Monday, December 20, 2010

Oh Trophy Bikes, and Typewriters

The first ever Type In sponsored by guess which bike shop.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ben's Chili Bowl


At last I have been to the mecca of meaty eats, Ben's Chili Bowl on U street in Washington DC. I was down in DC for the day on Friday to check out their bicycle infrastructure, and lunched at this fine establishment. Eating one of these on a regular basis is not advised, but when it's 35 degrees and windy, they are a godsend of protein and salt.

Professionally, the trip was good as well. DC is kicking the pants off of us in every respect bike related save one: we have more bike racks. We have a lot more places for people to put their bikes when they're out and about. The situation at Union Station is particularly weak: the bike rack is on a stretch of unused driveway and is not even bolted to the ground.

In other respects though, DC is leagues ahead of most cities in the country. Helping them in that pursuit are their money and wide streets. Since the District functions as both a state and a city, they have a bit more control over their spending than we do in Philly. That, and they just have more of it. Wheras we have about 1.5 staff people devoted to bicycle and pedestrian issues, they, in a city half the size and population, have 6 people fully devoted to bicycle infrastructure projects. Wide streets also make it much easier to take lanes of travel for biking without paralyzing the urban core. Of course they all complain of congestion and tight quarters, but it's really nothing compared to our diminutive rights-of-way in Center City Philadelphia.

That said, they are doing amazing work. Bike sharing with 100 locations across the city and more to come online next year, bike lanes everywhere, a bicycle locker-room at the train station and two new and totally cool projects including a separated cycle track (divided from cars by a parking lane and bollards) and the new two way bike lane down the center of Pennsylvania avenue mean that the president can ride in comfort from his house all the way to the Capitol.

I've put some pictures up in my Picasa account for the transit nerds out there.
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Friday, December 10, 2010


I am working hard to get myself into as many bicycle-related projects at work as possible. Those efforts paid off today with my impending trip to DC to see some of their improvements and meet some of the big-gear mashers of bicycle policy.

Also, I'll have a chance to give bikeshare a try for the first time ever!