Sunday, April 13, 2014

In Memphis, healthy, affordable food for those in need | Al Jazeera America

I know Betty Isom - even gave her a big hug and held her granddaughter in my lap while watching a dance-off at the Foote Homes Annual Spring Festival this past Saturday. This is one blog post you do not want to pass up. Please forward it to everyone you know to help spread the good news!
Click the following link to find out more: In Memphis, healthy, affordable food for those in need | Al Jazeera America

Foote Homes Annual Spring Festival Saturday, April 12th, 2014 from 10am ...

Foote Homes Public Housing residents can greatly benefit from a Car-Free friendly design model. For example, they need a full service grocery store located within a ten minute walk or bike ride from their homes. Please take note of all the links at the bottom of this post because it will lead to everything you need to know about to make this community's vision come true.  

Friday, April 11, 2014

COPDOTS Pen Home Asset Marking System For Your Bicycle - YouTube

I would strongly suggest using a combination of three inexpensive systems to protect yourself from harm and theft. 

And, the reason why is that you want to attract as many witnesses as possible to catch a criminal on the spot. 

And, even if a criminal does happen to get away with it at a particular time at least your property can still be tracked and traced quickly by both you and/or law enforcement.

  • Use the copdots pen to protect your bike and all of its parts: Protect your back pack and bike helmet and bike pump and bike tools and many other related items in case these items are stolen from you out on the streets or when they are inside your home or apartment: COPDOTS Pen Home Asset Marking System - YouTube:
  • There are also GPS tracking systems for your bike
  • Not to mention, there are personal alarms for walking, running, and biking

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

SUSTAINABILITY MONTH: City Launches 30-Day Car-Free Challenge | News Blog | Memphis News and Events | Memphis Flyer

I was listening to an AM radio talk show host when the phrase “CAR FREE MEMPHIS.COM rolled from their lips.

And, there is to be a 30-day car-free challenge throughout the month of April.

I am happy about this event in the scheme of it all.

I thought they were talking about my own blog.

I even waited for my own name to be mentioned.

But, I was somewhat disillusioned that there was no such connection to my blog or me.

Perhaps they did this unconsciously and without the intent of causing any confusion between whom I am and whom they want to be like.

They obviously want to be like me, but they are not!

Perhaps, they are using the same words that I have used to make them look better, as it should be, because I have worked hard building up the brand name of Car Free Memphis.

I use this blog of mine to reach out to people and raise awareness from a real car-free citizen's point of view.

There are already thousands of car-free citizens in Memphis; it is just that the majority of them are now living in poverty and the powers-that-be does not truly care about them nearly as much as they say they do.

If the shoe fits, wear it!

The powers-that-be is more like poverty pimps, top-level professionals, always making promises they never intend to keep.

And, they prove that I am right consistently by cutting every budget possible, making peoples lives meaninglessly miserable.

The first thing they did was to cut jobs and sent those jobs overseas; then, they only offer our own citizens part time, low wage, temporary work with little or no health care coverage.

The powers-that-be has driven our citizens into deep poverty and onto the dole long-term and then they blame the victims!

Nonetheless, I still decided, after years of in-depth research and actually living car free, to start my own blog.

Here, I tell people snippets about my own story, but I also pick up on the insights of others based on their stories about being car-free citizens.

I go on and on about about this issue to everyone I meet, so much so, that other people told me to blog about it; then that’s what I decided to do.

I decided to call my own blog Car-Free Memphis and launched it in 2011.

Since then, Car-Free Memphis has provided the best information possible to its readers.

Therefore, I presume this makes me an expert.

In fact, I have been car-free for the past 13 years and I have earned a dual BA degree and an MPA despite all my ongoing struggles to do so.
With that being said, let’s move forward with my ongoing complaints about how being CAR-FREE in Memphis, Tennessee, is HELL ON EARTH!

Now the powers-that-be prefers to be self–righteous and infiltrate every aspect of our lives; often saying that if we only love God more, then we will all be blessed with wealth beyond our wildest dreams, so long as we give every dime right back to the powers-that-be in one way or another – that is why church, the government, and corporations truly stick together folks - they all want a one-third cut of our pie and if there is one single micron of a crumb left over for us, we better not dare let them find out about it because they will find a way to get it even if it destroys us all.  

