Show #472 – September 28, 2019

Guests: Steve Frothingham; Jeff Speck

Steve Frothingham, editor of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, talks with me about the tariffs and the effects they have had and are having on the bicycle business.

Then, I speak with Jeff Speck. He is one of the most influential city planners working today. Formerly the Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts, his company Speck and Associates is a planning firm that serves both municipal and private clients.

Jeff walks the walk, talks the talk, and give us a fascinating “civic” lesson in when and how communities thrive, how the environment is either supported or undermined, and where we find inequity in society.

Oddly enough, we have a fairly deep discussion of parking and how it affects how cities thrive – and, in fact, cities are NOT thriving! Making them more bikeable and walkable though?

Yes – bicycles, walking, and public transit play a HUGE role in all of it.

We talk about some practical ideas that even cities in dire financial straits can do to make walking and biking safer as well as controlling traffic more intentionally and successfully.

So, while his book, Walkable City Rules, 101 Steps to Making Better Places, might be a manual for professionals, I believe hearing the ideas and successes puts them into a place where you can see yourself perhaps getting involved and helping to make lasting change. You can attend council and planning meetings and, taking some of Jeff’s simple “rules” show your city there just might be room for protected bikes infrastructure.

One more thought here… many of us have abandoned the roads because of safety concerns. Instituting some of the “rules” in Jeff’s book might just put us back ON the roads – where bicycle belong!

I don’t usually air the small talk that takes place as we begin to roll for recording the show; but, Jeff sort of surprised me by asking ME questions and the interview just began to unfold – without any formal. introduction.

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