Monday, April 07, 2008

Annual Meeting

As I indicated yesterday, last night I attended the Annual Meeting of the Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition. It was very well done. Much better than last year. They skipped the dinner, (good idea) went right to the program (which was good) and then had a quick dessert and done. There seemed to be many more people (after all, last year it was pouring) there was valet bike parking in Rittenhouse Square, and people where definitely friendlier.

There were two speakers. But before the official speakers, State Representative Babette Josephs presented a check for a grant to investigate Philly bike sharing and said a few words. She is a committed cyclist, doesn't own a car, and was a pleasure to listen to.

Then Rina Cutler, the new Deputy Mayor for Transportation spoke. Very impressive woman. Smart, slightly caustic, very knowledgeable. The commitment of the new Nutter administration to re-create this position and to fill it with a really qualified person is heartening. She, obviously, spoke to some of the critical issues facing the Philadelphia transportation scene. I think she is not so knowledgeable on the role bicycles can play in the mix, but seems to be "getting it" quickly and shouold be a force for good.

She was followed by Congressman Joe Sestak from somewhere in the suburbs, I always get them mixed up. He was also very impressive. He made me think he'd be a good candidate to go beyond the congressional office someday. He didn't have a lot to say about cycling and didn't seem much versed on our issues, but did bring a larger perspective, especially in the question and answer period. Namely, a kind of "get real" -- spending money on bicycle infrastructure is important, but we have children who don't have food and seniors who can't get medicine. It is not so easy for Congress to champion one issue without impacting another. I think it was helpful.

Not great photos but below is Rina Cutler and below that, Babette Josephs speaking at the meeting.

Rode with Annie this morning. Not a bad ride but I'm still waiting for the warmth, and a little sun would be nice even without the warmth. took the bike to a meeting today too, and have a few meetings tomorrow, so should have decent mileage totals despite missing some rides later this week.

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