letters to the editor
So I thought I’d update you on my battle to get a bike rack installed outside of a popular local coffee shop. You’d think I were petitioning for world peace at the rate this is going: still no progress made and still getting little encouragement from the local business owner and the local officials. But, as of last week, I have voiced my grievances to the two local papers – the college paper and the city paper – in two letters to the editors. What has been a pleasant surprise is that I have since had several students and a colleague come up to me to tell me that they had seen one of my letters in the paper.
Success! My hope is that enough people will read my letters that possibly two things will happen: 1) Other cyclists will demand a bike rack and we’ll get results due to numbers. OR 2) The city council will see it and maybe the city traffic engineer will finally take or return my calls so that I may put it my request with the city.
Truth be told, I feel a little silly spending so much time and effort all in hopes of a bike rack. It’s such a little thing and one might wonder whether it’s worth such a fight. But my answer would be that this is about more than just a bike rack. It’s what this bike rack symbolizes – the lack of accommodations available to those who choose not to drive in this town and the unwillingness of those responsible to even consider changing what needs fixing. And if we can’t count on our city officials to help us out, how can we expect anything to ever get done?
So that’s the update on My Fight For A Bike Rack. Sure, some may take on nobler causes, but I’m starting small and might just move up to a bike lane next. Stay tuned.
And if you’ve missed my previous posts on this, here’s a brief back story:
I first thought of asking for a bike rack when I repeatedly found myself looking for a place to lock my bike at said coffee shop. The only available objects are a few parking meters, a couple of poles, and one lone tree. All of these are usually in hot demand and already cluttered with bikes chained to every available inch of sturdy material.
I made a few phone calls and obtained the information needed to request a bike rack. I then wrote the business owner in question a nice note detailing what he would need to do to request this item on his patrons’ behalf.
It’s been over two months and many inquiries later and the owner is yet to make a call about this. Meanwhile, calling the local traffic engineer (which I was told by city hall to do if the business owner isn’t willing to cooperate) has resulted in another dead end. I’ve made several calls and left detailed messages and have yet to hear back from anyone. My letters to the editors outlined these steps and how both have resulted in dead ends due to the unwillingness of both the local business owner and the city official to consider my request.