Denver Bike Sharing is a Conspiracy!
I have to admit, I was stunned into silence when I saw this one. Apparently Denver B-cycle, our wildly popular bike sharing program here in Denver, is a vast UN conspiracy to take away our freedoms!
First, I stumbled across this story on my Facebook feed. Just the headline alone was enough to get my jaw to hit the floor, but then I saw who said it. It was Dan Maes, one of the Republican gubernatorial candidates right here in Colorado! And the coverage is growing. Our local NBC affiliate is reporting it, as is MSNBC. The best article on this is at the Denver Post, which gives a fuller picture of the comments by Mr. Maes and a response from Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper’s campaign. (For those outside of Colorado who may not know, Mayor Hickenlooper is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination for governor in next week’s primary election.)
Okay everybody, let’s just take a deep breath, shall we? As the Denver Post article notes, while the City & County of Denver is a partner in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), now officially called ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, we have not given up any of our freedoms to the United Nations. ICLEI is simply an organization that provides resources to communities that want to be more sustainable. That’s it! By providing a bike sharing system such as Denver B-cycle, the city is simply providing residents with an alternative form of transportation. If you want to drive your cars and burn up fossil fuels and sit in traffic for long periods of time, you are more than welcome, and free, to do so! But in an effort to make Denver a more sustainable and desirable place to live, in its quest to seek ecopolis, Denver is encouraging people to look at alternatives to the automobile, and more and more people are doing so. I can’t help but think that with more alternatives for personal mobility, our freedoms are being increased, not decreased. At least I would equate more choices with more freedom. But a vast UN conspiracy to take over our cities? I just don’t see it. But then what does a simple little urban planning grad student and wanna-be blogger know about anything…