Eric Boerer of BikePGH writes:
I just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you for covering Car Free Fridays so extensively. We were all really excited that CFF has inspired folks to think about going car free, even for a day. We were even more excited hearing the stories of people thinking about what it means to go car free.
I think you summed it up pretty succinctly in your "tourist at home" piece. I know you were on the bus, but it's one of the things that we frequently hear from people who start riding a bike around the City, too. They see it in a completely different way, almost as if for the first time.
On a tiny level, an employee of the URA told us that, on her first ride through downtown, she didn't realize that all of the bricks on Grant St were just a little loose, providing a pleasant clatter as she rode along. On a larger level, last summer Councilman Patrick Dowd [having ridden his bike to work] sent e-mails with new ideas to make the City more bike friendly.
Everyone always says how difficult it is to ride a bicycle in this town, but if you ask the people who ride everyday, dispelling that myth, they'll tell you that every route is the "scenic route" in Pittsburgh. I feel like a tourist everyday here, and that alone brings a smile to my face and is one of the reasons that we run Bike Pittsburgh, to share that feeling with the whole city. Thanks for helping me articulate that feeling. I guess that's why we have writers.
I also wanted to pass this link along, about a website, Car Free Diaries, that allows people to write about their experience going car free. It reminded me about your piece last year about your month without a car.
We are big fans of your blog over here at the Bike Pittsburgh office. If you ever feel like going for a ride sometime, just let us know!