The ChainLink Crowd Is Still Snarling… Gotta Get Popcorn…

Summary

In case you forgot this start of this entire thing:

Photo documentation of poor condition of new bike lanes from unexpected source…
Posted by Team h’ 1.0 on February 11, 2013 at 8:06am

Courtesy of Second City Cop:
http://secondcitycop.blogspot.com/
(courtesy of Joe F on BCHI list)

On-SarcasmSecond City Cop is a blog which managed to capture images made evidently from inside a cop SUV of a bike lane in the city which was painted over very bad pavement and offered as evidence of a newly minted protected bike lane. This would be like taking your discarded rag doll and slipping a large stocking over her, painting lipstick on it and presenting it to your favorite niece as new. You get the picture…

It got ugly for a while and then last night it seemed to have died down. But venom will out…

Reply by william 18 hours ago
oh, no. pot holes. that never happens, ever.

big deal. upgrade to fat tires and blow through them.

Will here is trying feign shock and horror at anyone complaining about potholes. Frankly, I wish this same attitude was displayed every time someone on the ChainLink decided that anyone using the bike lane for some temporary activity or another was spotted. Or what about letting the fact that people shovel snow into the street which when the bike lane is along the curb means bicyclists have to actually steer around it. But hey, I’m getting in the way of the great dialogue coming up…

Reply by Team h’ 1.0 18 hours ago
You have failed to understand the situation entirely.

Reply by Team h’ 1.0 18 hours ago
There’s more to the story of how something so collosally wrong could make it to implementation.
I think somewhere down the chain there’s someone who was committed to having the lanes fail.

Looks as if someone should call Alex Jones. We have a conspiracy theory to discuss…

Reply by David P. 14 hours ago
I think I’d rather have good pavement everywhere than all the new bike lanes, PBLs, etc. I might just settle for non-shitty pavement.

Reply by James BlackHeron 14 hours ago
I’d rather have bad pavement and no cars, than good pavement and cars. The better the pavement the faster the cars go -and the more cars there are every year.
Build roads, and cars will come.
We should have left all the streets unpaved.

Okay, this was the point where we left this thread earlier. James wants to have the streets torn up and left unpaved to help reduce congestion on the roadways. I kinda wonder though isn’t that gonna wreak havoc on emergency vehicles and garbage pickup to say nothing of delivery trucks dropping off HoHos and Twinkies. I know Jim really loves these, so perhaps he misspoke.

Does anyone else get the feeling that Urban Cyclists (and ChainLinkers in specific) are dwelling in some sort of beer-induced haze inside a bubble of gigantic proportions? Maybe the influence of the Active Transportation Alliance ought to be investigated since they appear to be the only vehicle anyone on this forum calls for when they need a link to the power of activism. Maybe I should check my membership envelope to see whether small capsules of some hallucinogenic powder were overlooked when I removed our membership cards.

Reply by Jeff Markus 13 hours ago
But so many missed the irony of the web site being linked to NRA, Ill Rifle and police blogs that have decidedly racial and social bias’. While the point we take from this is bike oriented the web site was promoting an anti bike/antibike lane agenda sponsored by a strongly right wing anti social site.

OK, OK, OK we need the press but if the source is running down potential backing for bike positive city actions then we lose. I am not saying the Rahm (or Daley started ) bad surface lanes are good…far from it these bad facilities are worse than leaving us in traffic (if they’d clean up pavement all the way to the curb) without trying to “educate by paint” with these lanes and I agree with the site (chainlink and Second City Cop) in believing these bad facilities are a waste of money BUT we must start somewhere and if we can put pressure on converting these bad facilities into better…heck lets go for GOOD… then lets do it not promote detractors that would eliminate ALL bike facility and probike action because “ITS JUST A WASTE OF OUR MONEY”

We need to watch who we jump into bed with when we join forces for our purposes.
Jeff

I kinda like that bit about the “decidedly racial and social bias” of the Second City Cop site and its affiliate organizations like the NRA and IRA. Does no one else see that this would be the ChainLink pot calling the SCC kettle black. Among the most biased and bigoted folks I have encountered are members in good standing on the ChainLink Forum. So why even bring up that sort of thing?

As for the Right Wing Agenda it is no more toxic than a Left Wing Agenda. In fact I am beginning to doubt that they are not identical. In essence both want to reshape society to their own ends. The difference at the end of the day is which specific group of bigots gets to rule. Do I want my leaders to have white shirts and ties or nose rings, tattoos and stocking caps? Does it really matter?

Reply by Team h’ 1.0 11 hours ago
Oh, c’mon Jeff– why does your little script dictate that everyone’s an idiot and only you can see through to the truth of the matter?
There is absolutely no evidence in this thread that anyone failed to recognize where SCC was coming from, and even less than no evidence that anyone had any inclination to “join forces.”

