09 December 2009

A not so ringing endorsement

With all our discussion of car-dependency in Columbia, the following assessment comes from Talking Heads founder David Byrne as reported in today’s Washington Post (emphasis added by Columbia Compass):

It's safe to say performer David Byrne loves cycling. The Talking Heads founder has ridden 'round the globe and written a book about it, "Bicycle Diaries."
Byrne (two-toned red shirt, gray coat, spiky hair) brought his experience to the Newseum on Tuesday night, joining a Brookings-sponsored panel on promoting alternative forms of transportation. He kicked things off with a slideshow of his bike travels: Portland, Ore.; Buenos Aires; Hong Kong ("Certainly no bike lanes" there, he said. "Man, that was the worst") -- even Adams Morgan. The first slide was an aerial shot of Columbia, Md.: "Where my parents live. If you don't drive, you're pretty much stranded there."
Byrne told us that he has "four or five" bikes and that he likes to lend them to friends who come visit in New York.
So how can more people be persuaded to bike? Safer roads (with more bike lanes) and simpler bikes (with fewer parts), Byrne says. "That takes part of the fear away."