Ralph Buehler and John Pucher On Cycling For Sustainable Cities

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8th May 2021

The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast

EPISODE 273: Ralph Buehler and John Pucher On Cycling For Sustainable Cities

SPONSOR: Jenson USA

HOST: Carlton Reid

GUESTS: Ralph Buehler and John Pucher

Ralph is Professor and Chair Urban Affairs and Planning at the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech Research Center (VTRC), Arlington, Virginia, USA.

John is Professor Emeritus in the Urban Planning and Policy Development Program at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.

LINKS:

Cycling for Sustainable Cities, MIT Press

COVID-19 impacts on cycling paper by Buehler and Pucher.

TRANSCRIPT:

Carlton Reid 0:13
Welcome to episode 273 of the Spokesmen cycling Podcast. This show was uploaded on Saturday 8th May 2021.

David Bernstein 0:24
The Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast is brought to you by Jenson USA, where you’ll always find a great selection of products at amazing prices with unparalleled customer service. For more information, just go to Jensonusa.com/thespokesmen. Hey everybody, it’s David from the Fredcast cycling podcast at www.Fredcast.com. I’m one of the hosts and producers of the Spokesmen cycling roundtable podcast. For shownotes links and all sorts of other information please visit our website at www.the- spokesmen.com. And now, here are the spokesmen..

Carlton Reid 1:09
This weekend I’ve got two one-hour shows back to back, and both feature power couples. I’m Carlton Reid and on tomorrow’s show I’ll be sharing with you a great chat with husband and wife urbanists Chris and Melissa Bruntlett speaking with me from different rooms in their fairytale house in Delft. They’ve got a new book out in June and they kindly went through it with me, chapter to chapter. I asked them how they divided the writing tasks, which is also a question I asked of today’s guests, the august and influential Ralph Buehler and John Pucher. I classify them as a power couple because, as an academic pairing, they write transport-oriented papers and edit tub-thumping books together. You may have read City Cycling from 2012, well now they’ve got a new book out called Cycling for Sustainable Cities.

Carlton Reid 2:09
Ralph and John, I could read from your wonderful book. In fact, I’ve got it in front of me. So your new wonderful book “Cycling for Sustainable Cities” under the MIT, er, tubthumper of a boo. Of course, you had your 2012 book “City Cycling,” which was which absolutely a classic. This is a new classic. So I’ve got the page open, which tells me who you are. But rather than me read out your long job titles, could you please tell our listeners who you are in your own words? So, John first.

John Pucher 2:49
Okay. Um, I have been a hater of cars from my entire life. And that was what I was actually motivated my entire academic career. I started out doing research on so for my dissertation advisor at MIT as well 45 years ago, on public transit. So first 20 years of my career, I spent working on public transit, public transportation, public transport, first in the United States, and then I added Western Europe, but then I added Canada and then I added Australia, and then I added Eastern Europe. Only I sort of did, I was always in this then not always but then there’s more and more international perspective. And then I spent a two year sabbatical as a visiting professor at the University of Munster, in northern Germany, about an hour from the Dutch border. And that city has 40% of all trips by bike. And I had never ever even been to a city that has had that higher percentage of bicycling and living in that being surrounded in an environment where everyone is bicycling for every trip purpose the mail was by by the police officers revived by people in their 70s and 80s run by kids got the school by bike and everything was done by bike. And I just thought I want to know how this is possible. I just can’t believe and I was just fascinated. And and that really is what generated then my my interest in cycling as a as a field that have been totally neglected. I mean it really there was almost no academic literature on cycling

Carlton Reid 4:38
way back then. And I have picked I have gone into your book and there there is a some fascinating stats there about like how many papers are published, you know, in this year compared to like a 14 fold 18 fold increase. So I will get into that. But tell me your actual job title. What’s on your business card, John?

John Pucher 4:57
I don’t have a business card. I’m a professor emeritus at Rutgers University in Central New Jersey, and I was a professor there, I retired six years ago, but I’ve still been doing research. I was there for 37 years as a professor of urban planning and public policy.

Carlton Reid 5:20
So in, I’m going to get to Ralph in a minute … in the preamble where it’s talking about the who you are, and you’ve told us a bit about that it says, this is this is, john. So John’s particular passion is to make cycling possible for everyone, including all ages and abilities. No, no, of course, I would absolutely applaud. And recommend, and and think that’s fantastic. But, John, aren’t academics meant to be neutral? So how can you be anti car? How can you be pro transit, prp bicycle, when you’re meant to be a neutral academic just talking about the science?

John Pucher 6:02
Well, I think the science backs up my opinion. That is, I think, um, I think that scientists who claim to be totally objective, or live, I think that in the background, they have certain hypotheses, certain beliefs, if a scientist is making 99.9% of his or her trips, by car, and living way out in the suburbs, and so forth, supporting that sort of a lifestyle, that is a statement in itself, and I think many scientists supposedly objective, or viewing the whole world through the windshield of a car, without ever even knowing that they were being very subjective, at least I’m honest. And saying, look, you know, I, I, I experience these problems of car dependence. I’m surrounded by them. I experience them every day in so many different respects. And I’m not sure if that means I’m not. Yeah, I’ll be speed. See, no one I don’t think is really neutral. But I think the most dangerous kind of a scientist as a scientist who pretends to be neutral, and in fact, is very biassed because of their very lifestyle, and the way they get around and what they assume implicitly.

Carlton Reid 7:23
Hmm. Yeah, I like that. Thank you, John. And then Ralph. So So Ralph, do you have a business card first off, and what’s on that business card?

Ralph Buehler 7:32
I have a business card. And what’s on that card is that I’m currently Professor and Chair of Urban Affairs and planning it at Virginia Tech, on the Arlington campus.

Carlton Reid 7:45
So Washington DC, basically, you’re you’re across the river from DC. And tell me some of your background, Ralph, because I can tell from your accent that you’re not from Washington, DC,

Ralph Buehler 7:59
No I’m from Virginia.

John Pucher 8:01
So there’s his deep Southern accent.