Reply by Andrew Bedno 8 hours ago
There are some briefly awesome stretches. Anything freshly resurfaced is a Teflon dream on skates.
But great chunks of Chicago bike lanes seem like scraps they threw us as a token gesture. Where pavement falls off and glass collects, where it’s too crappy for moving cars, greenwash it. Thanx for the reminder that there’s a matter of accountability.

The beauty of listening in on these conversation (which apparent the Right Wing Bigots hold behind closed keyboards) is the Left Wing Bigots seldom wrap themselves in the American Flag. They prefer to use the flags or either Denmark or Holland. And instead of Ronald Reagan as their patron saint they cling to the notion of something a bit more abstract Social Progress.

But like the Right Wing Bigots who found themselves stunned, simply stunned that Hispanics would turn away from the GOP in droves because of their abuse language when referring to undocumented immigrants and their plight, Left Wing Bigots figure that anyone who does not accept their estimation of how life should be on urban roadways (including those like myself who love bicycling) is anti-cycling. Wrong!

Despising hypocrites who want everyone driving cars to be taxed out of their “tiny little minds” but go into apoplectic shock at the notion that Metra might want them to pay their fair share comes easy to most people. If they were not so arrogant you might feel sorry for their plight in fighting traffic on busy urban streets. But after so much blather about how terrible automobiles and their drivers are I am beginning to get an idea about a lovely arcade game where the points are highest when ChainLinkers are involved.

Halting Social Progress comes whenever the social engineering plan-of-the-day (in the minds of our current thread contributors, that means Protected Bike Lanes) gets some pushback from politicians in Springfield or City Hall or Washington D.C. ask for accountability and not rhetoric. Asking for proof yet again that what is being done locally is really going to work is a no-no in the minds of Left Wing Agendists.

Reply by Juan Primo 4 hours ago
Andrew has it right.
I have a fear about drivers reactions to bike lanes. The more we consider the bike lane “ours”, then the more that cars will feel that the other traffic lanes are not ours. I’m not comfortable riding the Dearborn PBL. I ride fast and the PBL is too narrow for that, especially if pedestrians will continue to jaywalk across it. My last time on Dearborn, a cop yelled at me to get back in my lane. (No time to yell back, I was riding fast.

Reply by David P. 3 hours ago
Oh, and safe bridge and river crossings. Sure, I like riding downtown from my office on Elston and Kinzie, but if I had those two things everywhere I’d give up all the other stuff. This is, to a degree, settling for ‘good enough’ but we’re not Amsterdam and I’d love just the basics being right, please. Kthx.

Juan is “spot on” here. In terms that even a Left Wing Agenda lover can understand, whenever you have policies like Affirmative Action you run the risk of having your personal efforts tarnished as largesse from Liberals and not self-advancement. Having these lanes become the “crutch” that they have become for groups like the Active Transportation Alliance is dangerous. They have pushed for this kind of cycling infrastructure and have failed to confess that it has become the “only spot” for cyclist.

We are slowly being squeezed into our very own “segregated neighborhood“. This is the Jim Crow version of traffic calming. When StreetsBlog posted that the Governor was ruining things on streets like Jackson Boulevard because he was disallowing it and others to be converted into Protected Bike Lanes one had to wonder why this was a problem?

As it turns out because we have jettisoned Vehicular Cycling as an everyday strategy for dealing with riding in traffic in favor of this faux European bicycle track it meant there were things about making turns which newbies would not understand. It would take a longtime rider to realize that if a lane placement on Jackson made a right turn impossible onto Morgan Street without moving from the bicycle lane to the rightmost lane that was what they must do. In a Vehicular Cycling world this would have been obvious.

But there is no longer a Vehicular Cycling world on the horizon of the Left Wing Mafia that now rules the Active Transportation Alliance. We are now being told that the lanes themselves will tell us how and where to be to do what is needed. Evidently that applies only to Protected Bike Lanes. And in their absence bicyclists would actually have to think for themselves and that of course is dangerous. It might mean that something as using as Effective Cycling would have to go into another printing and be sold to bicyclists who are taking classes from LCIs.

In that sort of world the Active Transportation Alliance has much less clout. This is reminiscent of the squabble between casino owners and slot machines salesmen who each want to control how the public squanders its wages. The funny thing about Capitalism is that everybody is for competition until it reaches their economic sector. And then all heck breaks loose and they want to have barriers erected by the same legislature they were railing against in the past election for denying them the tax loopholes they so richly deserve.

If you remove the presence of the pretty green lanes then Active Transportation Alliance has little to “sell” to its membership. In the past groups like this were all abuzz about getting bike trails for use by cyclists once a railway was abandoned. That sort of thing has somewhat gone out of style. Now the shiny new bauble for suburbanites and city dwellers alike to gaze at are the pretty green lanes.

