UPDATED : Yet Another Reason to Make “Kissy-Face” With Motorists


Jonathan Maus of BikePortland writes:

As PBOT grapples with a $4.4 million budget gap for the upcoming fiscal year, yesterday they proposed $1.5 in cuts that would directly impact biking and walking projects and programs.

Members of the PBOT Budget Advisory Committee heard about the proposed cuts at their meeting last night (the second of three meetings before the budget proposal moves into a public process phase). PBOT spokesman Dan Anderson confirmed the proposal with me today.

Of the $4.4 million in total needed cuts, $1.8 million will be slashed from projects and $2.6 million will come from operations/programs.

See the complete cut proposal here (PDF).

Times are getting tougher for cyclists because the choices are. Here in Chicago headlines read:

Chicago Wants to Pay Diesel Truckers to Swap for Electric Vehicles

“The city is encouraging companies to invest in electric vehicles in order to incrementally improve Chicago’s air quality while helping to advance these emerging transportation technologies,” Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein said in a statement. “By offering a voucher at the point of sale, rather than as a post-sale rebate, we hope that more companies will be encouraged to participate in the program.”

And yet ChainLink’s urban cyclist crowd wants to hold the line on “in-your-face” politics with threads like this:

Use your directional

Posted by Derek on November 28, 2012

repost from reddit–


Adolf Hitler, pictured in 1930, is believed to have first documented his anti-Semitic beliefs in the Gemlich letter, written in 1919 – Getty Images

Would that I had a nickel for every time I witnessed a cyclist

  • make turns without using hand signals, or
  • running red lights or
  • blowing stop signs or
  • snaking between cars and buses (passing on the left of the buses) when waiting in line for the light to change

I’d be a very wealthy man indeed. The use of signals is absolutely vital. But what will become even more vital is a bit of civility where our fellow road riders are concerned. The “holier-than-thou” attitude towards anyone either

  • using a motorized vehicle or
  • suggesting that public transportation riders who dislike increased fare consider driving instead

is wearing a bit thin. Perhaps the very best thing that could happen is for monies for pretty green bike lanes to nearly dry up and then cyclists have to come “hat-in-hand” to lobby for more money to complete the job. Then and perhaps only then will the arrogance take a big enough hit to bring our nose elevation down to eye-level and for once we can begin to see ourselves as fellow travelers rather than God’s Army against pollution and sloth.

Maybe we need for all the vegans on the ChainLink Forum to begin to “talk down” to the meat eaters? That would cause a ruckus in short order and provide a teachable moment, perhaps. But until that time the fascists in the ChainLink ranks will continue to act like Republicans who are wandering around wondering why they lost an election they should have handily won, not realizing that their arrogance and inability to compromise was what killed their chances.

Do we humans always have to relearn everything? Is the ever any chance of us learning from the mistakes of others?

Yes, We Do Have To Keep Learning the Same Lessons – Think Ground Hog Day

In a “take no prisoner” show of stupidity and arrogance that would make Allen West proud we have this new assessment by a ChainLinker:

Reply by Don 5 hours ago

Firstly, can the OP change the thread title to $86 just to be accurate?

Secondly, I’ve done the math and it makes sense for me to switch to single fare going forward.  Wish it wasn’t that way but it is.

Thirdly, the CTA doesn’t care because there’s no incentive for them to subsidize more riders.  They could get a million riders more per day and be in an even deeper hole since transit funding in the region is not at all based on ridership.

Fourthly, the proposed fare increase is a way for the CTA to spin “no fare increase, just a decrease in the discount for the passes”.  Sucks, but it’s true.

Fifthly, Rahm is an asshole.  Might as well use the same logic and say “Chicago’s too expensive?  You can always move to Lockport.”

Yes, you do have to vote with your pocketbook sometimes. Densely populated cities are both a blessing and a curse. What makes bicycle commuting even remotely interesting is the fact that you can live on either end of the city (north side or south side) and get to the middle in about 15 miles. This is a relatively short distance. So it means that folks who have little in the way of long distance bicycle experience (doing centuries and the like) can suddenly become daily commuters who arrive in about an hour (assuming that they are blow stop lights and signs like crazy).

And what Emanuel is indicating is that when you consider the assorted costs of driving, increased insurance rates, parking the fare increase might not seem so onerous. But even if you disagree with is alternate suggestion he is correct in offering automobiles, since frankly most Chicagoans are not going to consider bicycling because frankly it is inconvenient, requires physical skills beyond the average person over 30 years of age and even requires a complete change of clothing and a place to shower (depending on whether you perspire, you do perspire don’t you?)