Ralph Buehler 8:07
So I’m originally from Germany. And my story is a little bit the opposite of John’s story. So I studied Public Policy and Administration in in Germany and went for a student exchange to the US to Rutgers, actually, where john was, was a professor at the at the time. And before that, I had interest in transportation, mainly in public transport, but had not really thought about it as a subject for for study. I definitely bike for some trips, I walked for others, I rode public transport, and I drove a car. And then I came to the US for my study abroad. And the experience in Central New Jersey was that without a car, it was very hard to get anywhere. I tried to ride my bike as much as possible. In fact, the first day we arrived, it turned out we couldn’t even get groceries without having a car. Or so I got someone to give me a ride to a Walmart to buy a cheap bike. And then I rode back from that Walmart to to where I live, which was harrowing, because there’s no no infrastructure, nothing, no consideration for bicyclists at all in that in that area. And then even getting to a grocery store was was was harrowing, and was difficult. And so my interest was piqued Then, why are these transport systems so different? Why is it normal for me growing up to ride a bike sometimes to walk to use public transport, but it was clearly not normal in the new place. I was and then I of course also met John and we started research in this in this area.

Carlton Reid 9:52
I definitely want to get onto that. So first of all, John, is it Putcher or Pooker?

John Pucher 9:59
It’s Pooker. It’s actually original, it’s an Austrian name, it’s originally pronounced Pooker. But that’s got her on, no one can browse it. So I just make it again. So it’s Pucher, I think that would

Carlton Reid 10:12
So, Pucher and Buehler is a kind of a now a shorthand way, in many academic papers for your various papers together, and you are Yeah. Like, from a, you know, like a Morecombe and Wise, fFrom a UK perspective, you’re kind of like always together. So how did you get together?

John Pucher 10:34
Ralph was my was, I was the adviser of Ralph when he was a German exchange student. He was first at Rutgers for one year. And then he went back to Germany to finish his his, I guess you would call undergraduate degree, which is more the equivalent of a Master’s Germany. And then he decided to come back a year later for the doctoral programme, and I was his advisor for his doctoral programme and for his dissertation, as well. And his dissertation was on a comparison of the United States and Germany. And of course, I was extremely interested in the topic at any rate, and then it’s just one thing led to another. And we did a think we had a research project on comparing cycling and Canada in the United States. And it’s just then we just broaden to broaden. And he, he had, I had already done a lot of international comparative research between Western Europe, in Canada and the United States. And then Ralph came along, and that was his interest as well. And we just our interests meshed.

Ralph Buehler 11:42
Excactly. But when I got to the US, I was scheduled to study something like human resources management. But then I saw that John was there in the School of urban planning, and it piqued my interest. And I thought for the for the study abroad here, I may as well switch to to urban planning. And I remember still I formed this is us. Phone Booth. There wasn’t even a booth it was us with a phone somewhere on the on the campus, I call John’s office. And we talk then what he did was really interesting to me, it was also my interest. And then I switched programmes within a week to study urban planning. And then from there, I think, because we both have this experience of living in different countries experiencing different transport systems, and being interested in in sustainable transport and comparisons. I think that really meshed well.

John Pucher 12:30
You see, Carlton, you probably recall our article Cycling is Irresistible,

Carlton Reid 12:35
“irresistible.” Absolutely. Yes.

John Pucher 12:38
Well, you see what Ralph was really saying that I’m irresistible too!

John Pucher 12:42
I’m just just kidding, right!

Carlton Reid 12:47
No, no, obviously it goes without saying. I want to stay with biographical stuff at the moment before we get into the meat of you. And it is a thick book. It’s a good inch and a half thick. Before we get into into your book, so stick with the biographical stuff. So we’ll get onto Ralph’s dedication in a minute. But, John, your dedication is to Chris Kurzman, your aunt, who inspired four decades of car free living. Tell me about your aunt, John.

John Pucher 13:15
She’d never even had a driver’s licence. She She lived most of her life in New York City in Brooklyn. And I was closer to this, my aunt than anyone else in the entire family. But she was forever outsiders. I’m an environmentalist, a health food fanatic, very leftist, politically and for every conceivable progressive cause. And she hated the very idea of cars and like the noise, the pollution, the danger, and I mean, she just walked or use public transit to get everywhere, which is not difficult in New York City. And he really didn’t get out of New York City all that much. So I was I admired Miami so much. And I thought, wow, I just mean both the her interest in the environment and, and all of these same issues, equity and social justice. She was very much into those and so am I. And we just were on the same wavelength. And I mean, I was already even before wasn’t just copying my ass lifestyle. But I before I was a professor at Rutgers, I was a doctoral student in Boston at MIT. And Boston is a very, very walkable, transit friendly city and becoming more and more cycling friendly, by the way. It’s just having a car in Boston, just like it is in New York. It’s just a house. So you don’t want to have it’s difficult to park it. It’s very expensive. There’s very high taxes and owning a car, and so forth, as I mean, I wasn’t I was a student. I didn’t need one anyway. I lived about a mile mile and a half from from MIT. Everything was within walking or transit distance. And then when I went to Central New Jersey, this is the really weird thing. Everyone told me Oh, when you anyone who Jersey has to have a car, and I thought, Oh, that’s awful, I don’t want to change my lifestyle, I literally like don’t have a new car. So anyway, when I got to, I deliberately chose an apartment that was about a mile away from the Rutgers campus within walking distance, and also a mile away from the train station. It took me that’s appropriate rail coming into New York City and Philadelphia, and Princeton, and so forth. And turns out, I just didn’t need a car. And it’s just that just continued that way. And I just, I really forgot how to drive a car. I still renewed my licence, because that was used at that time, I think it still is the main form of ID in the United States, believe it or not, is a driver’s licence. And so whether you want to have it or not, you get it. And that’s, that’s your ID. So then, anyway, the point is, I just, it became, it just became part of who I was. And in fact, my nickname was carfree job. Because not only did I not own a car, it wasn’t just out of principle, it just became part of my lifestyle and my mentality. And the most, I must tell you, the most traumatic thing that ever happened to me is, this is gonna sound weird for most people. When I retired, I wanted to move to here to Raleigh, North Carolina, because my brother and sister live here. That’s, that’s the reason I moved here. And it was I had to postpone making this decision of opponent postponing retirement. Because I knew how auto oriented this part of the country is, if you just have to have a car period, and I thought, I just don’t want to have a car, it’s gonna ruin my life, and even shopping for a car. What’s traumatic, I don’t know nothing about cars. The point is, I did have to buy a car. I do have to use a car but I use it as little as I can. But it just it definitely it’s a very, very different lifestyle. And that for me, I mean, it was a almost traumatic shift from what I was really enjoying as a I’m not gonna say worry free but a collapse salesman from comfortable with not having a car and then here having a car free going to the gas stick to the petrol station to get fill up the gas is a pain

John Pucher 17:28
in the neck.

John Pucher 17:30
I mean, going for the annual inspection of the cars of paint the neck these things that parking your car is a pain in the neck. It’s just, it’s just not something that I enjoy. There’s some people who like cars and I hate them.

