I Failed

When I come across this saved Facebook exchange on my computer, it still makes me really upset. However, I am grateful I was able to include it (and what happened next) in my book (published 3 years ago this month), and I hope it is helpful to others.

Click for links to peek inside and to buy. 100% of proceeds used to help more women and girls ride bikes — see the “You Go, Girl!” toolkit.

But now there’s a truth I just simply need to admit.

I tried to make our public spaces safer for women and girls (WHICH THEN MEANS EVERYONE) traveling at the speed of bike (at a natural pace without being called an asshole).

I failed.

This road is currently no safer than when I wrote the book or served on the Comp Plan steering committee or led the sustainability commission or participated in focus groups.

New bike lanes that don’t meet NACTO guidelines are being installed right now in several locations in the city — and almost all of the existing ones don’t meet NACTO guidelines. That means they are dangerous by design.

No person should be expected to assume the known and unreasonable risks to use these, or shamed into thinking their life-preserving objection is due to their lack of skill or experience.

City communications continue to greenwash this as “bike friendly.” However, the League of American Bicyclists recently turned down this city’s application to be awarded a Bicycle Friendly Community.

Several city councilors are deeply knowledgeable about life-saving minimum standards and best practices and are trying very hard. However, compromises that are being made exclude the majority of people, and could kill. (“Better than nothing” actually equals nothing, folks.)

I am begging the mayor and the rest of the city councilors (including the one who stood with me on the road where I was eventually the victim of a hit-and-run and told me, “I’m afraid to ride a bike in this city” — that’s in the book, too) to take immediate action before a tragedy occurs, especially during this second biggest bike boom since the 1970s.

No more cone of silence. No more failure.

I am also asking you, anywhere in the USA, to please encourage your city hall to take real, measurable action that saves lives where you live as well. You are needed.

We’ve had enough death.

We’ve had enough death.

Additional related posts:

“Don’t Read the Comments”

A Long and Winding Road

Man Charged with 7 Counts after Killing Man on Bicycle in Sandy Springs, GA