Reply by David P. 3 hours ago
The irony of what you’re saying is that cycling clubs were a major force behind the smooth paving of streets in American cities in the first place. (!)

Reply by Zoetrope 3 hours ago
Aren’t there something like 50 aldermen in Chicago? Imagine the push and pull trying to get funding for something your district needs, competing with 50 other people (including Rahm, whom you have to bribe somehow so he doesn’t ‘forget’ about you).

Reply by James BlackHeron 2 hours ago
I second the need for safe-passage across the rivers and expressways. These tend to be awfully daunting to many riders and act like barriers to bike travel outside of isolated neighborhoods
To make things worse these bridges and over/underpasses tend to fall on Aldermanic boundaries which turns them into turf disputes or just ignored in general by said Aldermen. Add in the fact that many of these routes across the barriers are IDOT roads, which suffers from their famous anti-bike/pro-car bias, and we have a recipe for a lot more ghost bikes at each of these crossings, such as the the one at the meat-grinder intersection of Logan & Western and many more like it.

Reply by James BlackHeron 2 hours ago
I’m well aware of this irony and the history behind the paving of roads due to bicyclists pushing for better roads to ride upon.

But like Kevin Costner showed us in Field of Dreams, build it and they will come (cars, that is.)

Wide, paved, fast roads just attract cars and car-drivers. They encourage sprawl and for people to live, work, and play further and further afield. The easier and cheaper it is for this lifestyle the faster it excellerates. The real problem with roads is that is actually subsidized this lifestyle by transferring the real costs from the folks who abuse the system to the collective whole and there is no financial incentive for folks to conserve or rein in their driving. It’s like a condo with “free” heat and “free” hot water. Of course it is not “free” but just included with the assessment but folks don’t feel the pain of excess personally as it is spread around to everyone and they don’t realize they are paying more.

There is little or no inducement to conserve at the personal level because what is in it for them? If trying hard to conserve heat and hot water has almost no effect on the condo assessment bill why bother? Just turn the heat up to 80 and if it is too hot then crack open a window in February.

The same goes for the nice smooth roads. Why not buy a second or third car and move out into the burbs with a 40-mile drive to work? Everyone else is doing it and it’s cheap & easy…

Reply by Adam Herstein (5.5 mi) 2 hours ago
Makes sense, and explains why driving goes down when gas prices increase, at it’s seen as a direct fee for driving. But there’s a lot that can be done even given the status-quo of federal/state funding for highways. The biggest thing is to get rid of free parking. If you had to pay to park at the local Wal-Mart parking lot, then you’d think twice about taking the car out. But as you said, the price of parking is included in the prices of goods purchased and is not directly felt by consumers, so people see it as “free parking”. If cities could make it expensive and difficult to find parking while improving transit, then the trend of increased car travel can be reversed (and already is in many cases). Of course, having people actually live in the city center is vital.

In addition, increased traffic congestion decreases driving habits as well. If you know you’d have to sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic for an hour, you might not drive as much, or move closer to where you work. Tolls can also help drivers feel the direct price of driving. IMO, every single highway should be tolled. It seems crazy to me that all of the expressways entering Chicago are free.

There are many ways to get drivers to feel the direct cost of driving. Money is a great motivator.

Reply by Jeff Markus 1 hour ago
Well I’ve been taken to task for things I didn’t mean or imply. The SCC site IS a detractor of the bicycle movement and you don’t find that unless you’ve delved into the substance of their articles and links.

Many do not dig into the meat and even fewer decypher the quality of the message.

I am sorry if anyone was offended but none had raised the issue of the intent of the SCC posts or remarked on the bias of even that one posts content. This was not an assault on anyones intellegence but was an observation that it is very easy to miss even powerful messages if you don’t dig alittle deeper and read the intent and content on this devious source we call the web.

The admonition to be cognizant of source is a worthy point and the posts here had made no notice of the source which was an indicator of the intent, an intent that is detrimental to the cyclists cause. It is the recognition of that intent that I strove to illuminate. No ones personality or intelect was invovlved but with the response that occured it seems I may have touched a raw nerve.

Reply by Zoetrope 1 hour ago
I don’t really see the point of this thread beyond maybe trying to stir up a dormant message board, or worse. First you posted a notorious troll cops anti cycling rant with no comment offered from yourself, then you basically attack anyone critical of the link or yourself.

“You failed to understand the situation entirely.” Uh, ok. So what is the issue? There are potholes in bike lanes? There are potholes all over city streets, and guess where bike lanes are? If you want something to be done about potholes you can start by being a little more responsible in what you post, and how you post it.

The point of this thread is that even cops can see that the installation of lanes is slipshod at times and even when something like Dearborn Street is showcased as the best we have to offer even that can come up short. Left Wing Agendaists still have as much work cut out for them as their Right Wing counterparts. I just hope those of us in the middle survive their attempts at “world domination“.