Carlton Reid 17:42
And Ralph, your dedication? Are they students? Are they family? Who’s Nora, Niels, Tillman, Liesel, Schorsch, Steffi and Tizian?

Ralph Buehler 17:51
It’s, it’s it’s family. And I think so my, my parents are in there, because they sort of let me find my work. I’m the first in my family to in Germany, the schools are tiered to go to a good nauseum to go to a school that can take you all the way to university. And they let me do that. And then they let me go to university after that, and everybody else in our family was looking at me as a waiter getting a real job. Why are you while you’re doing this, and then in the end, it took me all the way to the US to really find find my passion and find the the work I want to do. And for my family, essentially, because they put up with my interest in transportation. So whenever we go on, on a trip on vacation, I’m always looking at, at bike lanes or pedestrian crosswalk transit systems, and they take photos, and they have to stop and the kids are not fully aware yet what I’m doing. But I always say, Well, I’m taking these pictures for the students and for my work. And then one time I remember we looked at the sunset, and my son says to me, Papa, don’t you want to take a picture for your students? wouldn’t they be interested in that sort of work? That doesn’t stop just when we are out there is always something interesting to see. And to observe and to bring back. I want to make one more point with the, with the biographies. I think what helps me here in the US as a researcher is to be an outsider or to be somebody with a different experience or coming from somewhere else. Because it makes it easier for me to to question things or to see, to see differences. That comes more more naturally to me for being an outsider or being a foreigner versus somebody who was who was socialised in the same in the same system.

John Pucher 19:47
I would just like to make the same point but for me, it was the reverse. That is for me, it was living in Germany for those first two years or two full years, two and a half years in fact, I just never had lived in an environment where there was such good public transport and walking and the most surprising of all such incredible cycling facilities and with literally everyone cycling, and the the notion of everyone cycling cycling for everyone. I mean, that is sort of one of my trademarks, I guess. But that comes from the whole issue of equity of social justice. And that is one theme that that my dissertation adviser Alan Alshuler, it was one of his specialties. And so he really also inspired me in terms of the focus on equity and social justice, as well as sustainable transportation.

Carlton Reid 20:38
Okay, wonderful. Thank you. And so I’m now looking at “Cycling for Sustainable Cities”, the book. And and of course, you’re the editors of the book, you haven’t written a whole book you’ve written basically, you’ve written some bits in the middle, but it’s mainly the the introduction, and then the conclusion. But then you basically corralled, you know, the world’s greatest experts on cycling here. So you have names that people will be very familiar with, you know, Tim Blumenthan Bill Nesper, they’re, of course on the advocacy front in the US, Fiona Campbell. I know, from Australia. She’s in there. Who else we got here? Oh, John Parkin, who’s been on the show before Marco te Brommelstroet, who is @cyclingprofessor, many people will follow him on Twitter. So you’ve got an absolutely stellar list of contributors. Now, what of those contributors done for you and for us, the readers different to “City Cycling” 10 years ago. So how has this book been updated with that stellar list of people in those 10 years?

John Pucher 21:49
There are a lot of new topics. So for example, I, I very much wanted to now that I am, I’m 70 years old. But now that I am an older adult, and I thought, well, we didn’t have a chapter on cycling for older adults, and I’m still cycling. And if you look at the the Denmark or Germany in the Netherlands, or there’s a lot of older adult cycling, and I thought we really need you to chapter and that chapter I wrote together with for Jan was the lead author, Janka Girard, but they were all for my co authors, there are public health experts. And so we’re looking at it from the all of the physical, social, and mental health benefits of cycling for older adults and how to encourage more older adults. So that’s a new chapter, the one I thought on China, in India, it was really important. And again, I can’t tell you how I tried to get other people to do that chapter. And I couldn’t get anyone else to lead. So that’s why I lead it, but with the three Chinese colleagues at one Indian colleague, and I mean, they are the two most populous countries in the world. And there’s more cyclists in China in India, even now than there are in the rest of the world. So that was really, really important to look at cycling and China and India. And we have a new chapter on Latin America, a cycling as a growing part of the world and an important part of the world. And we definitely Ralph and I are no experts of Latin American. So we have three Latin American colleagues are all originally from Bogota, and also like cycling experts. And so they wrote that chapter that was completely new, the E bike chapter was completely new. And that’s been a big trend recently. And then there have been so many developments in bike sharing, I mean, the fourth or fifth generation, whatever they call this, the latest now the front the floating bikes. I mean, that was a new development as well, I’m leaving out something well, what chapters have I left? Oh, they advocacy chapter. Oh, there’s a story to that. And I’m probably don’t want to hear it. But we had, I hadn’t managed to find someone who was willing to write that chapter on her own. And then at the very last moment, she just she got sick or whatever was just you couldn’t do it. And so I then I know all of those co authors, who are all cycling advocates in around the world. And within 24 or 48 hours, I got in touch with each and every one of them explain the situation I’m in a tight bind. And we I really think it’s crucial, absolutely crucial to have a chapter on advocacy. Because academics can have the best ideas in the world. If you can’t implement them, they’re worthless. And it’s the advocates that really help us implement these things, and generate that public support and political supports anyway, incredibly, I mean, I really do know these people, I’ve known that I’ve known Fiona ever since 2005, when I was on sabbatical in Sydney. And so I just got in touch with people I already knew. And they happen to be executive directors of these organisations. And, and they said, Yes, we’ll do it. And so within one month, that advocacy chapter was written And incredibly, we had three anonymous referees, and two of the three set said in the review that their advocacy advocacy chapter was their favourite. And we wrote it in the least time. What chat? What would you like to say all the differences?

Ralph Buehler 25:17
Do we have one, one more chapter that was added on evaluation by Bert van Wee, which we didn’t have before. So trying to get at how to decide what what bicycle project to build. And then a big chapter, a big addition and sort of carrying through all the chapters is, is this focus on equity. So we have a whole chapter on, on equity among groups of people who ride bikes, but also in bike planning and accessible bike planning. And we and then I would push a little bit back against your characterization in the beginning that we sort of wrote the back the book ends, and then corralled people to come in, I think we were much more involved as editors. So we, we tried to get everyone to have some aspects of equity in the, in the chapters to have a connection to sustainability. We also connected the chapters quite closely. And maybe it’s a little bit too much. But you should see many references from one chapter to the other while you’re reading the book, so we really were careful. editors, and many other edited books don’t work that way. I’ve written chapters for edited books, and the editors do very, very little, to make a cohesive whole out of the book. So we didn’t only get the great, a great group of people, but we also were able to sort of make it a book that’s, that’s connected, and then that’s together. And then one other point is, as you mentioned, that research and bicycling has been skyrocketing over the last 1015 years. And I saw that firsthand when I was was chair of the TRB. Committee for bicycle transport. But so we wanted to have experts in these subfields, to write the chapters to really get at the cutting edge of each field, we could have written a book, and we could have done a good job at it. But we wouldn’t have been able to get for all of these subfields into all of the details and at the cutting edge of each alone. And so finding these top experts in their subfields was was really crucial to make the book a success.

