Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Liberal Guilt Artery

I've mentioned the Olentangy Trail before.  It is my path to work.  I run on it too.  My section of the path runs from Clintonville to downtown.

This is no ordinary part of the bikepath.  No, this path follows the is the "liberal guilt" artery of Columbus.  See, my part of the path starts in Clintonville, which is home to aging hipsters and even older hippies.  (It's fine, I know which one I am).  The grocery stores in Clintonville stock high quantities of granola and craft beers.  People wear wool socks and sandals.

Picture from
The path then traverses through OSU's campus and its surrounding neighborhoods.  Needless to say, this part of town is chock-a-block with young people and all of their burgeoning suburban guilt and "feelings."  It is also populated with people from other countries who are used to riding bikes as a mode of transportation and who don't see biking as a revolutionary act or a sport requiring special clothes and nutrition. 

Picture from the Dispatch
Then, the path traverses Victorian Village and the Short North, home to grad students, young professionals, and hip urbanites, and the celebrations of individuality known as the Doo-Dah Parade and Com Fest.  The Short North is also the City's art gallery district.

Doo Dah parade from Columbus Underground
Com Fest from Dayton City News
Then we end up downtown. 

Anyway, if you're looking for places in Columbus where it's okay to paint your boobies blue or where you can find some artisanal organic hummus, there's a pretty good chance you'll find it along this route.

What's my point?  Well, point is,  people along the liberal guilt artery don't need incentives to ride bikes.  They do it because it's convenient, hip, cheap, eco-friendly, or for a host of other reasons.  Also, they do it because it's an option for them.  They ride bikes because they can.

So, the City wants input on bike infrastructure.

This Wednesday - go if you can
The City wants to be more bike friendly.  The City is really trying and I'm thrilled.  (But yo, hold the meeting on a weekend or evening if you really want people to come). 

My suggestion for the City: make cycling accessible to people for whom it might do some good.  Give sheltered and safe cycling lanes or bike paths out to the suburbs (where there are often not even sidewalks).  Same for low-income neighborhoods.  It's nice to ride a bike - let's provide safe places for people to find that out.

Fact is, the liberal guilt artery will take care of itself.  That's my two cents.

Your beer pairing:
Evil Twin Hipster Ale

Because it's delicious and hipstery.

Go be brave.