This week I was fortunate enough to be a guest on the Kojo Nnamdi Radio Show on WAMU 88.5 in Washington D.C.
As always, Kojo was a fantastic host, keeping the conversation flowing, prompting the panelists for input, taking questions from the listeners, and inserting commentary of his own. Shane’s broad knowledge and experience was evident, and Veronica’s energy, enthusiasm, and charisma made for an entertaining show.
Going in, I was braced for some negative comments and questions from callers complaining about “scofflaw bikers” or “valuable road space being provided to bike lanes and cycle tracks” – the kind of thing that is sometimes referred to as “bikelash.”
The producers of the show had asked us to come prepared with information on bike laws, rules, and behavior, and it seemed like they might be setting up a bikes vs. cars debate. To my surprise, this never materialized!
The questions and comments from callers were mostly positive and supportive. Even those callers who hinted towards negativity seemed to want to know “how we can work together to fix this.”
Faith in humanity restored!
Maybe I shouldn’t have been so pessimistic. After all, as summarized in the graphic above, a recent study in Seattle found that 79 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of cyclists and almost 60 percent support devoting more road space to bike facilities. Maybe the Washington D.C. region is also coming around to the fact that this biking thing is here to stay, and that by providing first-class accommodations for the people-powered movement, we are creating a more livable, prosperous, and healthy community.
If this is true, then we are on our way towards the vision in which getting around by bike is a normal, everyday thing for huge numbers of our population.