‘Socialist-Minded’ ChainLinkers Placed In ‘Capitalist Panic’

Background Reading


Our ChainLink Socialists are back from a near “free fall panic“. It would seem that actually paying for services has made them sick to their “free-loading stomachs“. It let’s me know that were there ever to have been a fee attached to the use and/of installation of protected bike lanes they would eschew them as readily as a vegan would a pulled pork sandwich. These folks are simply stingy, cheap, self-absorbed and devoid of any real understanding of Capitalism. In fact when they held their vaunted fundraiser for their own beloved ChainLink Forum of the 8,800 or so participants less than 400 actually contributed a single farthing. Yet they have plenty of money for ale and wine and weed and Chrome bags and now shoes. And you know for certain that tattoos and nose rings are not cheap so why the hoarding when it comes to things you really love? In fact given the bragging they do about all the money they save riding tricked out fixed gear bikes with color-coordinated rims and such you would think they would be flush with cash.

Fortunately one of their own stepped forward to let them know that all is not lost. John Greenfield had this to say in a recent blog:

Millennium Park's bike station. Photo by John Greenfield.

Millennium Park’s bike station. Photo by John Greenfield.

Members of The Chainlink, a local online bike forum with over 8,500 members, were alarmed by a report that Millennium Park’s bike station will no longer offer free, indoor parking to the general public. Upon closer inspection, though, the news isn’t so bad.

“I found out yesterday that the cycle center will no longer allow non-members to park their bikes,” Chainlinker Sarah Lewert posted Tuesday. “The explanation was that with all the construction going on, they were having issues and the city was making it worse.” Work to convert Daley Bicentennial Plaza into Maggie Daley Park is currently taking place just east of the bike station. Lewert added that the new policy starts on May 1, and that single-day passes to use the facility’s indoor parking, showers, and lockers will no longer be available. “I, for one, am totally bummed.

The Chicago Department of Transportation built the bike station in 2004 using roughly $3 million in federal and local Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement funds. In 2006 McDonald’s Corporation bought the naming rights to the stations for $5 million, which is used to fund ongoing maintenance. MB Real Estate manages the property, and membership, rental, and repair operations are run by Bike & Park (a Streetsblog Chicago sponsor).

These assholes (pardon my French) were thinking of yet another “Internet Mob-ism” activity to somehow shame McDonald’s (who are only the named patrons of the place, not the day-to-day business people) into relenting. Turns out that this was a stupid move since it was aimed at the wrong folks. ChainLinkers love to go after other people who they are invading their “air space“. Check out some of the threads where they spend precious time taking pictures of folks parking in the bike lane, but would have a cow if anybody put up a similar set of images or video of them running red lights, blowing through stop signs, plowing past pedestrians in Zebra Crosswalks, riding on sidewalks where they are not allowed by city ordinance, illegally parking on CTA property and much more.

John goes on to say:

Lettering on a glass door inside the bike station directs visitors to the free parking area. Photo by John Greenfield.

Lettering on a glass door inside the bike station directs visitors to the free parking area. Photo by John Greenfield.

Other Chainlinkers replied to Lewert to share her disappointment. One was so incensed that he fired off a message to McDonald’s social responsibility webpage, which he reposted on the bike site. “It is my understanding that the city of Chicago has decided no longer to allow free parking in the McDonald’s-sponsored Chicago Bicycle Center,” he wrote. “It will now be perceived as an ‘elite’ facility intended to support a limited few… I would think that McDonalds would not want their name on such a ‘special interest’ facility.”

The Chainlink is a great source of information on local bicycle issues – I often get story leads from it – but in this case the facts got a little scrambled. While it’s true the bike station will stop offering free indoor parking next month, daily passes will still be available to the public, and it was Bike & Park, not the city, that opted to change the policy.

We decided to discontinue the free indoor parking in order to allow more members to sign up, and to make more space for current members,” said Walter Rochet, the bike station’s general manager. He added that the park construction was also a factor in the decision because it has eliminated a popular route to the station from the Lakefront Trail via Monroe Street and a path next to Cancer Survivor’s Garden, adjacent to the work site, for the next few years.

John is being gracious in stating that the facts were a bit scrambled. It is pretty hard to ever get the straight poop from this group on just about any issue because they are always more heat than light when it comes to being outraged. Hey folks, I love free stuff too. I clip coupons. I do the hunting for free parking all around the city when I can. But I have never in my life decided that like a “free” public education it was somehow my birthright to freeload off of any business. In fact just the opposite. I agree in my mind to do the right thing and not shoplift or steal and in exchange I ask that no businesses rip me off with shoddy merchandise and lousy return policies and the like.

But the childish notions of the ChainLink crowd as just breathtakingly foolish and ill-informed. But they would not be who they are were this not the case.

John Kass had these “little people” truly pegged when he said that they would panic the moment they ever had to pay for anything having to do with bike commuting on city streets.

The day that a RFID-style toll fee is levied to help pay for the infrastructure upkeep there will be a general melt-down in Wicker and Logan Parks. There will be a general consensus at the next Chicago Critical Mass Ride to storm the barricades and launch their Socialist colors over a pint or two a Socialist Comrade Brewing or wherever. In the meantime they can continue to figure out the best ways to “do the Chicago L.A.T.E. Ride without having to pay” or to sneak over the fence at Lollapalooza this summer. This is a great bunch of folks.