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Mandy Smith

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  1. Mandy Smith

    Episode 165 - Occam's Razor

    Nagin! I hope this is the proper (?) way to comment on your episode "Occam's Razor." As an avid cyclist, I appreciate the thoroughness of your conversation on cycling and general alternative modes of transportation. It is a controversial topic in the age of car centric culture. If only all urban cities could be London and charge a huge tax on cars visiting the city. One thing I would have added to your conversation is the need to add bicycle etiquette education to the driver's license exam. The only way to truly understand the rules of the road for cyclists is not only through education, but to actually GET ON A BIKE! Some suburbs have courses set up to practice cycling rules of the road. This should be required nation-wide. I live just a few hours south of NYC in Philadelphia. In 2017, Philadelphia had the most cyclist commuters of any city in the country with a population over 1 million. Yet, car culture continues to thrive and the bike infrastructure is severely lacking. We have less than 5 miles of protected bicycle lanes. The ones we do have are absolute garbage. They were constructed over old parking lanes, meaning all of the oil that leaked from cars and eroded the asphalt is still there, which leaves for a very dangerous, bumpy ride. Additionally, it's protected by parked cars—which is an easy way to get doored—and flimsy delineators that get knocked over everyday and rarely replaced. Trying to implement a lane of less than 5 blocks is another story. We must break past the barricade of NIMBY ("not in my backyard") elites. While the Mayor is very enthusiastic of cycling with his Vision Zero initiative, City Council seems to be less enthralled. Fun fact, we are the only city where any adjustment to, or construction of, a bicycle lane must be approved by City Council members in their district. This is absurd policy considering they have no engineering or urban planning background. I'm very proud of the fact that my 3rd district of West Philadelphia voted out a City Council member, Jannie Blackwell, who held her office position for over 25 years (and before that, her husband held the same position for 16 years), and replaced her with an ACTUAL URBAN PLANNER, Jamie Gauthier. Gauthier will start in November 2019. Needless to say, we've got a lot of work to do. But I feel very hopeful with the Philly cycling community and advocacy we've got going. We just recently had our annual Philly Naked Bike Ride and if you haven't heard of it, google that shit! Love ur show. Hope the bebes is well. All the Best, Mandy Smith