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Re: [carfree_cities] 1. NYT - bikes on campus, 2. Chinese courtyard housing complexes

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  • jane.
    ... and some anecdotal evidence to further support the NY Times article s assertion that there s an explosion in bike activity in the States: I m visiting my
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 21, 2008
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      ... and some anecdotal evidence to further support the NY Times article's assertion that there's "an explosion in bike activity" in the States:

      I'm visiting my native Los Angeles for the first time in 2.5 years and I'm seeing bicycles EVERYWHERE--which there never was before. They're parked on every block, people are riding them down the streets, from West L.A./Santa Monica to Hollywood/Los Feliz, downtown & East L.A. I would have never believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. Los Angeles, the car capital of the nation if not the world!

      While I was commuting by bus and on foot, I had several pleasant exchanges with bikers as I waited on the side of the road or for lights to change, something that NEVER happens with drivers. It seems people are realizing not only that they can't/would rather not afford gasoline but also that it is indeed possible to bike Los Angeles, or at least your local neighborhood.

      It was also interesting watching the demographics of the bikers shift from district to district--in the wealthier areas of Santa Monica/West L.A., it seemed that more people of color were biking while in Hollywood/Los Feliz, which generally has more pedestrians than other parts of the city, it seemed to be young white hipster-types who were pedaling.

      Up the coast, the college-y town of Santa Barbara had a town as well when I visited this past weekend, including biker cops and apparently annual month-long commuter challenge in which participants get to work in any way but single-driver car, but that's a location in which biking would be much more expected given its size and demographics.


      --- On Wed, 10/22/08, Christopher Miller <christophermiller@...> wrote:

      > From: Christopher Miller <christophermiller@...>
      > Subject: [carfree_cities] 1. NYT - bikes on campus, 2. Chinese courtyard housing complexes
      > To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
      > Cc: "Christopher Miller" <christophermiller@...>
      > Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 2:35 AM
      > 1. An article from the New York Times (via CoolTowns blog)
      > on the
      > success of free bike programmes on some US college
      > campuses:
      >
      > http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/education/20bikes.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
      >
      > =========================================================
      >
      > With Free Bikes, Challenging Car Culture on Campus
      >
      > By KATIE ZEZIMA
      > Published: October 19, 2008
      > BIDDEFORD, Me. — When Kylie Galliani started at the
      > University of New
      > England in August, she was given a key to her dorm, a class
      > schedule
      > and something more unusual: a $480 bicycle.
      >
      > (photos and comments link deleted)
      >
      > “I was like, ‘A free bike, no catch?’ ” Ms.
      > Galliani, 17, a freshman
      > from Fort Bragg, Calif., asked. “It’s really an ideal
      > way to get
      > around the campus.”
      >
      > University administrators and students nationwide are
      > increasingly
      > feeling that way too.
      >
      > The University of New England and Ripon College in
      > Wisconsin are
      > giving free bikes to freshmen who promise to leave their
      > cars at home.
      > Other colleges are setting up free bike sharing or rental
      > programs,
      > and some universities are partnering with bike shops to
      > offer
      > discounts on purchases.
      >
      > The goal, college and university officials said, is to ease
      > critical
      > shortages of parking and to change the car culture that
      > clogs campus
      > roadways and erodes the community feel that comes with
      > walking or
      > biking around campus.
      >
      > “We’re seeing an explosion in bike activity,” said
      > Julian Dautremont-
      > Smith, associate director of the Association for the
      > Advancement of
      > Sustainability in Higher Education, a nonprofit association
      > of
      > colleges and universities. “It seems like every week we
      > hear about a
      > new bike sharing or bike rental program.”
      >
      > While many new bike programs are starting up, some are
      > shutting down
      > because of problems with theft and vandalism. The program
      > at St.
      > Mary’s College in Maryland was suspended because bikes
      > were being
      > vandalized.
      >
      > “Ours was one that was totally based on voluntary taking
      > care of the
      > bike,” said Chip Jackson, a spokesman for St. Mary’s,
      > “and I guess
      > that was maybe a tad unwise. So the next generation of this
      > idea will
      > have a few more checks and balances.”
      >
      > At Ripon, and the University of New England, officials say
      > that giving
      > students a bike of their own might encourage them to be
      > more
      > responsible. Ripon’s president, David C. Joyce, a
      > competitive mountain
      > biker, said the free bike idea came in a meeting about how
      > to reduce
      > cars on campus.
      >
      > The college committed $50,000 to the program and plans to
      > continue it
      > with next year’s freshmen. Some 200 Trek mountain bikes,
      > helmets and
      > locks were bought, and about 180 freshmen signed up for the
      > program.
      > “We did it as a means of reducing the need for
      > parking,” Dr. Joyce
      > said, “but as we looked at it from the standpoint of
      > fitness, health
      > and sustainability, we realized we have the opportunity to
      > create a
      > change.”
      >
      > (...more at the linked web page)
      >
      > =========================================================
      >
      > 2. Via a posting on Treehugger, a Wikipedia article on the
      > large
      > courtyard housing complexes (Fujian Tulou) of Fujian
      > Province:
      >
      > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fujian_Tulou
      >
      > These are similar to the housing surrounding an interiour
      > courtyard
      > proposed in _Carfree Cities_ except that they seem to be a
      > rural
      > building type and have some characteristics in common with
      > European
      > defensive castles. The article contains a number of
      > interesting
      > photographs of different tulou.
      >
      > =========================================================
      >
      > Christopher Miller
      > Montreal QC Canada
      >
      >
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