Archive for the ‘City Cycling’ Category

Detroit: City of the Future

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Henry Ford poses in the first car he made. In his 1922 autobiography, he wrote: “Industry will decentralize. There is no city that would be rebuilt as it is, were it destroyed – which fact is in itself a confession of our real estimate of cities. . . . The modern city has been prodigal, it is today bankrupt, and tomorrow it will cease to be.” At the time, Ford was building his vast River Rouge plant miles outside Detroit. (more…)

Looking Over the Bike Share Gift Horse

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Central Park users rub shoulders with cars on the main loop road until 7PM on weekdays, even though Olmsted and Vaux’s 1857 park design is predicated on sunken transverse roads to block out the sight and sound of street traffic. It’s hard to say what’s worse; the exhaust sucked into lungs of joggers or the nullification of a planned and celebrated refuge from the streets. The deference to cars is striking, given that most New Yorkers don’t own one and under a quarter of Manhattan households do.


5 Folding Bikes for the City

Friday, November 20th, 2009


Brompton World Championship racers in obligatory jacket and tie depart from Blenheim Palace.  The dress code suggests both the folding bike’s roots in English quirkiness and its usefulness for urban commuting.

There’s no better way to take possession of a city than on a compact folding bike.  Neighborhoods that would be discouragingly distant on foot become only minutes away.  Distant communities that might otherwise go unexplored become riding destinations with the option of making part of the trip on a bus or train next to one’s unobtrusively folded mount.  A folder can be carried into shops and restaurants, avoiding the inconvenience and unreliability of chaining up outdoors.  Owning a truly compact folder is like having a bike in your back pocket.  It can shrink an entire city.  Not only does such a bike take you to fresh places in town, it does so without compromising the spatial immediacy of walking.  Philippe Starck has said, “frankly, it isn’t Manhattan that interests me.  The center of Manhattan is very civilized, a nice international city.  I am more interested in the passion of New York, and that’s why I go with my motorcycle or bicycle to the Bronx, Queens and Harlem.  There, you are like a spectator in front of the most beautiful drama in the world. Every corner of the street seems like an opera stage, a stage for drama.  The vibrations there are very strong.”  (more…)