Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bikers and Sluggers

The number of transit, biking, walking, sustainability, and livability blogs is so huge that I fear I might never read them all once, let alone keep up with what is happening everywhere. Okay, many appear and go inactive pretty quickly. An informal search reveals that many low emission-mode blogs are written by bicyclists. Whether announcing biking events, advocating for bike-friendly policies and street designs, or covering news in the increasingly professional biking world, the biking community is far ahead of transit users, pedestrians, and shared-vehicle commuters in getting out their message: We want better, safer and more equitable access to the street network.

My favorite entree into the bike blogosphere is definitely, which is not dedicated solely to biking. However, on the right is a cornucopia of blogs, listed by region, with a separate list for national coverage, many of which are devoted to biking.

And biking associations? There are many. The League of American Bicyclists has information about local organizations, clubs, stores and instructors in every town. The biking community has become an active and effective advocate for its cause. Just watch the youtube video from Boulder that shows what 20 years of dedicated advocacy and volunteering can accomplish. The video is available at


Today I am interested in the informal world of commuter volunteer transportation - the cousin of old-fashioned hitchhiking - slugging. covers the slugging world, has a discussion forum, maps, etiquette rules and other resources. There is even talk in D.C. of making the arrangement official and allowing cars to stop in designated lanes to pick up passengers. This is an important issue for commuters from transit-deprived areas and slugging keeps many cars off the road at no extra cost to the taxpayer or driver (besides the already "free" costs of pollution, accidents, obesity, etc.). Visit for today's WTOP coverage of whether D.C. police have started enforcing no stopping rules in unofficial slugging zones.

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