“My dad took me to see On the Beach the summer it came out, in 1959. It was basically the end of the world, and the last days chronicled in Australia. I was on the edge of adolescence; I don't know, my dad must have thought I needed to have this in my brain. Well, it's been in my brain ever since, of course.”
On Bikes & Elections: A Conversation with Joel Solomon
"The bike story here is unbelievable. That Vancouver is now one of the top cities in North America for protected bike lanes. The actual substance of what’s happened is pretty dramatic. Public perceptions and attacks by other people is a whole other interesting part of the story."
Kicking ass and taking names (with map)
These profiles are not representative of everyone who has contributed to cycling improvements in the region over the past 30+ years. Nor do they don't represent everyone I've spoken to for this project. Read on about some of the other people I've spoken to, who have made a mark.
"When you're doing union negotiations, it doesn't matter who you're working with, that group across the table is your employer and the financial agent, and you have to be able to work together. And you have to be able to talk. Because they hold the cards. And if you're not willing to do it, the only thing that's holding you up is legislation, which can go at any time."
"The wind blows from positive to negative, back and forth, and if you don't have a constant stream of reinforcing messages, the negative ones can start to dominate. Politicians decide where the money is spent. We run the risk of electing the wrong people for the wrong reason, and having big chunks of this undone."
"I'm not a meeting-goer, I try to avoid them at all costs if I possibly can. I went to one of those meetings and it was mostly guys, and they were all really into maps and routes, and that's totally not what I was into. But I was completely won over by the passion and the integrity and the willingness to sacrifice so much in order to make this city a better place to bike in."
"I think what's been lost is a focus on issues like inclusiveness. For all of the work that's been done, I think HUB is still a very middle to upper class organization. There's lots of white guys. It hasn't really gotten into the concerns and representation of low income cyclists. Groups like PEDAL and Kickstand work on that."
"I was more of a facts guy, and sometimes I'd think geez, I'm losing the argument because I just can't do the alpha-bulldozer-persuade-the-meeting thing. You can do lots of research before you go into a meeting, and have all your facts lined up, and somebody that makes a real passionate play sways the group."
"I was motivated personally as a daily cyclist, and as a transportation practitioner I saw how a lot of transportation infrastructure was contrary to properly accommodating cycling. I felt myself in somewhat a unique position — having an understanding, and being able to talk the language of the transportation practitioners."
"Sometimes you can talk forever and nothing gets done. You go along Lougheed Highway, and then the path ends. They kept promising, yeah we're going to do something about it. But nothing ever happened. It made me very angry, and I had to express that anger. I don't want my friends to get killed."
"I'm not going to live in Maple Ridge forever, but I don't want to be just like, ‘there's no reason for me to do anything that would help’. I'm helping to put seeds in place for projects that [may] happen ten years from now. It doesn't matter if it's not going to help me, it's going to enrich the community."