When A Scofflaw Movement’s Members Suddenly Get Moralistic?

Background Reading


Take This Job and Shovel. Photo: Active Trans

Take This Job and Shovel. Photo: Active Trans


Leave it to one of the ‘lapdogs‘ of Chicago’s Urban Cycling Movement to turn all moralistic. You know these guys as the ones who think videos showing cyclists racing cabs across the city (while blowing stop lights and riding against traffic) is ‘really cool‘. These are indeed the very same assholes who resist with every fiber of their being the notion of being licensed and registered. Yep, those same self-righteous bastards are now deciding what everyone else should do and not just encouraging it but demanding it:

Active Transportation Alliance director Ron Burke pointed out in a recent blog post that heavy snowfalls make it obvious most cities prioritize driving over walking and biking. Ever since Mayor Michael Bilandic lost reelection in the wake of a 1979 blizzard that paralyzed Chicago, local mayors have generally done a bang-up job of getting the streets plowed for drivers.

However, even in the Loop—where there are a heckuva lot more people on foot than in cars—the streets are usually cleared well before the sidewalks, Burke noted. And don’t get me started on Chicago’s protected bike lanes, which are often clogged with slush for days after a big storm. This isn’t always the city’s fault—even after the city has plowed curbside PBLs, it’s common for building crews to push snow from the sidewalks into the lanes.

Since walkways in front of homes and businesses are public space, just like streets are, it’s logical that municipalities should take responsibility for clearing them. Some of Chicago’s tonier suburbs, such as Glencoe, Winnetka and Wilmette, do just that, the Tribune recently reported.

In the city of Chicago, we rely on building owners and merchants to do the right thing, but too often they don’t. It’s particularly infuriating to encounter parking lots, strip malls and big-box stores where the management has plowed the car parking spots, but hasn’t bothered to shovel the sidewalks around the perimeter of the property.

Snide mode on!

Pity the poor underserved and over-protected Urban Cyclists who have to ride through slush and deep snow. Boohoo! I guess perhaps we should note (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) that perhaps the reason some do not shovel their walks is because they like the ordinances in Idaho much better. Like the cyclists who try to justify running red lights here in Chicago by citing the Idaho Stop Law, there is a companion ordinance called the Idaho Shovel Law.

You only have to shovel when you feel like it. And like these self-centered ‘elites‘ who parade around from photo-op to photo-op they have their own ‘ethicist‘ who explains that if you do not wish to shovel your sidewalk, you are the only one with ‘skin in the game‘. And despite that not being very neighborly Idahoans gather monthly for their Critical Sass Walk where they walk past folks who have bothered to shovel their walks and dump new snow on them, to keep the blocks looking more uniform in appearance.

Snide move off!

Really, John?

John you have to know better than to be a member of a completely lawless bunch and start demanding that everyone else not follow your lead! Sorry, you do not get to be your own ‘self-contained nation‘ alone and apart from everyone else until you feel like turning moralistic. If you want to go that route than STFU and behave yourselves.

Stop being scofflaws and demanding that cars be forced to have technology that prevents them from colliding with you and instead demand the same of yourselves. After all the pedestrians of the world need protection from cyclists just as much as they do from motorists.

Every bicycle on city streets ought to by law be required to have its own hub generator. That should power a device that applies the brakes on a bicycle when it enters a zone containing pedestrians who are merely trying to cross the street, but are sometimes encountering those smug assholes whom you represent busily engaged in Strava competitions. At the very least their handlebar-mounted electric smarthorns should be blaring a warning of the approaching bicycle with a nut behind the handlebar who is too busy to stop just now!

And while we are at it that hub generator would allow cyclists the ability to operate sensors that point rearward to alert them of approaching vehicles. And furthermore it would send out a signal to the municipal authorities every time a bicyclist decided to cross an intersection on a red light.

Sure cars cut corners too. But to date I have not seen a ‘motoring ethicist‘ appear in a StreetsBlog video espousing that cyclists ignore traffic signals. Nope. Have not as yet seen that.