We should be questioning if we have a democracy anymore and if not, then perhaps an oligarchy.  

Together, they share our wealth among themselves; they are the top 1%; the owners of production.

Talk about the franchising out the holy name of our GOD, not to save souls, but to make them richer.

Speaking of franchising, it seems like nearly every establishment one spends their money at these days goes right back into the hands of a few people who owns nearly 99.9% of every establishment.

These few business owners believe that their massive corporations are people and they can vote for every one of us; and in fact, we are their slaves these days.
And how do they remind us of this fact and what is reminiscing of the slave trade? Slave Ships.

And what do many of the urban poor use as transportation these days? Public Transit.

The majority of my own blog readers ride a MATA bus for at least three and half hours both ways to get to a part-time, low wage job; and it is not just a simple short two-way trip up and down one street like Poplar Avenue with no transfers that takes a mere 30 to 60 minutes one way.

The stress of the long bus trips can break one’s spirit, just like slaves ships do.

Moreover, the majority of poor people, here, live in communities located in food deserts.

And going out to get groceries on a MATA bus can become a gruesome 7-hour round trip day.

So, the purpose of being car-free is not some nostalgic agenda whereby people have all decided to be car-free for the sake of recreation alone; it is a lifestyle that is actually forced on them with no adequate infrastructure whatsoever.

And, these car-free citizens have been doing it this way for decades.

Little or nothing is being done by the powers-that-be to make life any better.

For instance, every time car-free citizens step off of a curb here in Memphis to cross the street at a crosswalk, the walk signs, turn to don’t walk and citizens are nearly run over by impatient car drivers.

It forces people to jaywalk, and why not, if there is an equal or better chance of surviving if they do!

Have you ever tried to cross the street of Summer Avenue?

I have crossed that road and some people honk at me, curse me out, and have nearly run me over several times - that is just this week alone!

Read this article: The Invention of Jaywalking 
by Sarah Goodyear.

We need to rid ourselves of these jaywalking laws and/or put the burden of such laws onto motor vehicle drivers to watch out for car-free citizens at all times instead of limiting the movements of pedestrians to a slow crawl.

Until the lives of the most impoverished car-free citizens are better off, especially those who are disabled, it is not going to be any better for those people who are middle class or wealthy class whenever they want to become car-free.

To illustrate, try finding a restroom when your car-free in Memphis without soiling yourself first!

Imagine having the urge to go to the restroom while riding on a MATA bus; when it is bouncing up and down; when people are swaying back and forth onto you.

This only happens because many MATA buses are like raggedy old slave ships that can make most people seasick.

If one gets off the MATA bus just to use the restroom, the next bus may not be coming for another hour or more.

Hope to God you do not have friends and family members with you when this happens.

We are living in a city whereby the buses do not run every ten minutes like in other cities.

Here in Memphis, there is no real time GPS tracking system whereby the bus riders can know exactly where the bus is and when it is going to be at a preferred bus stop.

Instead, the bus riders have to wait out in the elements near the street where exhaust smoke is blown into their faces and road debris smothers them from head to toe for up to 20 minutes.

The powers-that-be will use the word GREEN to implicate a wholesome policy agenda and they are painting the whole town the color green it seems, but as for the saving our environment, there is nothing green about this situation at all because the fumes of Memphis spout up 7.8 metric tons of CO2 into the air every year.

So, if Memphis were actually living green, then people who come to visit us would be green with envy.

Our city is not on the green list folks, but it has made just about every shit list there is!

In fact, it has been deemed the asthma capital of the Mid-South; it is the bankruptcy capital; it’s the poverty capital; it is the crime capital; and I am talking about our people in leadership, not just the so called thugs on these streets; and moreover, it is the capital for poverty pimps.

The powers-that-be refuses neither to make adequate improvements, nor to completely replace whole systems with better ones, but they have continued to grow rich anyway, while the rest of us live pay check to pay check or on food stamps and welfare.
Instead, they are paying the best writers to spin fairy tales about how green we are living. 

It is the biggest lie ever told, especially when the powers-that-be are cutting away at the very backbone of doing so, such as cutting public transit funding by at least four million dollars; and then, cutting back the services so much so that the whole system might as well be shut down at this point.

