Photo “Who (Bicycle) Framed Roger Rabbit?” courtesy of John Henderson
Welcome to 2011 – the year of the rabbit (officially beginning on Chinese New Year – February 3rd). Rabbits are born in the years 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011, and possess the following personality:
People born in the year of the rabbit are the luckiest among “the twelve animals.” The rabbit is a symbol for mercy, elegance, amiability and worship of beauty. People born in this year are kind, speak gently, peaceful, quiet and loving persons. They like to live easy lives.
They are reserved persons, love arts and have a strong sense of justice. Whatever they do, they will start well and end well. This feature can make them learned scholars. They are also well adapted to work in government departments, and to be active on the political stage.
The year of the rabbit outlook:
The year of the Rabbit is traditionally associated with home and family, artistic pursuits, diplomacy, and keeping the peace. Therefore, 2011 is very likely to be a relatively calmer one than 2010 both on the world scene, as well as on a personal level.
Conversely, nations will also become more insular and increasingly lock down their borders to protect against the “other”. However, 2011 will also see new art movements projecting a distinct national identity taking the world by storm. Shrewd and creative new business partnerships will also form to the benefit of all.
Photo “Hiding behind bicycle” courtesy of Yuankuei Cheng
If we can use Chinese Zodiac to predict what is forthcoming with respect to urban bicycling, the year of the rabbit should result in people riding at a more relaxed, slower pace, with improved diplomacy between road users, and an artful taste with more people riding with style.
With increasing tensions regarding bike lanes in New York City, an anti-bike mayor leading Toronto, a sports commentator calling bicyclists “pinkos”, and another sports commentator calling for motorists to “run down” bicyclists, it’s hard to believe that diplomacy will prevail in 2011. But we are optimistic.
Here are 10 things we would love to see happen in our cities in 2011:
Increase in segregated bicycle infrastructure and increased enforcement of non-segregated bike lanes
Elimination of (unnecessary) calls for mandatory helmet legislation by politicians
More people riding sit-up style bicycles
Continued increases in bicycle ridership
More people using bicycles year-round & improved snow clearance
Addition and expansion of bike sharing programs
Elimination of bicycle licensing and disproportional fees
Safer driving, riding & reduced injuries/deaths
Better mainstream media coverage of people on bicycles
More people giving up their automobiles to free themselves from being herded around like cattle.
Here’s to another new year!