September 30th, 2011

Have I mentioned that cycle-space zones already exist?

In a sense, what I've done is simply announce something that is happening organically. While Portland and Minneapolis are the text book examples, virtually every post-industrial city has the beginnings of a waterway and rail corridor bike route, built for recreation, but attracting development and people who take their bearings from this parallel city. Many thanks to Brian Jones for sourcing this clip. 

"Brownfield-to-Bikefield"; now that's a great slogan!

The following comment from an anonymous reader is so good, I can't resist posting it here in the light:

What's interesting to me is that, as far as I know, nobody's come up with a name and simple description for the phenomenon. Raising curiosity and explaining things concisely is a good start for communication.
So let's coin a word that evokes the familiar but still arouses curiosity. Try this: I think you're advocating for 'bikefield' sites -- brownfield areas retrofitted for transportation by bike.
That's the tip of your iceberg. You can write it on a business card or explain it on a 30-second elevator ride. After that, the details that comprise the iceberg itself -- a few cars or no cars, true brownfield or just edge city, integrated into the urban fabric or separate -- are all up for discussion. But at least you've started the discussion. 

The photos are of Minneapolis's Midtown greenway, that in 2007 inspired a Rezoning Study to increase density and amenity of land within one block of that route. This is the clearest of many examples of the "Brownfield-to-Bikefield" phenomenon, as I've decided to call it, on good advice. 

My uncharacteristic humility (cry for help) yielded some humbling truths too. Most humbling though, was the realisation that people have been closely reading all of these words I produce, all with the economy of a "banana republic"—that's how the magazine Cycling Australia described my verbosity. Can I remind you, Cycling Australia, that Thomas Aquinas, Ayn Rand, and many great thinkers, abused self-publication as I do.