Monday, September 28, 2009

Columbia, Missouri's bicycling mayor

This week's Parade magazine featured an article about Columbia, Missouri's efforts to promote bicycling in the city, A FreeWheeling City (beware of pop-up ads)
Until recently, Columbia (pop. 100,733) was, like most American cities, designed almost exclusively for automobile transit, offering up a host of four-lane mini-highways over which motorists could zoom between parking lots. For [Columbia Mayor] Hindman, a retired lawyer, the situation was all wrong. "If we depend too much on cars, then we increase our reliance on foreign oil, childhood obesity goes up, and life just isn't as much fun," he says.
The article goes on to discuss how other cities are improving their bicycle infrastructure. When Parade magazine features an article on bicycling, it's a sure sign that times are changing.
Hindman's next goal is to connect every neighborhood to a bike path, in the hope that he can continue to wean citizens from auto-dependence. "If we could get people to use their bikes or walk on 20% of their short trips, I’d be delighted," he says.

Meanwhile, the mayor will keep pedaling. "Every ride is different," he says. "Every ride is a new adventure."

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Seeing such a positive article in such a mainstream publication as Parade was fabulous. And the writer did a really good job.

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