John Pucher 27:19
We had four. Okay, we’ll do this. This was the MIT Press wanted just a second edition of what we done before. And Ralph and I both said, No, that would be boring for us. And we want to produce a different book. It’s substantially different book, which it is. And but we somehow thought that well on the sort of second time around even though it’s a different book, that wouldn’t wouldn’t take as much time as I would just guess I’m Ralph can probably, I think it took three times more effort and more time. This second time around. I mean, again, we added so many new chapters, but we did a lot more coordination and editing. And they were just more checking, we have 21 chapters instead of 15 chapters. So there was more work there. And also, by the way, some of it, we didn’t just have the same author. So for example, the safety chapter is written by a completely different person with a very different perspective. And so something we did have, and also even the New York, London Paris chapter, the John Parkin, whose was the case study author there for London, he was a new author compared to the earlier edition. So we did switch out authors, we added new topics, it’s a three times more talk.

Carlton Reid 28:42
And it’s roughly 50/50 male authors and female authors.

John Pucher 28:48
And that would be even more than the scheduled. I mean, it’s the scheduled author who had to then drop out because of health reasons for the advocacy chapter was a woman. And then it just wasn’t our fault. But the heads of these advocacy organisations with a few exceptions, are men. And so that’s why then in that chapter, I think Fiona we see who else Fiona might be the only woman actually in the as a co author of that chapter. That’s very unfortunate, but it just, I had no choice. I left 24, 48 hours to find replacements for Karen who would originally

Ralph Buehler 29:27
I’m not sure how much this is indicative for us are the field of research. So as mentioned before with the Transportation Research Board is this big research organisation here in the US and they have committees for all sorts of transportation modes and infrastructures. And the committee for bicycle transport is one of the most diverse committees they have. Because the researchers are really diverse in the field. There are so many diverse …

Carlton Reid 29:54
Diverse in everything?

Ralph Buehler 29:59
Definitely men and women, many TLB committees have travelled to even find one woman in their area of research. And it’s also getting more diverse in terms of racial diversity. But it’s still lacking compared to society at large compared to the other TRB committees. It’s very diverse, even in terms of racial composition. And it’s also very diverse in terms of ages. There’s so many young researchers doing work on on Bicycle Transportation, but many of the other committees, it’s mainly older white men. And so the field of research itself, so the researchers are, are more diverse, I would say that then in other transportation areas,

John Pucher 30:38
by the way, one thing called the the woman that was originally scheduled to be the author of the advocate chat for I’m not gonna name her name, but she’s African American woman. And I mean, and I mean, and she was well qualified to do this, it’s just the health issues came up. And then I was just very disappointed that I think she might be I’m not sure about this, the only African American, she would have been the only African American among the authors. And I, we we certainly tried, but it was a last minute disappointment that you couldn’t do it.

Carlton Reid 31:14
So that’s, that’s something you’re going to have to do in the third edition, you’re gonna have to write it.

Ralph Buehler 31:21
I don’t think we really we have, I think it would happen naturally, by the end, give us another 10 years and the field will be will be also much more balanced in terms of race and ethnicity. Hmm.

Carlton Reid 31:33
So you talked there about all of the academic research that’s been done for bicycling, and all of the different people and young people who are now getting into academic research on bicycling? What about walking, how come walking falls between the stores, you get plenty people interested in, in motor cars, plenty people now seemingly interested in knowing bicycles, where’s all this fantastic research and advocacy for the world’s oldest form of transportation walking.

Ralph Buehler 32:08
So that there is work being done on walking and speaking from a Transportation Research Board perspective, again, that the walking committee was also growing and getting much more diverse as the bicycle committee was at the time. But you’re right, there wasn’t that that level of organisation and their level of interest in walking then there was in in bicycling. In terms of advocacy, and john can can attest to that. bicyclists are just very, very organised in groups. And they’re very good in influencing policy and creating energy around bicycling. One possibility may be mister speculation on my part that bicycling is more of an organised or special interest because you can identify the group of bicyclists versus pedestrians like everybody walks and everybody walks a little bit. And it’s much harder to organise people around that because it’s more of a common a common trait. We all share and it’s hard to get some money to pick that up for everyone while the cyclists are is sort of smaller, easier to organise.

Carlton Reid 33:17
Tribal, Ralph?

Ralph Buehler 33:20
Oh, I’m not sure what tribal I mean, I know the word but I don’t know what tribal means it has a negative connotation to me. So

John Pucher 33:27
if you look at the Netherlands, riding a bike is nothing special. Whereas if you look at Australia riding a bike is something special. So maybe it’s tribal in countries like Australia or the United States, but it’s certainly not tribal in in Denmark or the Netherlands or Germany. You posted a really interesting question. And I was I got a walking tour. by the hand of it was the Greater Sydney walk. organisation. I’m in a very small one. And we walk all around are much much of the Sydney Harbour. I said, we were staying nice. I said, why is it that you know, the cyclists are so well organised and there’s so much literature and interest in sight and cycling. And I don’t know if any, was very few organisations and he said, Well, walking is sort of like breathing, then you would think of forming an organisation for people who breathe. And the very fact that walking is sick considered so commonplace, it doesn’t have any, you don’t don’t brag too much about the shoes that you wear or the clothes you wear while you’re walking. People don’t really walk for walking clubs. It’s just, it’s just not. It’s not something that’s easy to organise around. Whereas cycling it’d be there’s all different groups of cyclists Of course, but the bike tours and special bike events and bike days and so forth, but even walk to work days walk to school days. It’s just doesn’t have the connotation of bike to work, like to school. It’s hard to explain it. But the other thing, there was a special issue I think was two years ago, of one of the top journals in transportation, its Transportation Research. A, I think it has its own policy, and it was a large issue, and they put out a big request for proposals. And it was specific, I’m walking and bicycling and it really I mean, they just do everything to get as many proposals they could get the the final issue ended up being, I don’t know, maybe 80% on cycling and 20% on walking.

