Correpsondent Pascal van den Noort sends news of this project that his organization, Velo Mondial is working on in Qatar. The ruler of Qatar, Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani wants to get his people riding bicycles. One of the challenges in accomplishing this goal is the fact that, for much of the year, Qatar is hotter than a blast furnace.
Fortunately, when you’ve got a pannier full of oil money, 115 degree daytime temperatures are no big deal. The Emir hired the Rand Corporation and Rand proposed a 30 kilometer shaded, solar-powered, mist-cooled bike path. The Emir gave the green light and with no cumbersome democratic processes to get in the way the project sailed through to approval (Qatar is similar to Brooklyn like that).
It almost makes you think that if we want to start getting things done in this town, we need to replace New York City’s inefficient plutocracy with a straight-up monarchy. King Weiner anyone?