We know some of your eyes glaze over when we carry on about bikes. We understand. You’re here for the book stuff. But the bicycle stuff is important, not just because 50% of the crack Mercantile staff arrive by bike, although that’s an extremely good reason. What organization in town –free-lance writers excepted- can better that virtue index? No, we stay on the bike issue because we firmly believe that a city that is receptive to bicycles is a city that is receptive to the kinds of people who sign up to belong to an odd Library. It’s not that everyone who keeps up a membership at the Mercantile wants to pedal in to pick up the new Botton. It’s that our members seem to have an understanding of the city’s possibilities as a fine place to ramble and wander. A good place to be. And a city that is safe for bicycles, a city where the streets belong to pedestrians and cyclists every bit as much as they belong to automobiles is almost always a nice place to ramble, wander, and be. And we be at the center.
We will never get to Platinum Ramble Status if we continue to practice the kind of municipal economy that prohibits the city paying for membership in organizations such as the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Unglaze those eyes people. NACTO is at the cutting edge of good ideas about streets that are nice to walk on when you have a book to return. Cincinnati desperately needs to catch up with twenty-first thinking about streets and sidewalks. But interim Transportation Director Michael Moore, one of the good guys at City Hall, is having to think about paying for membership out of his own pocket. And he couldn’t even dream about attending the recent introduction of Cities For Cycling, where David Byrne, U. S. Representative and mad-keen cyclist Earl Blumenauer and NYC transportation goddess Janette Sadik-Khan kicked off Cities For Cycling.
Yeah, yeah. We know. Cops. But the cops know that there is nothing better for public safety than people out on the streets.