Cyclists can look at these facts in one of several ways:

  • They can accept the simple fact that when it comes to considering riding through parts of town that most folks fear, public transportation vs. driving are the only options
  • Cycling is too physically aggressive for a nation of folks who are both overweight, and under-exercised. Sure beginning the process of cycling might be a good idea, but we are talking about what you need to do this coming Monday when you decide whether to buy a new monthly pass or not.
  • Bicycles do not rise to the level of serious transportation in a nation where owning and driving an automobile is a rite of passage, kinds like smoking your lungs out or drinking ale until you are too blotto to find your bike after the most recent ChainLink bar night. Get your head on straight cyclists, your world view is simply not taken seriously.
  • Cyclists have such a small portion of the general populations hearts and minds that it does not pay to piss off the few politicians who are willing to acquiesce to your expensive and petulant tastes. Pissing off your friends in high places is like belching at the table during a State Dinner.
  • Stop acting like a bunch of Fascists Tea Party Republicans. Get over yourselves. Think about whether you get more votes from the Hispanic community by putting forth meaningful immigration reform or you get to be a True Patriot while telling the bastards to either “self deport” or we will do it for you.
  • Cyclist is not a religion. It is simply one additional means of getting back and forth from work. Bikes as Mikael Colville-Andersen likes to point out are far too precious in the minds of Americans. They need to be sold as if they were washing machines. If you are going to every aspire and reach the status of Bicycle Heaven here on Automobile Earth you will need to get over the prissy, matching handlebar tape and rim phase of cycling addiction and move on the embrace the clunker style of bike.

Embrace The Real Cycling Future

In Bicycle Heaven the streets will not be paved with fixed gear bikes, they will be clunkers. To understand just how far apart reality is from what True Believers are imagining you have to read the responses to this article on Bike Share system here in Chicago:

Reply by John Greenfield on Monday

Let me double-check this. I thought I heard that Chicago’s bikes would feature airless tires, which are literally flat-proof, as was the case with Long Beach’s bike share program: http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/long-beach-announces-bike-sharing-p…

However I see that Bixi bikes in Toronto, the same type we’re getting, feature heavy-duty tires filled with nitrogen so they lose air less quickly: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/taking-a-ride-on-boriss-hot-wheels-h…

I’ll check in with CDOT and get back to you.

Reply by Tony Adams on Monday

Thanks John. Airless on already heavy three speeds could make for a pretty pokey ride.

Amsterdam Bike Parking
© StreetsBlog

Chicago Cycling Fascists are just certain that they will enter the Promised Land with bikes pretty enough to warrant a photograph of them on your profile page. Sorry folks but have you taken a look recently and just how silly that notion really is?

The folks at StreetsBlog have a picture of bike parking that is highly sanitized over some of the ones I have seen recently where bikes are literally being piled on one another in ways that would make the average pedalphile vomit at the thought.

If you cannot get over the idea of having a bike that weighs more than you do and has only three speeds, comes with a light on the front and rear and utilizes fenders and kickstands that my friend, you are in a for a very big surprise. You are definitely not ready for the Promised Land.

Oh, and one more thing. In that Bicycle Heaven here on Automobile Earth you have to walk, yes I said walk to your office the last few blocks. Nothing speaks commitment like having to park in a lot with hundreds if not thousands of other bikes and then hoofing it to the office. Right now ChainLinkers are chagrined at the thought of having to walk to and from the Millenium Park site:

Reply by BalloonBiker on August 25, 2008 at 12:11pm
Eh, it’s okay if you work at the Aon or Prudential towers, but I found that it wasn’t convenient for me.

I started going in March of 2007 and it was handy, until I found out that my workplace at the time had a bike room, so i just started parking my bike there and taking it easy on the commute and getting changed at work.

It just didnt’ seem worth it to me to bike to work and then still have to walk 5 blocks to get to the office. It made it a very long commute.

Now if a True Believer has this much of a problem hoofing it why express confusion over mere mortals and sinful suburbanites being unwilling to ride into work on their bikes? Gosh, to listen to this story of extreme physical hardship I am breaking out in a cold sweat even as I type this. Whew! I need to go and get a latte or something fuzzy foamy, any suggestions? I’ll be right back.

Maybe Rahm Emanuel has a very good point. You either cough up the extra monies or you drive your car. Welcome to the adult world folks. Junior High is far, far behind you.