Did you know that David Byrne was an avid cyclist? In addition to being the brilliant front man and songwriter of the Talking Heads and a visual artist of all forms of media, David Byrne is a crazed bicycle advocate. In big cycling metropolises like Austin, San Francisco, and Portland, cycling in all forms is king. But Austin, and possibly the entire country, is lacking some kind of cohesive strategy around cycling as a true form of transportation, as a person’s only form of transportation.
The idea may seem modern, but how do you think people got around before cars and buses? To my understanding, a lot of them had bicycles, so the whole concept of exerting yourself to get to and fro isn’t that outdated.
But it seems like cyclists and urban planners in other major cities around the world have it all figured out: Berlin, Copenhagen, Amsterdam – these cities all have dedicated bike lanes and street lights. Cyclists own the road just as much as drivers, but they don’t interfere with one another and the cohesiveness between the two seems so natural.
I want to know why we don’t have this kind of thing in Austin, or really anywhere in America. Tomorrow night at the Paramount Theatre David Byrne will participate in a panel discussion with the City of Austin Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Manager, an urban planner with ROMA Design Group, and the president of the League of Bicycling Voters to talk about urban planning, bicycle advocacy, and civic responsibility.
Maybe this will bring us one step closer to having some sort of harmony between drivers and bikers in Austin.
“Where We’re Going and Where We’ve Been – Bicycles, Cities, and Transportation in Austin” takes place tomorrow night at The Paramount Theater at 713 Congress Avenue at 7 p.m. The doors and bar open at 6 p.m.
Oh yea, and it’s free to the public.