Helping Low-Income Workers By Strapping Them Into Cars

CNN considers this woman a hero. Filed under "Misdirected Do-Goodery":

Since 2003, Wheels of Success has refurbished 280 donated cars for low-income individuals and families and helped another 280 clients with vehicle-related services. "Receiving ... the car is more than just the car," said Jacobs. "People literally see how it's going to change their life" by knocking down an obstacle that had gotten in their way due to lack of transportation.


MTS Kick Gas Festival will not Include Bicycles

San Diego's Kick Gas Festival is being held on October 24th as part of the many activities held to draw attention to the mission of 350.org which is,

Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.

Specifically, the goal is to reduce CO2 emissions to 350 parts per million.

When we originally heard about the festival we were dismayed that bicycles were not featured as the main part of the festival. When we contacted Kathy Keehan, executive director of the SDCBC, she did admit that the SDCBC had been invited to sponsor the program and promote their mission at the Kick Gas Festival. However, Kathy didn't think the festival would be a good fit for many reasons. For one, the SDCBC has limited volunteer and staff resources, and for another Kathy didn't think that it would be worthwhile to spend 8 hours at the Qualcomm parking lot.

We agree. Qualcomm stadium, located in Mission Valley, is hardly the epicenter of sustainable anything.

Qualcomm Stadium. Photo from sdnn.com

The festival does seem like a terrible missed opportunity. The event could have been held in Balboa Park or the Convention Center downtown which would have allowed attendees to transport themselves in ways more in tune with the mission of 350.org. Bicycles could have been the focus at the festival, engaging more San Diegans to take advantage of the beautiful weather and open themselves up to the possibility of transporting themselves without using gasoline.

But, like they say, there is always next year.


News and links from around the web

Chris Nixon, reporter for the  San Diego News Network, has written an update on his car-lite month. This week's edition is focused on rides beyond his commute. An excerpt:

I’ve started to view my vehicle as a large metal box with wheels, cutting me off from the outside world. Riding to work in a car can be a very antiseptic experience, but rolling on two wheels has given me a new appreciation for the sights and smells of the incredibly diverse neighborhoods along the way: Linda Vista and Kearny Mesa

Parking Day
Parking Day. Photo from gcbl.org

September 18th is PARK(ing) Day. What is it? PARK(ing) Day is a worldwide act of playful, generous activism and is strictly a non-commercial enterprise.Originally created by Rebar, a San Francisco art and design collective, PARK(ing) Day is an annual, one-day, global event where artists, activists, and citizens collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spots into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public parks.

The BMX Hall of Fame is moving to Chula Vista and the grand opening is also on September 18.

The Boston Biker has written about how a bad car/bicycle encounter was turned into a more positive one. We suspect that a primary reason there is much antagonism between various users of the streets is because of fundamental lack of empathy.

Do you have other newsworthy or any other interesting links? Post them in the comments!


Coronado Appoints Residents to Bicycle Master Plan Committee

To date, the only public involvement with the San Diego Bicycle Master Plan has been participation in an online survey, and attendance in an open house. Meanwhile in Coronado, the city appointed Coronado residents to their Bicycle Master Plan Committee. Coronado has successfully obtained a grant of $75,000 from SANDAG to draft a bicycle master plan.

The members of the new committee will look at how bicyclists in town share the road with vehicles, skateboarders, Segways, pedestrians and pets. Putting together a bicycle master plan would make the city a good candidate for other bicycling-related grants in the future.

Read the entire story here.



San Diego Reader Article on Pedicabs

reader09The new issue of the San Diego Reader has a great look at the world of pedicabs, which provides a much-needed street-level view of the issue. Key themes seem to be that the industry is not capable of regulating itself and that the City of San Diego, before the death of Sharon Miller in July, had previously taken little interest in meaningful regulation. Of course, the underlying concern remains: do greater regulations for pedicabs threaten bicyclists' right to the road?