Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Critical Manners," Oct. 3rd Coates Bluff tour, Podcasts and KSCL at last meeting

The following is a summary of our last meeting, on 9/14. We talked about:
  • bike trails in Iowa, Wisconsin, and elsewhere
  • "critical mass" vs. "critical manners" bike rides
  • the October 3rd tour of the Coates Bluff Greenway site
  • ideas for p.s.a.'s and interviews for KSCL
  • recorded two podcasts
In attendance: Rebecca Lehr, Zakk Owens, Maurice Loridans, the woman from Iowa, Loren Demerath, Robert Trudeau, Ryan Tew, Michael Laffey, Feico Kempff

April reported bike trails everywhere in Iowa, you see many cyclists, and can bike from Cedar Falls to Cedar Rapids; lots of people commuting, etc. Rebecca's from Milwaukee, and said you can bike to Madison without being endangered; a lot of people don't own cars there; just use public transportation and bike.

We the discussed safety. Steve said he's made his living off a bike for 14 years only once did something happen to him; though he escaped injury his bike was destroyed with a bus cut corner too closely.

Maurice said the people's arguments about biking being inherently unsafe only make sense until you recall the accidents that happen to people when they're in motor vehicles. "The roads are meat grinders; vultures love 'em."

Ryan and Maurice discussed the costs and benefits of "critical mass" rides; Maurice thinks they inflame the two camps. Police in some places have started to arrest the "corks" that block traffic. And there are incidents where cyclists surround and harrass drivers. It was noted that we appreciate southern hospitality. Steve says they're polite here, and rides on the side. Maurice said he enjoys his right to the center of the lane most of the time but invites people to pass; "they've got all those horses they've been using, let them use 'em." Steve said he and people like Maurice are among the few modeling use of the main arterial roads, but they're only a few people and could use help.

Ryan noted that we could use a campaign for increasing awareness; "critical mass" rides might be a first step. April noted it's good when it's planned and not a guerrilla move. Maurice noted that "critical manners" is the alter ego of facilitating transportation biking that happens in an organized, polite, safe way. Hallie Dozier's upcoming "Velo Dendro" is an example of that; teaching people safe riding techniques, etc. Robert asked if she had facebook page, and establishing one could help bring people, particularly recreational riders.

Turning to the Coates Bluff project, Robert said he talked with Tousant Bately about the greenway and he positive about the idea. Mr. Bately is a former Booker T. Washington principle and has been active in the city.

Loren mentioned that Saturday, October 3rd, at 9:00 a.m. is the walking tour of the Coates Bluff site with Jeff Girard, and hopefully two local historians, Eric Brock and Gary Joiner.

Tops on the to-do list for Coates Bluff is meeting with David Alexander, and getting materials for the Stacye Palmer of the National Parks Service who'll be helping to create the flier. Also helping with creating the vision could be KSCL.

Turning to downtown, it was noted that outlets such as blogging, Facebook, Youtube and KSCL radio could be used to publicize a vision of downtown and build momentum for using properties for more than speculation and tax write-offs. Video interviews could show articulate advocates of downtown there on sidewalk gesturing up at the buildings; Robert said he could shoot and edit, and April and others can speak; several people from Southern University have also been connected recently to our group and might be interested in helping.

Rebecca, Zakk, and others from KSCL could interview people who do live, or might consider living downtown, and could podcast those interviews as well as broadcast them. Michael Laughey, Faculty Advisor of KSCL, said we could submit a list of people to be interviewed with suggested topics or questions.

April Dahm mentioned that John Martin of the Peekers wrote a theme song for us, and that we might be able to use that for the theme of a program or podcast series.

Zakk then interviewed Steve and Maurice about their biking in the city, and April about downtown.

April announced that the next downtown lunch meeting will be Monday the 21st, 11:30 to 12:30 in ArtSpace on Texas St.

Our next regular evening meeting has been temporarily moved to Thursday night from 6:15 to 7:30 where we'll concentrate on public service announcements and radio/podcast/youtube programing.

If you're interested, come on!

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