Ralph Buehler 35:40
I’ve been to more thoughts on this, if you if you if you allow one is, I think that something that’s that’s so common as walking is is harder to organise people around an example maybe the bicycling research in Europe is emerged much later than it emerged here in the US. And I remember Kevin Krycek, who you know, as well, when he went to the Netherlands for at on a sabbatical for a year. When he arrived there, he told them that he studies bicycling at the university, and they looked at him and said, Really, what’s next, the professor on vacuuming. And

Carlton Reid 36:15
yeah, brush-your-teeth studies, that kind of thing.

Ralph Buehler 36:18
Because it was it was it was so it was so common. And now of course, we have macular premenstrual and they are moving along in this direction as well. But it took them longer to recognise it as something special. Because everybody icicle there. And then the other aspect is that data are hard to get for bike research, but it’s easier to study bikers bicycling than then walking and getting Ada on walkway networks on the quality of sidewalks, the location of crosswalks the quality of the crosswalks, it’s much harder than then getting the data on on bicycling even though that’s not easy compared to driving. So I think that they have an additional additional burden burden there in the bike in the walkway search as well.

Carlton Reid 37:02
But there is historical resonance there. Because whenever you go back, I don’t know how much you go back into, you know, deep history of this topic. But when you look at traffic statistics in say, the 1920s or 1930s, this is mainly in the US and in the in the UK, I’m not too sure about Germany, etc. But you always find statistics for cycling, and for motoring and the mode shares. And then you never find statistics for walking. It’s just walkers have always just seem to be invisible. But if you look at London, you know the majority form of transport in London, in in, in sending the City of London people on foot. So it’s just an invisible, you know, it’s hard to be a policymaker as well in this area, or to push policy because Yeah, everybody is a pedestrian. So why would you have to, you know, promote that?

John Pucher 37:56
You’re absolutely right. I know for certain that in the United States. And by the way, this is also true in eastern here that the travel surveys are free. They used to be who just did the US Census that we report to every well every 10 years on the trip to work. And but most any travel surveys on the Metropolitan level, the city level did not include walking or cycling at all, they only include motorised transportation. And then what was looking at the data for many Eastern European countries, they simply they just don’t have the data. They don’t include walking and cycling. In their in their travel surveys. It’s it’s very frustrating that somehow the way to save the invisible modes are not considered real transportation. And now here in the United States, they are, but they didn’t used to be and going back to say the first travel survey son in the 19, early 1960s. I think they were in various cities, there were these transportation studies, and they just did not study walking and definitely didn’t study cycling. You know, it’s really only it’s, I mean, by cycling has only recently I was I don’t know exactly when the first articles came up. But it was it was not that long ago. It was I mean, it was certainly not 50 or 60 years ago, it was more like maybe 2530 years ago or so that we started to get some research on cycling.

Ralph Buehler 39:22
Yeah, and certainly it’s been this the last point on there’s been more successful than then walking in and getting recognised like in the US now they are redoing this mu t CD, the manual of uniform traffic control devices, and this chapter on bicycling and it’s outdated, but there’s no chapter on walking in the whole uniform traffic control devices. And they added a chapter now on autonomous vehicles. That’s just more interesting. Something to plan for. But walking that has been around for hundreds of years is not even recognised in that

Carlton Reid 39:52
walking and cycling really shouldn’t be, you know, pulling apart they should be absolutely working on together. Now, on that note, I would now like to cut to an ad break, if you don’t mind to go across to my colleague, David.

David Bernstein 40:08
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Carlton Reid 41:34
Thanks, David. And we are back with Ralph Buehler. And John Pucher, not putcher as we found out before, I can’t do the glottal stop them afraid. Now, we’re talking about cycling in a second. So you know, in cycling for sustainable cities, and the new book from MIT, by Ralph and john, with all those bunch of experts among whom we talked about before now in the book in a current way exactly where it is, I’m not somewhere it talks about how this book was all of the statistics and book is absolutely super dense with statistics and tables and and everything you could possibly need for for for fact, checking stuff. But in the book, it does talk about COVID. And it mentioned Coronavirus in passing, because, you know, obviously happened as you are going to press almost do you think you might need perhaps even a whole new book on what’s going to be happening to walking and but mainly to cycling because of of COVID. So my question is really do you expect the amazing bike boom, which we have seen? Do you expect that to continue? 2, 3,4, 5 years after everybody’s been jabbed?

John Pucher 43:00
Yes. I don’t think it requires a new book, though. That is we as I think we sent you the the article we just published in the journal transport reviews, which looks at exactly this issue of the COVID impacts on cycling. And, oh, I don’t know how many different sources we looked at, maybe there were 25, or whatever, different studies, incredibly, a lot of interest in in this very topic of COVID impacts on cycling. And I mean, what they do show is overall, that they’ve increased there has been an increase in cycling between 2019 2020 but with a huge variation, obviously, during lockdowns when you weren’t allowed to travel at all, less cycling as well. But in most countries, most of the increase was in recreational cycling, cycling for exercise. So I think just to get outdoors, to have to sort of see other people with social distancing. And amazingly, the survey was done. The state showed that the main motivation for people to ride a bike for the first time or for the first time in a long time was for stress reduction and mental health. And the second most important reason was for physical exercise and and an hour. But the point is that it we so we really already have an update in that article. And I think that if MIT Press would let us do it. What we would probably try to do is to add a new chapter or an afterword or something like this in the book to update what has been happening due to COVID. Because I think we cover that fairly well. And I don’t think it would be necessary to update every single chapter, but rather just to update and by the way, even now, it’s it’s not 100% clear what is Definitely going to happen. But we do think and we give at the end of that article that we just published five reasons we that there’s been huge increases in in bicycling infrastructure of various kinds during the COVID period, that’s going to be there. So there’s going to be better infrastructure for cycling. In the coming years, we have people more people who have cycled who then may now have taken up the habit of cycling. And there was a study done here in the United States by people for bikes. And they found that it was something like 70% of people that they surveyed said, they intend to continue cycling after COVID. In addition to that, there was this huge shift of big decline in public transport use here in the United States, and I think in Europe as well. And some of those former public transport passengers have indeed shifted to bicycling because there’s more social distancing, and so forth. What were the other reasons we listed around Anyway, there’s many reasons why we think that the increase in cycling that we’ve observed in the in 2020, compared to 2019, will indeed continue into 2021, 2022, and so forth.

