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Category Archives: Automobiles

Public Works…Works!

If you’ve read some of my old posts here, then you may have noticed that the only things which can cause me to swoon or to find religionĀ are bike lanes. So it may not come as a shock that a bike lane is what has roused me from my blogging slumber. I commute back and […]

Safer Streets By Any Means Necessary?

I’d never noticed this sign at Market and 55th Street in Oakland until last week: Additional safety improvements to Market Street have occurred since 1967, including bike lanes in each direction, but a reminder that even stop lights and bike lanes don’t eliminate the danger from reckless and absent-minded drivers is three blocks away at […]

When the Dog Bites. When the Bee Stings.

These are a few of my favorite things: coffee, bikes, music, and the reclaiming of public space from the tyranny of the automobile. Imagine how delighted I was, then, to be able to take a picture of a coffee shop, a bike shop, a record shop, and a (temporary, alas) parklet installed on 40th Street […]

Under the Freeway and Through the Parking Lot, to Amtrak’s House We Go

If you want to walk from historic (and tourist-oriented) Old Town Sacramento to the train station, you are directed across a parking area, under two or three freeway ramps, and then through another parking lot. (The yellow sign says “TO AMTRAK STATION” and the sign on the parking lot booth behind it says “PAY HERE.” […]

Walk at Your Own Risk

It’s been a terrible week for pedestrians around here. On Tuesday alone, a woman was killed in an Oakland crosswalk by a hit and run driver, a woman crossing the street in San Francisco was killed by a city utility truck (she appears to have been in a crosswalk too), and yet another woman was […]

Going Back to College for Some Lessons on Livable Space

I went up to Berkeley on Tuesday to remind myself of how the other half lives, and as I rode through the UC campus, I was reminded of something that came up in the comments on one of my earlier posts: college campuses are among the few places where pedestrians, bicyclists and low-speed motorized vehicles […]

A Site for Sore Eyes (and Sore Bicycle Rims) on Lakeshore Ave.

Some people’s thoughts bend toward the numinous when they see a crude outline of the Blessed Virgin Mary in a cloud, or in a piece of gum stuck to the sidewalk. Others of us worship differently, and feel the presence of grace when we come across a crude outline of a bicyclist indicating the imminent […]

Traffic Calming on Park Boulevard Today

I wrote in January about some of the problems with lower Park Boulevard, my neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. One big problem I noted is that cars treat it like a speedway instead of a city street, which makes it pretty scary for pedestrians and bicyclists, and therefore diminishes its potential as a thriving urban street (the […]

An Awful Message to Kids: Stay in School (but get there in a car)

I was flabbergasted when a commenter on one of my Flickr photos back in April told me about an elementary school in San Jose which had (at the behest of the SJPD) instructed parents that bicycles “are not allowed as a means of transportation to or from school,” apparently because traffic patterns around the school […]

If You Build Community, They Will Come (a corollary: If You Raze It, They Will Leave)

They came on foot, on scooters and on skateboards. They came on scraper bikes and fixies and longtails. They came in strollers and buses and, yes, some of them came in cars. However they got there, a lot of people came out to enjoy the Lakefest held on Oakland’s Lakeshore Avenue on Saturday and Sunday: […]

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Parker Scorned

The Grand Lake Theater here in Oakland is well known for its political advocacy, from messages on the marquee calling for the prosecution of people like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld to anti-war events featuring Barbara Lee and Sean Penn. Normally the issues the theater focuses on are national, at a safe remove from the […]

Happiness on Two Wheels

It’s been a while since I waxed rhapsodic about riding a bike, and now that summer is upon us, this is probably as good a time as ever to sing the praises of the two-wheeled commute. We cycling evangelists are sometimes considered strident and holier-than-thou about our choice of transportation. I suppose that’s unavoidable, since […]