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Talking the Talk, Failing the Walk

Talk of bicycle infrastructure dominated last evening’s “Cities, Cycling, and the Future of Getting Around” forum last night at the Newseum. Heavily attended by members of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, the event, sponsored by the National Association of City Transportation Officials and Brookings, featured comments from avid cyclist/author/Talking Heads musician David Byrne, Congressional Bike Caucus Chair Rep. Earl Blumenauer (“It’s bike-partisan!”), New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, and Brookings’ own Bruce Katz.

Blumenauer’s advocacy of a bike lane for “America’s Main Street,” Pennsylvania Ave., drew a rousing cheer, and Byrne drew many laughs with his quirky view-from-the-bike-seat comments on urban development, Jane Jacobs, and Corbusier.

But there’s always a skunk at any garden party, and during the question-and-answer period, an attendee pointedly observed that there are no bike racks outside of Brookings’ D.C. offices (ones for employees are squirreled away in parking garages), claiming his bike had been stolen while attending an event there, though presumably not during yesterday’s Obama address.

Katz promised to look into it and rectify the situation, suggesting perhaps that Byrne could design a whimsical one as he has in New York City (a light bulb?). Stay tuned.