Ralph Buehler 46:14
And I don’t think we need to, we would need to rewrite the book, you would update the trends to to COVID. But all the strategies, the policies, the measures to increase cycling for everyone have have remained the same, that the policies we need to get people on bikes is to provide cycling environments that are free of fast, high volumes of motorised traffic, that increase increase the safety and attractiveness the same now, after a year in COVID, than it was before, we may have seen accelerated change in implementing these infrastructures, and accelerated change in getting people to try out bicycling or rediscover bicycling. But the the ideas on how to promote cycling that are in the book are still the same. And a lot of the fate of cycling past COVID now will depend on how many new facilities are built. And how many of the pop up bike lanes and the closed streets and all the things we saw will be made permanent or will just be rolled back in Washington DC, where I’m here, they’re just they’re rolling back the the shared streets and neighbourhoods, they’re just taking them out. And so we won’t have that benefit anymore. But in other cities, they have made infrastructures permanent, and they are keeping to increase bicycling friendly, friendly measures. So I think that the fate of this bike boom, we really depend on the policymakers underground and on the infrastructure on the ground to make places more bike friendly.

John Pucher 47:47
Okay, Carlton, that is one of the important lessons is, is an implementation, that one of the problems we’ve had definitely here in the United States, but also in Canada and Australia. And that is the near impossible that a very different company to impose any sort of car restrictive measures. That is restricting food traffic from local neighbourhoods, reducing speed limits, car free streets, shared streets, all of those sorts of things, and traffic, calming neighbourhoods in general. And what we found during and this is in many, many cities throughout the world, that all of a sudden things that we thought would be impossible, had been possible. So the most stunning thing for me was in New York City, I came over the exact mileage was over 100 miles of new york city streets were suddenly made car free exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists from 8am to 8pm. so that people could get outside and socially distancing, socialise with each other and have physical activity. I mean, that would have been unthinkable five or six years, two years ago. And there are other things shared streets and just we have a listing there but I mean, cities all over the world have been experimenting with things that that anti whatever I put the motorist extremist groups have opposed to No, no, no, no, no, you can’t take away our lanes. And indeed, you can put up pop up bike lanes and you can you can make cars, streets car free and expand outdoor restaurant space. All these things were, as Ralph said, they’re not they’re not on not all of them are going to continue. But it was interesting just it’s just fascinating how what is possible in a crisis situation, and that these measures which had would not have been possible before in the United States, especially, it was just incredible what has been been done.

Carlton Reid 49:52
You write in the book — this is a direct quote here now — you recommend basically so cities should make driving a car slower, more expensive and less convenient. So what an awful lot of bicycle advocates whether tribal or not, what they say is what we need to get people cycling, or more bike lanes, you know, forget everything else, just more bike lanes, that’s what will get people cycling. But one of the points you’re making in the book, and I’ve personally I absolutely agree with this is you’ve got to do both. You’ve got to it’s carrot and stick, you’ve got to Yes, provide immunities that are attractive for cycling. But you’ve also got to hit motorist over the head with a huge, huge, big stick. Ralph, would you would you write that particular sentence? Are you both in line with that? Are you are you thinking? Yes, you need that stick? Yeah?

John Pucher 50:50
I think we both are in line with it. And I was gonna just say it’s a pleasure to be interviewed by such a brilliant journalist who is in agreement with us. Because I absolutely mean, I think both of us completely agree with you that these these stick measures which are so difficult, are perhaps the most effective. And Ralph and I together with my former dissertation advisor at MIT, we did a case study of Vienna, Austria. And they had an extraordinarily successful policy over about three decades. They and their two main measures, this is not who they are, they increase cycling to from I think it was 2%. Now to 9% of all trips are by bike and Vienna. So they they have massive increase in in bike facilities, and many of them are protected bike lanes, but then they have a massive, they built a new metro system that will burn and they and then it continued to expand it and expand it. And at the same time, one of the most crucial policies was what they call parking management, restricting access. By the so many residential neighbourhoods, you can’t park there unless you’re a resident. In addition to which even if you’re able to park in a particular spot, there’s a time limitation as to one hour or two hours, which completely eliminated long distance commuting by car into the centre of Vienna. And so they provided people with the alternative of vastly improved public transport, while at the same time making it very expensive and very difficult to drive your car to the centre, and at the same time, vastly improving their cycling network, they ended up reducing the percentage of trips by car from 40%. me what was it rough, I think was 140 percent to 20% or something like that. It was one of the most dramatic reductions in car mode share that we have seen in any major city is just incredible. But that’s that truly is that combination of carrots and sticks.

Ralph Buehler 53:07
And they go together in multiple ways. So they go together to reduce car travel volume and to reduce car travel speed. And at the same time, that itself makes it more attractive to ride a bike. And then they go together in the sense that if you build good alternatives, you can implement more policies that restrict car use, because you can point drivers to other opportunities, they can ride a subway in the case of Vienna, or they can ride a bike. So these carrots and sticks go go together in in many ways. So less driving, make cycling safer, and and then better bike infrastructure makes cycling a more viable alternative. And you don’t need me to drive the big stick you mentioned and beating drivers with a big stick. I would I would object to that in the sense that if you look historically, we really have made every effort in the last 100 years to accommodate drivers to our cities, we have sort of given over city spaces, to storing cars or to moving cars, then we have rolled out the red carpet for automobiles and in this 70s many European cities started realising Well, there are many negative side effects, there are fatalities, there’s pollution, there’s a loss of quality of life, and they started pulling back then already, and now they are pulling back more. So I wouldn’t say it’s about hitting drivers with a big stick. But it’s ending these policies of accommodating cars everywhere in our cities, that don’t have to be cars in our city centres that don’t have to be car parking. facilities in in streets in our city centres. These are places where people live where people want to be outside. And we’re sort of correcting errors we have made historically, but this doesn’t mean we’re hitting them with a big stick. We’re just taking away a tonne of privileges that were given to The car over the last 100 years, they just have gone way too far and accommodating the car in our cities and the cars have destroyed many cities.

Carlton Reid 55:10
Ralph, I’m going to come to you with a question. But I’m going to ask John, the exact same thing. We’ll find out what you both think on this, but I asked you before about who wrote this particular sentence, and we didn’t get an answer to that. That’s not that’s not critical on each particular sentence. But my background, my academic background, many, many, many, many years ago as a as a just as a graduate student, was in biblical studies in effect, so I majored in Jewish texts. And so I’m in I was, at that time an expert in exegesis where I analysed texts. So in fact, the Bible to work out who were the original authors of those texts, so if you know anything about scriptural research, you know, you find that the word will say five or six common authors to say, you know, the some of the major books of the Bible. And you can you can work out stylistically who wrote that. And you get to these these these common authors, Could somebody now or in in that know, some, some future time, come to this book, your book? and go, Oh, yeah, john wrote that bit. Ralph wrote that bit? Or have you? Have you somehow been able to merge it and you know, academic could ever unpick the stuff in there. So Ralph, can you unpick who wrote what in the chapters that you you wrote?

