An article in the July 26 Chicago Trib points out that bicycling and cars really do not go hand in hand in this world of ours. At least not if we continue to look upon them both trying to share the same street. Once we start clearly looking at redirecting bicycle traffic away from traditional transportation arteries and start placing them on secondary transportational arteries, not only do we have bikes separated from cars, but we have arteries for the distribution of a wide variety of goods via alternative-energy-based and light-duty delivery vehicles that would obviously share these secondary routes with bikes and pedestrians

This is neither a fantasy nor a joke; it is actually at the core of economic development within communities throughout our nation today. The discussion is not at all in its infancy as it has been a conscious urban dialogue throughout our country since the 1970s. The difference between then and now is that then we dreamed of developing the technology to go with the vision and now we actually have the technology but not the regulatory model needed to implement the dream. 

My work on this subject is all about the regulatory structure that will enable the human potential surrounding this vision to be actualized. Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park are ideally suited for the above to take place.

Think about the fact that there are virtually no large-scale auto dealerships in any of these towns. The reason they are not here is that vacant commercial acreage is not here. The fact of the matter is that there is abundant commercial real estate available that could easily house more shops that cater to bikes as well as cater to light-duty electric-powered personal or commercial delivery vehicles. 

As the concept here is to expand bicycling from the standpoint of personal health and pleasure, it is as well to expand the expedient delivery of the goods we needlessly wait in traffic for in our autos now. The economy of scale as it is handed from one industrial era to the next is what is at issue here.

Mike Dahlke

Oak Park

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