16 June 2007

Pedalpalooza RideReport: Road Witch

NAME of Ride: Road Witch Ride
LEADERS: Michael Jones and "the other" steph
CO-HAULERS: Dan Miller, "the other" Matt P., Donna, Flow, and BenFoote

DATE: 14 June, 2007
START time: 6:40pm
DURATION: 6:40-10:00pm (ish)
DISTANCE: <1km for sure!
NUMBER of riders: 20

SYNOPSIS of ride:
road witches are creative ways of traffic calming. WE WANTED TO CALM TRAFFIC! i mean, we wanted to c . . .a . . .l . . .m traffic.

we met up at Col. Summers Park and had a brief intro. to types of road witches that have been created the world over. a little discussion later, we (accompanied by Dan's portable tunes) waltzed our furniture- and astroturf-laden trailers over to Alder Ct. where we picked up a chair and loveseat lovingly donated/loaned for the occasion by the Jasper/Carl contingent. our caravan had just begun heading up the street when lo! what should we find but a coffee table and easychair set out for the taking! manna from heaven? you decide. a few bungee cords later and off we were in search of a fitting place on Belmont.

we eschewed a few mere 15-minute spaces until we came upon our new erstwhile parking spot in front of Tao of Tea. we rolled our bikes and trailers into the parking lot and unloaded our goods. within a minute we had moved into our new streetside living room and backyard, complete with carpet, floor lamp, table, chairs, and plant pots. the parking sign indicated that we could spend as much as an hour there, so we got comfortable. Donna got tea service from the Tao (their jasmine tea? highly recommended). theatre-goers who were on their way to see "The Wonder of the World" or "Uncommon Women and Others" stopped to ask what we were doing. one woman came up and said that our setup was just fabulous and that there should be more of this. grapes and tea and kudos from passersby made us feel quite at home, and the BC bikeazine reading material provided by Ron, our Canadian Ambassador to Pedalpalooza, allowed us to pass the time in relaxed fashion.

perhaps 45 minutes later, we packed up and headed to Hawthorne to spread yet more traffic-calming cheer. the Parking Fates smiled once again, and we found ourselves with free real estate in front of the Bagdad on 34th. according to the sign, we were allowed to be there until 5am! we moved in to our little humble roadside bungalow, and Guy immediately ordered pizza (for future reference, the Bagdad delivers to curbside residences). we stayed until a little after dusk and then packed up. Dan's sound system and Team parkXbike meandered back up to NoPo.

HIGH points: Dan's portable sound system! no house is complete without music. Flow stepped up to haul the TimoTrailer, and a few unwanted furniture items found a home. the company was great, too! a lot of good discussion and good times. everyone who passed by seemed curious but then appreciative of our parking job. you were all wonderful!! it was such a pleasure to park with you all.

LOW points:
it ended.

WOULD you do it again? If so, What would you change?
heck yes! in fact, some folks were talking about making this an event through the summer in different locations and using different themes. there was talk of starting a discussion/action forum in the future.

Some places included:
*Woodstock area
*West Burnside
*Farmer's Markets

Road Witch ideas:
*Interior design exhibition streetside
*Children's reading hour with fenced carpeted area and pillows, preferably at a sunday brunch location populated by younguns
*More rooms! More locations!
*Knitting circle

Small Background on Road Witches
a road witch was originally a scarecrow-like affair with a traffic cone hat:http://www.wormworks.com/roadwitch/pages/whatis.htm
examples of road witches:http://www.wormworks.com/roadwitch/pages/trialcontents.htm
PARK(ing): http://www.rebargroup.org/projects/parkingday/images.html
Walk to School Week:http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/05/walk_to_school_week_takes_crazy_twist_in_england.php

thanks to Jacque, Jonathan and Michael for online examples!

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