Just bikes

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Well, this is a little uncomfortable. With our new four-day, 10-hour-shift schedule, we finished up last week’s paper waaay early, and I’m sitting here with an hour to go and idle hands.

Before we pedal into this bike-themed issue, I want to throw some tacks on the roadway. It’s as simple as this: I’m not sure that Reno hasn’t gone so far down the wrong path that it will ever be able to make the move toward sustainable transportation—especially if we were to turn to bicycles. I think about this a lot, actually. It would take a city-wide commitment on the part of citizens and elected officials, and I don’t believe city officials have the guts. Just as they didn’t have the guts back in the ’70s when they could have seen the future and beat us there. If Reno and Sparks had chosen then, during that energy crisis, to be the West’s most bicycle-friendly city, the whole “America’s playground” thing might have worked.

Sorry, I really don’t think our city officials care enough about you and me and the environment to take on the NIMBYs and say, “We are going to create a bike grid in this city. Streets on this grid will only have one side with street parking. We will change laws to increase fines levied on motorists who taunt, ignore and assault bicycle riders. We will paint bike lanes and ensure they stay in good repair.” I just don’t believe our elected officials have the vision to see beyond their efforts to buoy up the casinos.

I mean, what would that really do? Decrease traffic on certain roads so that families could have quieter lives and children could play more safely? Make Reno-Sparks a model for the rest of the country? Make the non-bike-grid roads safer for everyone?

C’mon, folks, the future begins at home.