Monday, October 24, 2011

Boise not a bicycle town?

Ever heard of Ignite Boise? I hadn't, until I was pointed at it by fellow cyclist Ellen. "Ignite Boise brings together an inspiring and unexpected blend of thinkers from business, art, technology, government and academia. All with ideas. And all willing to share them." Evidently the speaker has 5 minutes (and 20 slides) to make a presentation and a point. One after another. (Sounds just about right for our ADD society, huh?)

Steve Burns is making a presentation, "Bicycle Town USA - Not Yet!"

The synopsis: "Boise is considered one of the best bicycle towns in the country. Imagine if you could actually ride all over town (and not just in the foothills) safely! It’s time to do for the roads in town what we did for the trails in the foothills–come up with a plan and fund a comprehensive system of bike paths so you can travel all over town. This talk will show how that could be done."

Now, I don't know the background of this Steve Burns fella. But I'm guessing he must either be new to these parts, or he's not very serious about his on-road cycling. Because you can ride all over town safely! I feel qualified to make that claim, because I've been doing just that for 25+ years.

Furthermore, Ada County already has 180 miles of bike lanes, and 46 miles of bike routes. I'd suggest that's a pretty good start on Mr. Burns' envisioned "comprehensive system of bike paths." Our road-builder, ACHD, has a demonstrated track record of bike-friendliness. They're putting bike lanes wherever feasible and practical. (There are some roads where it just ain't gonna happen... not enough real estate.)

And finally, I believe it's counter-productive and "bike unfriendly" for Mr. Burns to suggest that it's not safe to ride on Boise's streets. He's propagating a widely-held but incorrect viewpoint. (In my viewpoint.)

(I did a web search for "Steve Burns Boise." The director of our local zoo is named Steve Burns. Could it be the same guy?)

(Hat-tip to my friends Ellen and Paul for pointing me at "Ignite Boise.")

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