14 March 2011

Take back the streets

Cities like Portland, Oregon, accept bicycles as integral to the 21st-century, environmentally-conscious, daily urban scene. What's stopping us from doing the same in South Africa?

The Argus Cycle Tour is a deceitful mirage. Every year it looks so great, bicycles, bicycles, bicycles. Every year like a fool I think maybe it could represent a local sustainable transport tipping point; that at least some will find a second life as honest hardworking commuter-bikes.

Yet bikes have never been more on my mind: Portland is Cycle Central. It challenges even Amsterdam (where bikes make up 40% of traffic!) for World's Most Bike-Friendly City title, and cycle-centredness is a big reason Portland usually claims World's Greenest City too.


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