And why not shut it down if it is not going to work any better than it has for the past 30 years! 
At one point, the public transit system was boycotted because of who had the right to ride where on the bus based on racial issues; and now, the public transit system is boycotting all of its riders because they do not want to treat any of the bus riders with dignity regardless of their race.

Let’s just replace MATA and start over with brand new name and a brand new system based on hydrogen fuel cell technology, the bus drivers and passengers would be thrilled at how smoothly these buses ride.

Let’s have buses running east, west, north, and south on every major street 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if it is necessary.

Let’s have bike lanes running the full length of all major streets, like the Union, Poplar, and Summer Avenues.

We can be a world-class city, but not without redesigning our entire city to be Car-Free friendly.

In a city like this, there would be adequate bus shelters, restrooms, bike shops and pit stops for resting weary bones whereby people are not treated like a vagabond.

There would be no vagabonds on our streets if the homeless were provided with homes, instead of treating them like common criminals or turning them into criminals.

Memphis is truly full of poverty pimps; and if these two words have the stinging power that I desire they will have; then please, please, please, feel free to steal them away from this blog – go post these words everywhere that you can.

In fact, use the words - poverty pimps - on every billboard across our city and tell them - clearly - to get the hell out of our city!

However, leave the words - CAR-FREE MEMPHIS - to me; it seems that I am the only policy expert that knows how to use them effectively; and, I am not about to apologize for it either.


Click the following link to find out more

City Launches 30-Day Car-Free Challenge | News Blog | Memphis News and Events | Memphis Flyer

Passengers escape Madison Ave. trolley fire – Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee | Car Free Memphis

These old trolleys should have never come online. One can hardly board them if they are elderly and/or disabled, or if they have bags of groceries in their hands. These trolleys are extremely noisy, almost deafening. They hardly serve any practical purpose at all. Memphis nor the Downtown Area is hardly car-free friendly. There are far too many obstacles to dodge downtown, along with those trolley rails people have to cross over. A bike rider almost has to slow it down to the same speed of a walker these days, even get off the bike and push it due to all the bumps, one must endure. I remember when we all bicycled right down the center of Main Street; it was as smooth as silk without these trolley rails in the way. Today, only extreme caution allows one to cross over these rails or they will flip their bike over — I strongly suggest, then, that no one, and I mean no one, attempt to navigate any Memphis City street, main street or the Madison Trolley line with thin race bike tires. Only use a mountain bike with mountain bike tires and super heavy-duty rims. You may give up speed, but you will gain stability and can carry a lot of extra weight with much fatter or wider bike tires and the shocks will keep you from enduring every bump that you are bound to hit here in Memphis, Tennessee. Oh, and don’t put your new expensive bike on the front rack of a MATA bus; it will likely bounce off and get crushed by the bus. These buses, some of them, are as ragged as old slave ships; riding on one may make you seasick, especially if the air conditioning is not on and with windows bolted shut.

Passengers escape Madison Ave. trolley fire – Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee | Car Free Memphis

Friday, March 28, 2014

Unaffordable cities: this criminal lack of housing is a global scandal | Cities |

"More, young people tend to understand that new housing, well-built, can be a tremendous force for positive transformation. Built in sufficient amounts, new housing can check the rise in housing costs; but with good design, it can also help grow new people-centered streets, increase use of bikes and transit, and promote healthier and more active lives."

"Housing construction and more residents help the local economy and create far more jobs than subsidies for large corporations. More taxpayers help our cities balance their books though larger revenues and more efficient infrastructure. New housing is one of the few truly powerful tools citizens and local officials can actually make use of to improve our cities and the world."

"More housing can even help us meet the global climate crisis. We know that in compact and walkable communities, each person uses less energy (and thus emits less carbon dioxide) than a similar person in more spread-out areas. A planet of small ultra-rich cities and sprawling low-density slums will be a planet warming faster than a planet of dense, mixed-income, transit-friendly cities."

