Every Girl Crazy 'Bout a Sharp Dressed Man

10 points if you can guess who that sharp-dressed fellow is (on his way to work).

What Other Cities Do

Aside from a few select cities (Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA) in the United States, the idea of the bicycle as legitimate transport has not caught on. But this has not stopped even car-loving cities from trying to do something. On a recent (May) trip to St. Petersburg, Florida, I was completely shocked that this town, in an otherwise car-loving state, had put in segregated bike lanes. I adore segregated bike lanes. I wish Bloomington would create segregated bike lanes.

Isn't this beautiful? The bicyclists travel down this lovely tree-lined lane, completely safe from car traffic and opening doors.

In St. Pete's, the lane has traffic going in both directions. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but it's better than nothing!

Here the lane crosses an intersection. You can see how bicycles are given a striped crosswalk, which helps bring bicyclists to the attention of motor-traffic. Bicyclists are given their own crossing light.

But, even with this great infrastructure, some still choose the "safer" sidewalk.

A Revamped Site

After sitting on this blog and doing practically nothing with it for the past year, I've decided to re-publish it with a new name and a new title: Bloominghagen. The inspiration for this blog came from the bicycle culture in Copenhagen and the sites that promote it (see links to the right). Copenhagen made the decision around forty years ago to promote a culture where bicycles were a primary mode of transport. Over the last few decades, the city has closed down roads to vehicular traffic, created a vast network of paths and segregated bike lanes, and encouraged other bike-friendly infrastructure, such as bike elevators to and from the subway and bike racks everywhere. As a result, 55% of all trips are made by bicycle, and 37% of commuters to and from work or school choose to go by bike. I don't see any reason why a similar investment here couldn't have the same result.

I believe part of the problem with Bloomington's lack of bike culture is that bicycles have for too long been the province of recreational riders or competitive athletes, those who don helmets and spandex and other fancy apparel. Also, our culture has developed a fear of bicycling, believing that it is a dangerous activity. But it doesn't have to be this way. I hope to show, by photographing individuals riding in regular clothing and doing regular things, that a bicycle can be a fantastic and easy mode of transportation, and you don't need any special equipment. More bicycles mean cleaner air, less noise, and safer streets for cars, pedestrians, and other bicycles alike.

So you want to help start a revolution? Dust off the bike. Put on your high heels and skirt. And hit the road!