. It is like listening to an old group friends hanging out and talking about how when they were young they thought they would change the world. Only to realize that they had changed the world without knowing it.