26 year old Angela Burke was killed in Portland Oregon last week by a drunk driver while walking her bicycle. Here is a report from Portland’s famous bike blogger Jonathan Maus of Bikeportland.org as he investigated who Angela was as a person and about this tragic loss to our community. Who was Angela Burke? Piecing together a picture of who 26-year old Angela Burke was has been difficult. Now I know why.
Today I got a call from her mom, Athena Burke. Ms. Burke, fighting back tears throughout our conversation, said her daughter had just moved to Portland a month or so ago and that she “was lonely and hadn’t found her people yet.” Given what I know about Angela now, I feel like it would have been just a matter of time until some of us would have eventually become her “people.”
Thursday, December 16th, the â€œLove Your Laneâ€ cyclist clowns from the environmental organization Timeâ€™s Up! came to Brooklyn Borough Hall dressed in holiday- and festive-colored costumes. The clowns were ready to recruit. After Brooklyn borough President Marty Markowitzâ€™ clownish behavior last week at the well attended bike lane oversight hearing, the clowns hoped to invite Markowitz to join their circus. After all, his rendition of â€œMy Favorite Thingsâ€ to the City Councilâ€™s Transportation Committee hearing on NYC Bike Policy, chalk full of anti-bike lane misinformation, made him an ideal candidate.
The â€œLove Your Lanesâ€ clowns were also interested in adding a verse to the childhood anthem, â€œMy Favorite Thingsâ€:
When the car honks,
and trucks double park,
when we’re run off the bike lane
I simply think of Prospect Park’s designated bike lane
And then I don’t feel so bad.
Check out this latest review of cycling wear by Outlier.cc Iâ€™m one of those guys that wears the same pair of black pants all year round, regardless of a semi-formal function or riding in the city. I finally gave in, headed over to Chari after work and decided to pick up my first Outlier purchase. I went with the Climber Pant to replace my ever-so-trusty Leviâ€™s 510â€™s. To be honest, I canâ€™t even remember the last time I paid more than $50 for a pair of jeans, so dishing out the dinero for these suckers was a big move â€” Happy early Christmas to me. Hereâ€™s what I think so far:
In the federal government, the Democrats and Republicans have divided themselves further away, bickering over tax breaks for billionaires and mandatory health reform. Big government, small government, let’s just fight and hold the financial future of hard working Americans hostage until Sarah Palin is done with her reality show and can figure out how to pull off an election campaign in 2012, or at least see Russia from her house. After all, she’s still super hot and now we’ve seen her raise a family and shoot bears.
I mean we can always print more money to bail out the banks that got us into this mess…but extend unemployment? Is that socialism?
Here in NYC, we’ve got much more important issues to worry about…No not why a woman without a master’s degree in education was given a waiver to become schools chancellor,…No, a much more devastating threat to our cities health and safety…
Like the tax debate, this issue has divided out civic government into two groups.
On one side of the isle, you have the Pro-bike-lane-lets-make-NYC-more-livable-and green people of the DOT commissioner Janette Sadik-Kahn and on the other side its the: Lets-make-NYC-more-livable-and-green-so-long-as-cars-don’t-have-to-slow-down-and-loose-parking-spots, being lead by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Marty’s up in arms. No NOT about proposed bike infrastructure that hasn’t been approved by local community boards and then constructed, but rather one that has been in place already and being used on a daily basis by strollers, joggers and even cyclists. We’re talking about Prospect Park West and the separated 2 way bike lane with the fresh coat of green paint. More than just one specific lane, this is anger is reflective of the direction of the city to create more room for cyclists to ride.
Last Friday, the City Council’s committee on Transportation decided to have a hearing to bring Janette Sadik-Kahn to task and have her explain herself in putting in all these new bike lanes. As if they hadn’t gotten the memo on the direction of Mayor Bloomberg’s appointee and acting as if the DOT commissioner was just secretly painting bike lanes randomly, in the middle of the night.
They committee wanted to get some public input as well and allowed people to testify…well sort of.
