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September 16, 2005

Katrina: Recovery from the perspective of a cyclist

This is an open letter to leaders, and ordinary cyclists in the region affected by Hurricane Katrina, and to leaders, and ordinary cyclists, around the nation:

Katrina struck a horrible blow to New Orleans but the storm has the potential to be a blessing too.

With proper planning, New Orleans could become the model green city that others will emulate for years. The city's flat and compact, the climate's mild year round and much of the city must be razed. Combine these factors with the massive infusion of federal funds that are coming and we have the POTENTIAL to build a metropolis in which bikes are a major and legitimate form of transportation. I'm thinking along the lines of Amsterdam, or Copenhagen and frankly, this is the time to promote such ideas.

To begin with, thousands of New Orleanians could not afford to own an automobile before the storm. Most of the low income areas were terribly inundated so residents in those areas that stayed through the storm probably no longer have transportation. Many of the city's public buses are not serviceable as they were parked in garages that flooded so this transportation resource will not be available either. Additionally, residents that evacuated will be hard pressed with thousands of dollars of expenses that will not be reimbursed by either insurance, Red Cross or the federal government. As a result, many people more than normal will be relying on bicycles for making short trips. If we act now to promote the rebuilding of the city in a bike friendly manner, everyone will benefit both now and in the long run.

Mine is just one voice. Any help in this worthy cause would be gratifying. If you, dear reader, know of others that dream of America as a greener and more environmentally friendly place to live, please forward this message to them.

Respectfully,
Larry Lagarde
RideTHISbike.com

Recovery is possible with people Like larry giving serious thought to how it can be done.

September 16, 2005 in KATRINA: Cycling toward Recovery | Permalink

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Comments

THis is a GREAT idea!!!

Posted by: MivPiv | Sep 17, 2005 12:42:07 AM

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
that is what I am talkin 'bout!

the REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE MOTORIZED

my grandmother was able to ride a three wheeler long into her '80's
the bicycle is for nearly everyone

glad I am not the only one seeing a potential for a BICYCLE UTOPIA
or at least a city plan with a large focus on travel via bicycle

Posted by: gwadzilla | Sep 20, 2005 5:43:35 PM

Up with Pedal Power! ;-D

Posted by: Kiril Kundurazieff | Sep 20, 2005 6:32:58 PM

My blog http://humanpowered.blogspot.com/ from 24 Sep echoes many of your sentiments.
Mass transit needs to be used ALL of the time, not just in emergencies. Everyone on the freeway in their vehicles at the same time will never work.
I started commuting by bicycle when I was 27. Now I'm 45 and I hope that from now until I die (at 107 hopefully) I can use my bike and a trailer as an ambulance in emergency situations where the general public is in motorized gridlock.

Posted by: Tracy Gittins | Sep 23, 2005 8:15:21 PM

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