Sam Polcer, photographer and curator of the blog Preferred Mode, looks New Yorkers in the eye when he photographs them. Now he’s published New York Bike Style, repackaging the city’s people and bicycles within a more reflective medium.
Unfortunately, while New York has millions of stories, Bike Style has only so many pages. The book and several of the bicycles within it are fixed. Are these individuals really representative of the larger community of people on bicycles? It’s the kind of question I wouldn’t think to ask about the same people featured within Preferred Mode because there Polcer continues to add to his collection.
But then again, maybe I’m just eager for the next book. “Style” is not an accidental word choice. It’s a colorful collection of folks.
“There’s a bit of an advocacy element to it: I want more people to ride bikes. I thought that if I can show how good it can look, with real people, and make it an attractive proposition, maybe folks will be more likely to give it a try.” (Momentum Mag)
Bike sharing has its challenges–funding, maintenance, redistributing bicycles among stations–but New York’s Citi Bike has a fourth challenge: a contract that requires Alta Bicycle Share Inc., operator of the service, to reimburse the city for parking revenue lost when bike share racks were installed in parking spaces. “The city says Alta owes about $1 million in lost revenue through 2013, according to people familiar with the matter.” (Wall Street Journal)
Interested in walkable communities? Don’t be surprised if some of the opposition rides in on a big red fire truck. “In San Francisco, we are attempting to ensure strong fire safety while also promoting compact, walkable, well-designed streets. We are looking at the size and turning radius of fire trucks to see if our fire department is purchasing the best equipment for our city, as opposed to insisting that our city be re-designed for large fire trucks.” (Citylab)
Want a street that supports the needs of people who walk and ride bicycles? You want a complete street. And so, evidently, does Indianapolis. “Of the 130 complete streets policies passed in 2012, the one passed by Indianapolis gets the highest score in a new ranking by Smart Growth America and its National Complete Streets Coalition.” (Streetsblog USA)
For people who walk, an important aspect of the complete street is the presence and quality of sidewalks. Sidewalk repairs, however, can be a statistically verifiable problem for trees. “Trees located near sidewalks in Minneapolis’ boulevards that underwent reconstruction in the past five years were twice as likely to fall over as those near sidewalks with no repairs.” (StarTribune)
I like tools as well as the next person. (Maybe that accounts for me having five sets of Fix It Sticks.) You don’t have to buy much to enjoy your bicycle, but there’s one thing you just have to have: a good floor pump (and to fix flats out on the road, a frame pump). The reason? Bicycle tires lose air a lot faster than car tires. “Always check your tyres before heading out on a ride; some thinner walled inner tubes can lose between 5 and 20psi a day.” (BikeRadar)