Monday, July 21, 2008

The Times has helped everyone reconsider bicycling even if bicycle commuting remains unrealistic for many

Alex Kent's series on bicycle commuting has been a splendid example of agenda-setting by the daily newspaper. Judging from the remarks of my neighbors, the series was widely read and seen as stimulating.

The quality of the online responses to Kent's posts is something to behold. No slashing sarcasm, no posts by antagonistic troglodytes.

As a regular rider, I feel respected. Somehow, there's a fresh legitimacy to my sweaty pedaling.

As a blogger who's been pushing the theme of bike commuting since 2006, I feel edified. Small media, good idea; big media runs with it.

The key to the series' success was Alex Kent's struggle. Editorials are well and good, but the reader wants a sense of participation, and Kent became our proxy.

Alas, not all worthy topics are going to be as easy to bring to life. Coming up on Shreveport's agenda is litter. Shreveport, says Mayor Cedric Glover, needs to combine the ideas of recycling - a sexy and angelic pursuit - and litter control - a boring and hopeless pursuit.

Solar power awareness might be the ticket. I can imagine many an amusing post if only Alex and Kate tried to get solar panels mounted upon their house.

1 comment:

Alexandyr Kent said...

Thanks, Robert. Appreciate the feedback. We're going to give you one more printed piece to chew on. In Sunday's Times, we'll provide a wrap-up of what we've learned.

Enjoyed doing the series, and I hope we continue the conversation. We're going to keep the All Pedal, No Gas blog live for the time being, and I hope its community authors keep talking.

Also, cyclists should note that there is a Louisiana Statewide Bicycle an Pedestrian Master Plan meeting 5 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Broadmoor library.

It's a chance for area cyclists to learn about DOTD's plans and policies, and most importantly, offer public feedback. I'll be there.