Suddenly infrastructure gets scrutiny…
When it’s about putting bike lanes in. Full article here at the NYTimes.
Summary: Residents are filing suit with the city over ‘unfair and deceptive’ practices in regards to public spaces and bike lanes. Additionally, the group is saying that it is ‘unfair’ that there is less room for motoring traffic.
Gee, bias towards a type of infrastructure? Unfairly distributing tax dollars? I wonder what industries have been doing that for ages…
It’s really ridiculous. They’re calling it a war on cars. I wonder what the past 40 years was to them?
For the lawyers, it makes so much sense to do a pro bono case (which lawyers are required to do occasionally) for a “wealthy and politically connected group” of people.
It wouldn’t make sense to do some for poor people after all.
And when gas hits $15/gallon, and we’ve tapped our reserves, and they’ve subsidized all they can, and there’s nobody left to blame, and there’s no way to bring the prices down, I’ll be laughing so hard my fenders will shake with glee as I roll past.
The death throws of the past are both the most irritating and also the most pitiful part of any forward movement.
Such a lack of imagination. I’m trying to think of any futuristic or post-apocalyptic movie that depicts a world after automobiles. I’m thinking of worlds like in Mad Max, where fuel is all-but gone. I’m thinking of futures past. And I can’t think of any visions of the future that feature the bicycle.
If the fuel is gone, or if some future weapon fried all of the circuit boards irreparably or whatever, and the world is thrown into chaos, at some point life will settle-in and people will have to find a way to get around. I’m sure we all agree, the bicycle is pretty much the perfect post-apocalyptic mode of transportation, right?
So how come none of these creative people with such detailed visions of the future foresee bicycles as a solution? If these people don’t place bicycles in the future, how can we expect politicians to?
(Please forgive the ramble.)
ALMKLM – perhaps they’re creatively envisioning a post-apocalyptic Lamarkian development of wings or psycho-teleportation, or both. That would be awesome, especially if the teleportation included the star-treck shimmer. I’d make mine pink and purple.
Until then, agreed, the bicycle is a pretty decent stop-gap.
Seems to me bikes work great in a post-apocalyptic world until the tires wear out. Synthetic rubber needs petroleum. Natural rubber needs rubber plants that won’t grow around here (though maybe with global warming…).
Metal-working might be set back a bit too. Can we still make things of steel or aluminum with materials you can find around here? Or if we’re in a second Bronze Age, is a bronze bike rideable?
Bikes would be perfect for the period after the cars are gone but before the asphalt pavement falls apart. But at some point, horses might become a better option.
JH Kunstler has some fiction, I think, that imagines the world after the “long emergency.” That probably fits the version of “realism” folks are looking for.
Most imaginings of a post-apocalyptic world are just that–imaginings. Even in Mad Max’s world–where do they get new tires?
bjanaszek – a more pressing question would be where does Tina Turner get her hairspray in Max’s world. Priorities, man!
Rubber substitutes for wheels were posted somewhere on here a while ago… I remember funny springs at one point (like moon shoes for bikes, I think it was WWII era ration crativity). There’s plenty of mining and metal working opportunities that are local enough to be feasible, though kiss polymer based composites goodbye.
Speaking of future apocalypses and Star Trek… In First Contact when the Borg bomb future (or past if you’re in the movie) Earth a guy trying to escape on a bike goes flying through the shot. I know that if I were getting bombed my bike would be one of the first things I reach for. Priorities, man!
Apparently that guy is a professional writer. Even I have that little bell that rings in the back of my head when I don’t know what I’m talking about. And sometimes I willfully ignore that bell (evidence of which is sprinkled across these very threads). But you would think this guy would pay more attention when the “nonsense meter” in his head goes-off. That, or he’s just a pandering muck-raker.
That said, it’s a shame, because there is an argument to be made for moderation in the proliferation of bike lanes (*EDIT – I don’t know what that argument is, but almost anything can be taken too far, generally speaking, right?). He instead chose to make a knee-jerk emotional response which seems primarily to be based on his inability to find easy parking in Manhattan after 7PM.
If that is so important, he should move to Pittsburgh.
Exactly. He lives in the wrong city if he expects to be able to find free parking anywhere. What cracks me up is that he drives a Jaguar, but doesn’t want to pay to park it.
I spent 46 wonderful hours in the Big Apple over the weekend. There are not a huge number of cyclists, but there are quite a few. I saw NY near West Broadway and Varick (NY Law School), up at the hostel at Amsterdam Ave & W 103 St, and a few other spots here and there, including a bit of Queens in a pouring rain. Very few lights, front or rear, any time of day. Quite a few bike lanes. Not much attention paid to traffic lights or the direction of travel on the bike lanes. Not too many helmets, either. But they’re out there, in much greater numbers than in 1987, the last time I was in “the city”.
One of the lunch speakers on Day 2 was the NY City Councilwoman whose district includes this bike lane that’s prompting all the attention. A loose paraphrase of her comments is that the objectors are dedicated but misguided.
@stevenh Synthetic rubber needs petroleum.
Just one of the many good reasons to discourage drilling in the US at this time. Why tap into non-renewable resources while they are still so cheap people are burning them? That stuff will actually be worth some money some day.
I actually got asked this question in a job interview: “So, what do you think of Marcellus shale drilling?” and gave that as an answer. “Intriguing. I’d never gotten that answer before.”
Didn’t get the job, though. But I doubt that decided it. I think they were just trying to pick my brain for how I responded to off-beat questions.
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