A book I recently finished was Green Metropolis. It had some really good perceptions of town planning and how towns mess things up while trying to improve things for pedestrians and bicyclists. Here’s the NY Times book review.
Tom Branigan loaned me David Byrne’s book, Bicycle Diaries. I ended up buying a copy anyway. Byrne is coming to talk about bicycle advocacy next Thursday at the Academy of Natural Sciences. So far, I’ve found his book enjoyable. He shares a global perspective and writes well.
While ordering a copy of Bicycle Diaries for myself, I decided to also get Jeff Mapes’ book, Pedaling Revolution. David Byrne reviewed Mapes’ book in the New York Times. No offense to Byrne, but I can’t put Mapes’ book down. Part of it is that I get to read about friends like John Dowlin.
John Dowlin was one of the creators of the 1974 Philadelphia Bicycle Map and was one of the founders of the Bicycle Coalition. He has been an inspiration and has dedicated much of his life to promoting the joys of bicycling. I’ve learned a lot from his Bicycle Network News books and Cycle and Recycle Calendars. We’ve bicycled together and had conversations about Mapping Havana Cuba. We’ve worked together on Neighborhood Bike Works. In John’s calm, passionate way, he knows how to stick to his vision of improving the world. Mapes quotes John as saying, “I really felt the bicycle could be for the world’s cities what the spinning wheel was for Ghandi.”
These two bicycle books have made their way in front of other books that are sitting in my pile.
Next on my list is Restructuring the Philadelphia Region, by Carolyn Adams, David Bartelt, David Elesh and Ira Goldstein. Mark Mattson, my cartography instructor at Temple GUS Department, did the maps.