Posts Tagged ‘Dom Nozzi’

Biking is not alternative transportation

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

While at a conference in Buffalo last year, Dom Nozzi corrected me. Biking and walking are not alternative transportation. Alternative transportation is an auto-centric term which implies that only motor vehicles are mainstream transportation.

It’s a loaded term and one worth dropping, especially given the U.S. DOT’s recent policy statement that encourages government agencies to consider “walking and bicycling as equals with other transportation modes.”

That said, the “alternative transportation” theme was commonly used in the recent Let’s Save Michigan poster contest. Many of the submitted posters highlighted cycling and transit as a positive part of Michigan’s future.

The critic’s choice poster by Jonathan Wilcox is shown. Wilcox included this explanation for his inspiration.

Truly embracing alternative forms of transportation, such as trains and bicycles, could be a good way to increase travel into, out of, and within cities, and between city and suburb, while also easing the environmental issues of having so many cars on the road. Michigan has long been known for its commitment to transportation and it’s time we think and act accordingly in this new decade.

Great poster, great direction.

Great Lakes Metro Summit in Buffalo

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

img_2735Last week the Great Lakes Metros Summit was held in Buffalo, New York.

And to quote Artvoice, this event was where “activists and policymakers from around the Great Lakes gathered to share homegrown solutions to Rust Belt problems.”

At the Summit, I moderated a panel on Complete Streets and Transit while also providing a brief overview status of Detroit’s greenways and non-motorized transportation based on my work for the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance (MTGA).

Our panel included Rory Neuner from the Michigan Environmetnal Council and a League of Michigan Bicyclists director. Rory is very active with the Walk and Bike Lansing campaign. They are working on a Complete Streets policy for Lansing.

If you are a Lansing resident, please visit their web site to learn how you can help make Lansing “accessible and walk & bike friendly!”

Next on the panel was Dom Nozzi of Richmond, Virginia. Dom has an invaluable web site devoted to making cities more bikeable and walkable. His four-part speech from Bloomington, Indiana really defines a vision for how we need to prioritize transportation for people first rather than cars.

After the summit, I had a chance to talk with Dom. One interesting point he made is that many people are stuck with outdated transportation paradigms, primarily that mobility — high speeds, wide roads — is the primary goal. They’ve committed themselves to this paradigm and cannot step back to view the bigger picture. They are often unconvinceable. An advocates best hope is they will be replaced or retire.

And also on the panel was Justin Booth, who certainly plays a major role in all the good things happening in Buffalo with respect to biking.

Justin created Buffalo’s Blue Bicycle program, a low-cost, simple, innovative means for sharing bikes across town.

Also, Justin helped create the Rusty Chain beer program here a portion of sales from a custom locally-brewed beer go towards bike racks — an example of which is shown next to Justin in the above photo. To date the program has generated $10,000, which has been matched with city and federal funding (CMAQ). As a result, businesses within Buffalo’s Central Business District can request bicycle racks which are installed for free.

Buffalo recently installed 110 bicycle racks! Justin noted that the racks are custom designed and made locally.

That’s something worth raising a glass to.