Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

02 October 2017

A Mayor For---Cycling?

Two years ago, when I was in Paris, I learned that the city had recently appointed its first "maire de la nuit":  night mayor.

When I first heard about it, I wondered whether there was some hour--say, 9pm--when mayor Anne Hidalgo clocked out of City Hall and Clement Leon R, the night mayor, took over.  One of my friends explained to me that Clement Leon R heads the "Conseil de la Nuit"--a night City Council, if you will.  They are tasked with overseeing night life in the City of Light.  Among other things, they try to manage, and sometimes smooth over, relations between such establishments as bars and music clubs--as well as businesses that are legal there but not here.  


The office is patterned after one started in Amsterdam in 2014.  That city's night mayor, Malik Milan, is exploring the possiblity of creating a "Chinatown of night life" where libraries for students as well as eateries and the traditional venues associated with night life could be open 24/7.  The idea, which other cities are exploring, would take noisy establishments out of residential and central business areas and put them in some neighborhood on the perimeter.  As Milan explains, "In Holland, you can't have a proper meal after 9:30 p.m., and when friends arrive late from out of town, all you can offer them is fries."


I imagine that if you arrive late by bike and get a flat, or have some other sort of mechanical issue, you couldn't have it fixed until the next day (unless, of course, you or your friend knows how).  Would a 24/7 bike shop be part of such a district?   And, if it did, would it be then under the jurisdiction of the night mayor?


Or would it fall into the purview of a bicycle mayor?


As my city, New York, is discussing the possibility of creating the office of "night mayor", another city has just appointed the first bicycle mayor in the United States.


Tiffany Mannion assumed that position in Keene, New Hampshire the other day.  While the first in her country, she joins "a worldwide network of bicycle mayors, called the Bicycle Mayor and Leader network," according to Jen Risley, who appointed her as a member of the Monadnock Alliance of Sustainable Transportation's Steering Committee.   In her two-year term as Bicycle Mayor, Mannion will "represent cyclists from throughout the region and focus on three areas: education, connection and creation," Risley explained.  




Mannion is a "regular bicycle commuter and explorer" who "hopes to ride toward her goal of 3000 miles a year," Risley added.  As the area's only certified cycling instructor, Mannion will "educate colleges, universities and businesses with the economic advantages of developing bicycle-friendly policies" and "work regionally to help create confident riders and supported infrastructure," Risley added.


In accepting her role, Mannion thanked a number of people and organizations.  "This small city has enormous dreams," she declared.



Could Keene set an example for my hometown, New York, for cycling as Amsterdam and Paris are doing for nightlife?


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