With all the wonderfulness in the garden I have not been posting much on cycling, or sustainability, or subverting the dominant paradigm But I have been thinking about it.
I have been involved in the effort to save an amazing --and all too rare-- urban farm from being developed into McMansions. Having successfully saved it, we have begun longterm strategic planning for the use of the land. Currently, there is a co-housing group living int the existing farm house, but they are not currently producing sufficient revenue to cover all the cost of maintaining the land. So proposals for everything from a CSA to a Retreat Center are being considered, and with them the fact that there is almost no on-site parking currently available. "Experts" assisting with the planning process insist that this needs to be addressed.
But if part of the mission and vision of Tryon Life Farm is to subvert the dominant paradigm, is seems obvious that inherent in that process would be the challenging the assumption that people must drive, particularly to a place located right on a bus line, and within a moderate bike ride of less than 7 miles from the city center. The surrounding neighborhood, who is unanimous in it's support of the farm, has it's own need for increased public transit, shuttles, and bike paths. It seems to me this is a golden opportunity for networking and creating community partnerships. No one wins if a new parking lot goes in, everyone wins with transportation alternatives.
If anyone needed evidence that more parking lots are no answer, there is the story of a new LEED-certified shopping center has become the subject of public scornand even boycott businesses in the Abercorn Commons, despite the fact that the project's developer seems be doing everything right, from using recycled construction materials to incorporating energy efficient HVAC schemes and recapturing rainwater.The reason for the uproara few of the parking spaces in the permeable surface parking lot are set aside for hybrid cars. And people are up in arems about it. People who own conventional cars.
One irate citizen was quoted as saying: "I've been looking forward to the new stores but I don't drive a hybrid car, whatever that is, so I won't be shopping there."
sigh. Thanks to John at Bike Year for the lead on the story of the crazed car-heads
Mean while I have a crazy dream (every girl needs one): a bike powered bussiness. Like many collage students, I have a background in food service, and even had my own baking and catering bussiness. And even this high falootin --and highly expensive-- education I am getting, I find the notion of bicycle powered smoothies delectible --and potentially a great way to make money durring summer vacations. So what do ya all think: totally nutty? Any thoughts on a biz name?.
The only thing standing between me and a beautiful pipe-dream is start up capital inventment of about $1000; anyone know any cool alternative venture capitalists?
I'm not saying that bike powered smoothies will change the world, but I believe absolutely that we must become the change we wish to see in the world. Whether it is finding creative solutions to parking and transportation issues, or whipping up sustainable, locally grownn meals, we must re-imagine our story,and our way of walking through this world.