Mostly it was former politicians who got to jump the big line of people there early and be able to speak for way longer then the time permitted, like former deputy mayor Norman Steisel, Who?
Marty took all of this very seriously and condensed his viewpoints into a Christmas carol which he sang for the committee.
Not bad for a Jew, kind of like this guy:
Ok, I know, MY FAVORITE THINGS is not a Christmas song.
Janette Sadik-Kahn did get to explain the bike lanes program and came loaded with all kinds of facts and figures demonstrating the effectiveness of the bike lanes in NYC such as a three year growth in cycling.
Speaking to this, was one Marcus Wollen who told the crowd he’d loosed 30 pounds this year by riding his bicycle.
By the time the general public was allowed to speak for their allotted time limit of 2 minutes, around 2:00pm (they’d been there since 9am) most of the committee had left…so much for civic input from the public.
One person did manage to share his viewpoints which was equated in Streetsblog, last week.
Joanna Oltman Smith,
I want to thank Chairman Vacca and his staff for todayâ€™s lesson in how our democracy really works whereby well-connected, powerful, very important citizens representing their own personal opinions get priority and are encouraged to buck the rules of public testimony, while earnest, early-bird, little â€œnobodyâ€ citizens like the rest of us are made to wait for hours. So, I am left to wonder whether the committee, most of which is no longer present, really cares about how we feel about biking in New York?
Read the whole thing here, on Streetsblog.org.
Yesterday, 12/16/10, a group of Time’s Up volunteers wanted to respond to Mr. Markowitz and his lovely rendition from the hearing.
They also wanted to present him with a golden bicycle, as a gift so he could get in touch with reality that people, in Brooklyn love the bike lanes and love to ride their bikes. I mean, no offense Marty, but maybe if you rode a bike instead of bitching about lanes, you could be like Marcus Wollen, lose a few pounds? I know it’s before the new year.
I was in the area so I decided to join in the festivities in Downtown Brooklyn at Borough Hall.
So a few of us, including bike activists who have been hosting “love your lane,” clown rides, dawn we now our gay apparel and sang some goofy carols of our own.
There was Bikes to the World (joy to the world) and Prospect Lanes (jingle bells)
Video to coming soon.
Photographer Adrian Kinloch, was on hand to take some photos in the frigid temperatures.
The whole set can be seen here.
We got our message across to the local press and then spoke with Marty’s chief of staff who talked about his bosses position on the lanes. He also said as much as he’d love to accept the bike for Marty, he wasn’t in the building today and we should donate the bike to a needy kid.
We tried to deliver the bike to Marty’s office but the NYPD had other plans for us and we ended up keeping the bike…until we can find a needy kid and get them to ride in the bike lane.
As temperatures dip into the teens here in New York, coworker and fellow winter cyclist Ms. Marcy Cruthirds and I decided that it is ABOUT DAMN TIME that we head out for a night on the town…on our bikes. While the city may be well below freezing, it is always hot on a bike.
Please join us this Friday, December 17th at 7pm for the hottest freezing cold bicycle caravan in the city (I’m pretty sure this is the only one on Friday, but still!). The evening will include gallery hopping, ice skating, cocoa sipping, alcohol drinking, and dancing (oh yea, and biking). See the attached invite for more info. Forward to anyone you know who won’t let a little cold get in their way of having a damn good time or who needs a serious kick in their arse.
Can’t make it right at 7? Text me (513) 519-6515 and I’ll update you with our location.
Make sure to bring: lights, locks, helmets, gloves and money for skating ($13).
Maybe you haven’t spent enough time surfing the web.
Once you’ve updated your facebook account, tweeted about it and then checked into foursquare…what’s left.
How about check someone’s Tumblr site. A Tumblr is a really quick way for people to make a website and post really valuable information like this:
One of my personal favorites: Kim Jong il Looking at Things.
Here is a cool bike related site I was sent from bikeblognyc fan, Steven Rea. It’s a pool of photos of celebrities, mostly from the past, on bikes.