Ralph Buehler 56:43
I think that the two answers to this one in terms of writing style, I think, yes, you will clearly be able to pick apart. But I wrote in what john wrote, I’m not a native speaker. So my language abilities in a foreign language are clearly more limited than what john has as a as a native speaker. And that is a very good writer in the native language. But, but most of the chapters and things we do together, how we work is we create outlines of of each chapter before we write it. And we sometimes even down to the level of of the each paragraph, and within each paragraph, what points we want to make and what we want to say. So in terms of the content, or the logic of the content of how we assemble things, I don’t think you’ll be able to pick it apart. So stylistically, I think you will be able to pick apart who wrote what, but I think in terms of the the logic or the thinking of the chapters, you will not be able to pick it apart because we are doing that really absolutely together.

Carlton Reid 57:46
John, same question to you.

John Pucher 57:49
I agree, in addition to which is looking at particular sentences, such as the one on the need to combine carrots and sticks, and so forth. We have written so many articles together and the the earlier book and, and and now this book that it’s like, we are almost of the same mind. We Ralph is is more focused, maybe on the analytical side and and I’m more focused maybe on just getting the writing style just just right. But just as Ralph said, we we outline the chapters we discuss which graphics do we think we want to include? And then as the graphics are being designed, Ralph is the graphics expert. But then No, no, no, no, I don’t like this underneath. And when you change this, we need to include this or not include that. So we really, when we when we we go through drafts, Ralph has lots of changes to the text as well. And sometimes they agree, sometimes I don’t and it goes, it really went back and forth, back and forth. Whether it was the graphics or or the tax, I think we both provided key inputs to each other really, we’ve worked on so many things together, that we’re a very we’re a team that we complement each other well. So we were sort of an integrated team. And certain things that I can’t do well, for example, graphics and any sort of regression analysis have that Ralph work on that. And he’s also very, very organised and structured. Whereas My specialty is more Does this make sense? Is this going to be understandable to a broad audience? Is it well written? Is it clear? Is it convincing? And I’m always in every single sentence I’m writing I’m asking sort of in the back of my head that question, is it well written in that sense, because it’s not our purpose to just appeal to academics? Our purpose is to appeal to a broader audience, including policymakers and advocates I mean, because if you can’t, if you can’t make a case and a clear understandable way clear English then It’s not going to have much impact. And the purpose of writing this book was not to make money, we make very, very little, for sure. And it wasn’t to become famous because of writing the book, it was to have hope that we can have an impact on policy. And that advocates, policymakers, planners, engineers can use this book to improve cycling conditions around the world.

Carlton Reid 1:00:23
And we’ve talked about the impact of Coronavirus on on bicycling levels in the next 10 years say, but what about might you even need a paper or chapter or an update to your book on the Buttigieg factor? So Mayor Pete? How, how optimistic should we be that the very warm words in which he is saying one word about cycling will come through to both actual policy and actual money and then actuality on the ground?

John Pucher 1:00:59
He can encourage? I mean, there’s only so much discretion he has as Secretary of Transportation, and what money gets allocated for what purposes, is going to be determined by Congress. And, for example, what I see and this, these are all proposals that hasn’t been passed yet. A huge amount, I can retirement $70 billion, or something like that, to promote electric cars. And lots of money for for this that and I don’t know how many billions, hundreds of billions for approving roadways. And I really I didn’t see any line item there for walking and cycling. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. But however, the New York Times reported it, it didn’t show up. And I’m thinking, well, the whole point of this is what what he a Secretary of Transportation can do. I mean, he has influence, he can encourage people in his department to do whatever they can to promote cycling, to end walking as well and to enable programmes to they can issue the directives or departmental directives, our policy guidelines, but the funding itself is really determined by Congress, there is some discretion of funding where the Secretary of Transportation does to have discretion. So he certainly has his heart in the right place. I mean, the words of the right place. But I am not aware that Pete Budaj edge cycled to work on a regular basis. So I’m really just not sure, I think I think it depends really, on what Congress does. And then also, much of those, much of the funding gets channelled to the States. And the states ultimately make some of the decision a lot of your marketing as well. But the states will make many of the decisions and many of the states are not necessarily as pro bike as we would like them to be.

Carlton Reid 1:02:57
So Ralph, John isn’t isn’t so sure. How about you?

Ralph Buehler 1:03:01
I would also say that, for your question, that it would be premature to write a chapter about the bootie judge factor, we’ll have to wait and see if there is a Buttigieg factor as you as you said, there are words that point in the right direction, the background is encouraging that we have a transport secretary who who was a mayor, and who knows the urban transport needs and knows urban transportation, so that there could be good good things to come. But in the end, there will be many, many constraints with federal legislation with finding federal funding, I think they’ll be able to move the needle more towards more bike friendly, and they can help the local level. But a lot will also depend on the end on on the willingness of local governments to make these changes and implement these changes and change their their transport systems to be more friendly, towards bicycling and, and walking. So I’m cautiously optimistic. In the past, if you look at past us transport legislation, where bicycling and walking receive more money, that the trend had always been towards growing the pie. So walking and cycling back money, I’ve got more money, but there was even more money for driving and more money for transit. And that made everybody happy because you didn’t have to make a compromise. We don’t seem to be so, so lucky financially these days. So we’ll have to see what happens when politicians actually have to make these trade offs and take money away from one mode and shift it to the other. And as john said, there is a lot of excitement around electric vehicles, about autonomous vehicles, there’s going to going to be money put into into those areas as well and the transport Secretary alone cannot cannot shift these, these priorities. So

Carlton Reid 1:04:51
Sorry, sorry, kind of interrupting because they just come into my head, but AOC has been, you know, championing electric cars in just the last day or so. And you know, She seemed to be a very leftist, a very progressive member of Congress. And yet here she is plugging for wonderful, better word, electric cars, which we know is not the future because of all sorts of different issues. But the most progressive members of Congress are plugging just same old thing. It’s just a car.

Ralph Buehler 1:05:22
But progressiveness does not always translate into being pro sustainable transportation. I mean, during that when Joe Biden was the vice president and the 2008 financial crisis, a lot of the money went into the car industry. And there were these Cash for Clunkers programmes to help sell new cars, because the interest was in saving workplaces, in the car industry. And they are also a big constituent of, of progressive politicians. So progressive politicians does not always mean sustainable transport. And sometimes it sometimes means that

Carlton Reid 1:06:00
AOC is pretty much shown she’s not really that much of a radical at all.

