On Monday, January 18, CLT Spokes People hosted a screening of Bikes vs. Cars in Charlotte. 125 of 146 seats were sold, and about 11 people rode bikes to the screening. Thank you to everyone who bought a ticket and helped bring the documentary to Charlotte. The patrons who were there for other movies noticed and commented on the number of cyclists arriving at once. Most people I spoke to seemed to enjoy the movie. Bikes vs. Cars was a provocative film, with strengths and weaknesses noted by the attendees, and I’m glad we all got to watch the movie together. My intention was to help spur a dialog about how we can all help each other ride more and support riders in our effort to make bike riding a normal and expected daily occurrence.
The following are some comments (lightly edited for clarity and brevity) shared by people who saw the film. These are examples of the lively and thoughtful dialog among Charlotte bicyclists!
Join the dialog by sharing your comments with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you missed the showing, you can watch Bikes Vs. Cars online on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/bikesvscars.
Bottom line: We all win when people ride bikes.
Lexi Watt: “You own a car, not the street. The street belongs to all of us. It’s not war. It’s a city.” –Bikes vs. Cars. Thank you Pamela Murray and Ryan Stachurski for promoting this film showing. The worldwide bike community is an eclectic, beautiful one. Hope to see it grow…. It’s nice to see bikes acknowledged, in some capacity or another, as a solution. As a way of life.”
Pamela Murray: “Bikes are a solution and a way for me and many others. It’s great to see so many at the movie.”
Stephen Gilbert: “I’ll say Charlotte’s got more work to do towards improving bike transportation, but wow, I can’t even imagine living in San Paolo or LA.”
Amanda Jill: “Charlotte is at a critical point in its development. The population is growing rapidly and if Charlotte wanted to do it, it could become the bike capital of the US. Weather works in its favor and people are active here. I think many would come to enjoy bike commuting if we had some great elevated trails like the old one in LA in the movie. Charlotte simply isn’t laid out for cars. (As obviously the best laid cities can’t keep up). I hope the bike movement is embraced. Keep riding. Every time you ride you help spread the word that streets are for people and that includes people on bikes! They didn’t even discuss how biking fights obesity and improves mental health! Lower health care costs no matter who gets elected! Ride ride ride!”
James Coleman: “Wonderful film. Should be required viewing for all government officials.”
Kristina Blake: “I’d love to see LA refurbish and open parts of that bike highway back up. Charlotte may not be known as the best cycling city, but we’re ooodles ahead of some of what we saw tonight.”
Amanda Jill: “Charlotte has a dedicated community. We actually came in 20th place in the country in the national bike change last year, a competition where individuals log their miles and represent their city. The competition starts in May if you would like to participate in 2016! smile emoticon www.nationalbikechallenge.org This is one way to have a voice and show our nation that Charlotte bikes! Join the Charlotte Spokes People team if you choose to sign up to get in on our local competition as well.”
Steve Doolittle: “Thanks Ryan…..makes one reflect on the global crisis we are all headed toward as the number of cars on the planet doubles….and as gas prices plummet encouraging even more driving…..”
Christine Weber: “Best comment i heard ‘I learned that there’s a Pamela Murray in every city.'”
Kim Brown: “My takeaway was that cities should install a complex series of tightropes to ease car traffic congestion.”
Trudy N. York: “Had a great time. I found it very informative! ?”
Todd Blake: “My overarching takeaway was that any under-represented group within a society needs to represent themselves in order to affect change. The folks São Paulo had to do that and at one point even commented that they needed to get organized. Though my wife and I agreed the change that happened may have been partially been due to the fact that the government feared being in a documentary.”
Kar In: “Thank you Spokes People!. 1) good movie – I was pumped after: wild (riding) characters, interesting histories, messy cities; 2) after sleeping over it: extremes were exposed; after soaking those up, I am eager to know how the DCs, the Portlands, the Viennas, and Paris’ are doing it. 3) Applied to Charlotte: yes, we are a city hitting adolescence: there is potential here, and I didn’t become US citizen because I thought every elected official was trapped in the Koch Brother lasso, but because citizens can work constructively with them (which I am crossing my fingers for with HB232). Compared to other cities CLT advocacy is small in numbers, but persistent and on the right path. I don’t think there is a war and definitely not with the car industry but if there is an industry that needs education it is DEVELOPERS – we have to get our elected officials to make them act according to smart planning ordinances 4) re: “organized” as an advocacy group – I think in the movie when the group sporadically protested in front of the mayor’s house on Sunday after the disgusting accident, it was in order – they were under shock and just did what their humanity told them to; I also think it had an impact: the mayor send down his son (their age) and let them talk out their emotion. Soon after, Sao Paolo got bike lanes although previously the city council said it was “very difficult”. Not saying CLT bike advocates don’t need to be organized, but occasional outrage is ok. Otherwise constructive dialogue with decision makers is better.”
Stay tuned for the CLT Spokes People review of the Bikes vs. Cars film!