Urbification: Taking the sub out of Calif. suburbs

Walking. Bicycling. Alternatives to Driving Everywhere. Social justice. Alternatives to suburban boredom and waste. And the infrastructure and technology needed to get there.

Monday, June 09, 2008

DVD review: Still We Ride

Recently I was able to view Still We Ride, a DVD containing as its core a documentary produced in 2005 but now available for rental on Netflix. It documents the crackdown on New York Critical Mass that began at the 2004 Republican Convention and continues to a certain extent to this day. The 2004 footage of New York cops removing parked bicycles from sidewalks with power saws cleaving through U-locks, claiming the bikes were abandoned while their owners stood by helplessly, was a chilling chronicle of out-of-control police power. I'm not that enamored of Critical Mass, though, and take issue with Chris Carlson's statement that the July 1997 ride was "fun"; I saw lots of bad behavior by motorists and bicyclists alike, and haven't gone on a CM ride since.

The Still We Ride DVD also contains a video short on congestion pricing produced in 2007 that equates such schemes with your worst black-helicopter kind of paranoia, even ending with the streets cleared of cars and bikes so that George Bush and his friends can rule the streets on Segways. It's too bad to see some of New York's bicycling advocates lean so far into anarchism that they refuse to see how much sense congestion pricing makes. That kind of paranoia couldn't have helped the recent failed effort to commence congestion pricing in Manhattan.