John Pucher 1:06:04
That’s right.

Carlton Reid 1:06:04
People paint her as radica but she is like not radical. That is absolutely what everybody in America has been saying for the last 100 years. Oh, come on, get with get with the programme. So let me just say, I am very, very aware that we’re now 70 minutes into recording and I said, we’ll be done within an hour. So I’m aware of that. But very, very quickly, is cycling, left wing or right wing Ralph?

Ralph Buehler 1:06:29
I don’t think cycling would have to be left or right wing. For example, John mentioned the city of Munster in Germany, which is a 40% bike share the city of Munster with one exception for four years, they had a social democrat other than that they always had a conservative mayor. In Winston it’s as as politically sad comes it’s a conservative German city. So bicycling can be can thrive in a conservative.

Carlton Reid 1:06:54
That’s that’s unfair, because you’re talking about Europe. Of course, I should rephrase the question. In America and by extension in the UK, is cycling left wing or right wing?

Ralph Buehler 1:07:05
forget Europe, I would still maintain that cycling itself doesn’t have to be right or left wing. But it is spun very often as a left and right wing issue. And the it’s fun as a left wing issue for promoting cycling or being environmentally friendly. But I do not think that protecting the environment, getting physical activity. And all of these things have to be leftist leftist issues. But that’s the way that’s the way it’s it’s fun. I remember a presentation via a city planner from the city of Freiburg who was in in New York City, and he recommended the bus only lanes be implemented on certain avenues. And he was sort of run out of town as a left wing socialist, but it’s only about moving people efficiently. Down a roadway without traffic congestion. So many of these things get get caught up in the politics and the politics of the day. But I don’t think they have to be they have to call it political necessary in

Carlton Reid 1:08:08
Fascist states were very famous for even though it wasn’t isn’t true, you know, their trains running on time. So you can be ultra ultra right wing and want transportation to work, yeah?

John Pucher 1:08:20
I got to give you a southern view here. So I’m in North Carolina, unfortunately, state that voted for Trump, both times incredibly. And my favourite bike shop. I’ve got Ron, they’re constantly on bike repair centre, and the election where Trump got elected. I was absolutely appalled. There was this big sign on his front door, Trump pence and thinking, Oh, I thought bicyclists were progressive. And then I got to talking to more and more cyclists on the green right here in Raleigh. And many of them have Yeah, I didn’t yell and scream at them. I thought, okay, we’ll just not discuss politics. But I was amazed at how many cyclists I found out, we’re pro Trump, and we’re Republican, and yet very Pro Cycling. So at least here in North Carolina, being pro cycling has nothing whatsoever to do with being leftist or rightist. It just doesn’t. Okay.

Ralph Buehler 1:09:31
And then the one comment you made sort of as a joke, but with the fascist systems and transport. In Germany, for example, the fascists tried to brand themselves as those who created the autobahns and all that. But if you really look at the history, the autobahns they built, they were planned in the 1920s way before they came to power. They were even autobahn stretches that were built and then the fascists downgraded them to local roads to be the one To open the first autobahn, so I don’t think this necessarily has to have a political orientation dimension to it.

Carlton Reid 1:10:08
Tell me about where we people can get this book from, maybe they’ve had “City Cycling,” and now they should get ‘Cycling for Sustainable Cities.” So where can people get this from, first of all? And then secondly, how can people find out more about you guys? So john, you tell us where we get the book from? And then you tell us where people from find information from and then Ralph can take over?

John Pucher 1:10:32
The book is available in virtually every single online bookseller that I’m aware of. I’m not sure if it’s in all that many bookstores. But it’s definitely in the Amazon. There’s every conceivable, and I mean, there’s dozens and dozens of online sites where the book can be ordered. It costs

Carlton Reid 1:10:56
$30, for an academic, you know, big, big dense things. But that’s not bad that 30 bucks is pretty good.

John Pucher 1:11:01
It’s pretty good for given that it’s almost 500 pages long. So be that’s a bargain, I’d say for for 30 $30. Or bike is about 20 pounds, or 21 pounds, something like that.

Carlton Reid 1:11:14
So John, where where can people find out about you?

John Pucher 1:11:18
All they have to do is put in my name into Google, they’ll find out everything they need.

Carlton Reid 1:11:23
Cos you’re not really on social media…

John Pucher 1:11:25
I don’t do social media. I’m so old fashioned, I don’t do Facebook or Twitter or anything like that. I don’t.

Carlton Reid 1:11:32
But that’s something in common with Trump, then

John Pucher 1:11:38
well, you know, I must,

John Pucher 1:11:40
I must tell you that I have a friend or a friend of my age, and they had been doing social media. And then they said, they found they were wasting so much of their time just responding to tweets or looking at Facebook postings and this and the other they said, they just they said, Forget it. You know, I’m just not doing this. It’s just a waste of my time. With me, it’s just I’ve never gotten into it in the first place. It’s just not my thing.

Carlton Reid 1:12:08
And Ralph will now know where the book is from we now john isn’t on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram. Just like his big fan. President ex President Trump. So Ralph, how about you? Where can people find out about you?

Ralph Buehler 1:12:23
I’m on Twitter. And it’s @Buehler_Ralph. I also have my own WordPress website. It’s called, it’s Ralphbuehler.wordpress.com. And I’m on I’m on LinkedIn as well. Not on not on Instagram. And then you have these these other things. But that’s my that’s my social media.

John Pucher 1:12:46
I would like to clarify one thing, lest anyone misunderstand. I hate Trump even more than cars. And that’s a lot.

John Pucher 1:12:58
You cannot possibly imagine. He made the past four years hell for me. I mean, I can’t tell you how much sleep I lost. Oh, oh, well, let’s not go there.

Carlton Reid 1:13:15
Wonderful. Well, that book ended the show wonderfully because that’s that’s how we came in. You said you hate cars. And now you say yeah, you hate cars, but you hate Trump even more. Wonderful. Thank you very much to both of you for for being on today’s show.

Carlton Reid 1:13:31
Thanks to Ralph Buehler and John Pucher there and thanks to you for listening to the Spokesmen Cycling Podcast. Show notes and more can be found on the-spokesmen.com. The next show will be released tomorrow, 9th May, and is a chat with Chris and Melissa Bruntlett who’ll be telling me about their soon to be published book, “Curbing Traffic,” the human case for fewer cars in our cities … but meanwhile get out there and ride.


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