Friday, May 18, 2007

Bike To Work Month/Week/Day in Columbus... WHAT A DUD!

Note (5/23/2007): Please read the comments on this post for more on Columbus's Bike-To-Work Week events. Apparently there was some activity, just not anything from the groups I mentioned below. I stand by my criticisms of COBAC and the Dispatch, but heartily applaud Consider Biking and Green Drinks. Now, back to the post.

As many of you probably know, it's Bike to Work Month, Week, and Day. I've been enjoying reading all the stories on various blogs about the activities that cities and groups are promoting to get people out on their bikes. And I've been so busy the past couple weeks that I haven't had a chance to sit back and reflect upon how Columbus has celebrated this great time.

And then I realized that the reason I haven't really done this reflecting wasn't only that I've been busy, but also that NOTHING has been done here in Columbus!

I've ridden to work every day this month, but since November, I always do (except for a couple days in February when the weather was in the negatives and I took the bus). So that was no biggie for me. But it really JUST occurred to me that there has been almost NO activity by anyone in Columbus (that I've seen) to promote Bike to Work Month, Week, or Day.

I went to look at the Central Ohio Bike Advocacy Coalition website today after realizing this fact, and I did see a post in their news section for a Ride Of Silence two days ago, which I wish I'd seen. But, to be frank, I'm not impressed at all with COBAC... I've emailed them several times with requests for information on joining the group and never gotten a reply. And I've checked my spam filter, for those of you wondering. Not even a banner on their page... NOTHING.

I looked at the Columbus Dispatch and searched for articles about Bike To Work Month, Week, or Day.... NOTHING. The one article that mentions bikes is about widening Sancus Boulevard up near the Polaris Catastrophe from a two lane to a five-lane road, the plan for which includes a bike trail. One person in the article is actually complaining that they put in sidewalks but didn't widen the road.

So, what's to be done? The obvious answer is: "get involved earlier next time." And for that, I have no response other than "you bet." This town is in such dire need of an improved infrastructure for bikes that next year it's almost mandatory for me to get more involved. I feel like I shirked a duty this year in not getting involved now. I tried to give a co-worker who wants to bike but doesn't think she can a push by recommending some books and websites to her... but that's it.

NOTHING was done. NOTHING!

I'm shocked and ashamed for Columbus, and I'm ashamed of myself for being so complacent.

2 comments:

  1. Jamie,

    I'm sorry you missed it - there was a Bike Hop sponsored by Columbus Green Drinks and Consider Biking this week!

    www.considerbiking.net/tools/?q=node/57

    www.biothinking.com/greendrinks/index.php?country=USA&city=Columbus,%20OH

    You should definitely check out Consider Biking - it's a brand new commuter biking advocacy group that's just getting off the ground. I know they would love to have another active member!

    www.considerbiking.com

    I think they are having their monthly meeting tomorrow (5/20).

    www.considerbiking.net/tools/?q=node/60

    You might have to broaden your media habits a little beyond the Dispatch! Columbus Alive had a blurb, as did Columbus Underground and the Free Press. Other blogs covered it, too, including a new blog called Seeing Green run by design students at OSU.

    seeinggreen.wordpress.com

    By the way, there is another Columbus blogger who writes about commuter biking. He has coordinated a couple of bike-to-work events in the last month, and I think he has at least one more planned for the summer:

    douglasmorgan.typepad.com/two_wheeling/

    Enjoy!

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  2. Now I feel stupid. ;)

    I actually interviewed Meredith Joy of Consider Biking a while back (on the recommendation of a friend of mine who is a professor at OSU and has Meredith as a student)... she told me a bit about her project and her plans and goals for the project. I even joined the site... oh well, lesson learned.

    As far as Columbus Alive, the Free Press, and Columbus Underground are concerned, I guess I'll actually have to start reading them more often. I'm not much into the arts scene or after-hours scenes here in town and CA and CU always struck me as more arts/entertainment papers, but if they have local events I'll have to get reading those, too.

    I actually do at least a weekly internet search at the Dispatch site, which includes Columbus Alive, but it must only get feature articles and not the "blurbs" as you say.

    And I also read Doug's blog as well... unfortunately I'm not a typical commuter in Columbus as my commute isn't north-south but east-west... so I never have a chance to get on the trails or anything like that.

    I appreciate you letting me know, and I hope you see that I put up a note in the main article, too!

    ReplyDelete