Click the following link to find out more:

Unaffordable cities: this criminal lack of housing is a global scandal | Cities |

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

City Moving Forward With More Green Lanes, Cycling Campaigns | News Blog | Memphis News and Events | Memphis Flyer

Current bike lanes are far too short in length. They are hardly used for the most part for any serious long-range utilitarian purposes like shopping for groceries or even pleasure tours with the whole family to the movie theater. To do anything like that at all, there is going to have to be someone in leadership with a much broader vision that is planning full-length bike lanes all the way down every major street within Shelby County and Memphis. Simply put folks, we Car-Free Citizens want to be able to go everywhere that car drivers go and without having to use a public transit bus, a taxi, or even sharing a car ride with family and friends. We want our independence and we have wanted it since about 1992. Yes, that is way back when a plan was first drawn up to complete our streets with bike lanes long before the day would ever come that you would be reading this truth telling comment of mine. To illustrate, we were supposed to actually look more like Vauban, Germany, which is a section of town that is car-free, not even car parking is allowed within that zone. And look at what we have to show for our own plan so far: only a few nominal bike lanes that run along tourist attractions to make it seem like we are really making progress towards turning green; and, there are hundreds of feel good blogs and news articles that make it seem as if our whole town has turned environmentally green from the very depths of our hearts, as if the pipes of pollution have just quit puffing up 7.8 metric tons of fumes all across our city and we are no longer the asthma capital of the USA. What a big lie the powers-that-be are telling us, and the whole world! Well, Shelby County, nor Memphis for that matter, is green folks. If it were green, other people visiting here would be green with envy. If the truth is to be told, here at all, the City of Memphis is one of the filthiest crime ridden cities in the Mid-South region. And so, I do hope that we will not be waiting yet another twenty-something years before the powers-that-be get off their damn asses and actually implement a long-range bike lane plan worthy of mention because it is long overdue. And they need to do this within the next five years if they dare want bragging rights about making progress. That is the only way I will be writing a favorable mention about the progress concerning this issue, among others. If I cannot write about progress soon enough, then people like me are going to lead this city in the right direction by voting all these old school cronies out of office forever; and please, do not dare expect for us to vote in the same cronies relatives either --- the slate will be wiped as clean as the air we would like to breath.

Click the following link to find out more:

City Moving Forward With More Green Lanes, Cycling Campaigns | News Blog | Memphis News and Events | Memphis Flyer

Friday, March 7, 2014

A bicyclist’s wildest dream come true | Panethos

Transportation planners need to take a pilgrimage to this location to make this dream come true here in Memphis, Tennessee. Click the link below to find out more.

A bicyclist’s wildest dream come true | Panethos

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bicycling to safety | Department of Transportation

WOW - The Secretary of the Department of Transportation wants to make biking safer and has not tolerated anything less. There seems to be far more to do though. Click the link below to find out.

Bicycling to safety | Department of Transportation

Monday, February 24, 2014

Grocery Shopping by Bike? Put The Weight Of Those Bags On The Ground!

Make no mistake about it, only a professional bike fitting service can provide the best fit for you and your bike. For those of you who cannot do this for lack of funding or there is simply not anyone near you that provides such a service, I highly recommend an upright short-wheel-based hybrid comfort bike with shocks on the front fork and in the seat post for maximum comfort - especially great  for those people with back problems. This type of bike allows for one to sit up straight and tall and peddle without even bending over, which also means less stress on the hands, wrist, arms, and shoulders. In addition to all those features, you may also strongly consider the step threw version of this type of bike. And now, I will explain what short-wheel-based means - the wheels are closer together as opposed to that of a touring bike with the wheels set much further apart requiring one to lean over. There are some disadvantages to choosing a short-wheel-based bike. To illustrate, the balance of this short-wheel-based bike becomes top heavy once you add more weight than just yourself to the bike, such as over 40 lbs groceries into bicycle baskets. Not to mention, that someone with big feet will easily hit those baskets while pedaling if the baskets are attached to the side of the back wheel. You can shift this amount of weight to only one basket on the top of the back rack, but anymore weight than this will cause the bike to fall over when one stops if they are unable to hold the bike up due to weak wrist or a bad back. In which case, you may invest in a bike trailer that will allow such a person to put that weight on the ground. Putting the weight on the ground will also cause one to feel the  drag of the weight, so do not buy a cheaply made bike trailer - get one custom made for you if you can. One good place for you to do this is        

Bike Fitting: Common Misconceptions