Hunter S. Thompson died seven years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_S._Thompson

He wasn’t exactly a role model, but he was a good writer, and he had some keen insight into the human condition as well as politics.  I first became aware of Thompson when I read “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail”.  Jimmy Carter was running for President, and I was a student at Georgia Tech. Thompson was the first person to predict Carter would win the election.  Subsequently, I read several of his books and all his articles published in Rolling Stone and other periodicals. 

Washington DC is a bicycle and pedestrian friendly city

We spent the past weekend in DC for a volleyball tournament (which was awesome, too).  The thing that impressed me most was the unusual bike lanes and the Capital Bikeshare program. 

First, Capital Bikeshare has over 1200 bikes and 140 stations in the DC area.  Aside from the number and strategic location of the stations, I witnessed how people use them.  Just while we were eating brunch on Saturday, I watched a dozen people check in and out of the station outside the restaurant.  They were people running errands (there was a Whole Foods next door), some who appeared to live in the area and went off running an errand, and a well dressed couple who looked like they were bicycling to some event.  I was very impressed.

Next, the bike lanes – they were all over the city, and at least on 15th street, were rather unusual (photo below).  They had a dedicated, bi-directional bike lane on the left side of the street beside the curb.  To the right of the bike lane there were parking spots.  My take was this made the bike lane safer because there was an additional buffer between the bike lane and traffic.

We didn’t have time to try the bikeshare program, but we walked all through the city, and the pedestrian crossings were well marked, all the lights had countdown timers, but the pedestrian ‘right of way’ near the hotel was still a challenge (i.e. one driver stopped while I was waiting in the cross walk out of dozens of crossings…).  Oh well.

 

Capital-Bikeshare-DC DC-BikeLane