Friday, April 8, 2016

Be a Squeaky Wheel, Lubbock! Fossil Free Friday Meets Lubbock on a Bike (Lane)

Let's say that you were really ambitious and decided to zoom in the picture below and count the vehicles. You would find five SUV's, three cars, three full-sized pickups, and some dummy's bike. (There's also a 1954 Chevy pickup that would make a rocking electric conversion candidate, but that's a different post.)
The picture was taken at 4:45 pm on Wednesday afternoon - so rush hour had not truly kicked in yet.
If you want to better understand bike lanes routes in Lubbock, this intersection is a good place to start. Indiana Avenue, by the way, is the town's busiest artery leading to two major hospitals and a major university. With staff, patients, and students, you are looking at more 70,000 people in and near that area. Indiana is one incredibly busy street. The speed limit at the intersection is 40 miles per hour - traffic normally flows closer to 50 mph. Crossing Indiana in the afternoon is the most treacherous part of my commute (regardless of where I cross it).
42nd Street Bike Route at Indiana Avenue (Eek!)
So here is the thing about this bike route - it is our city suggesting that cyclists play Russian Roulette if they choose to follow the established bike routes.
Aerial View of the Same
Why do I point this out? Because this is a Democracy. And this is an election year. As we get ready to elect a new mayor and new city council members, we have a chance to find out what our potential politicians are willing to do to represent our wishes and needs, but it is up to us to let them know what our wishes and needs are. While I know that it is easy to be cynical about local politics, I have seen first-hand that Lubbock responds well to squeaky wheels - so be a squeaky wheel. (I just had a great name idea for a bicycle activist group!)
A few resources for those of you who are interested:
The Green Lane Project - a group dedicated to supporting bike lane creation, maintenance, campaigning, and funding
Imagine Lubbock Together - a Lubbock group that is interested in promoting healthier options for our city, and a group that would love to hear from us squeaky wheels.
In other Lubbock bicycle news
Sun Adventure is nearing its final days - there is not a lot left, but what is there is deeply discounted. My boss scored this sexy beast this week for a very low price. Use this as an excuse to get your butt on a bike!
That Sturmey-Archer 5-speed hub - I am so jealous (and a terrible minimalist)
May your wheels squeak loudly enough to make a better life for those whose choose healthier options.