Two-for-one videos this weekend, starting with the time Not Just Bikes went to paradise and discovered it wasn’t quite idyllic. About the size of Amsterdam, The Bahamas’ main island of New Providence features sun, surf, and crippling traffic with a complete lack of public transportation. Come for the aerial shots of beautiful and walkable all-inclusive resorts, and stay for the time consuming jitney rides everywhere else. Touring the region with native son reveals how much Bahamians rely on their cars in a place that should be a cycling paradise.
Which brings us to the companion video where Foreign Man in a Foreign Land talks about the challenges he faced touring his own hometown on foot. He then goes much deeper into the history that created not just the massive traffic snarls, but also the stark divisions of poverty and race. “Our administrators still take into consideration the plantation tourism based model into our urban planning,” he says. “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.”
As pointed out, The Bahama’s acute level of segregation has its roots and parallels in many of the same problems in the United States. While our economy is somewhat more diverse, the draw of tourism dollars is never too far from justifying every bad idea. It’s useful to note as Seattle’s cruise season gets underway, and helpful to remember as the very different city of Juneau, Alaska makes moves to limit cruises docking in their town.
Ray Dubicki is a stay-at-home dad and parent-on-call for taking care of general school and neighborhood tasks around Ballard. This lets him see how urbanism works (or doesn’t) during the hours most people are locked in their office. He is an attorney and urbanist by training, with soup-to-nuts planning experience from code enforcement to university development to writing zoning ordinances. He enjoys using PowerPoint, but only because it’s no longer a weekly obligation.