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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 3, 2011 8:43 PM. The previous post in this blog was Blue wins, then goes bi-partisan. The next post in this blog is Gaddafi wins humanitarian medal of honor. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Yes, you may

Too funny, yet too true:

This promotion of childishness in the electorate means that bike lanes are just the beginning. Soon we'll be making room on our city streets for scooter and skateboard lanes, Soapbox Derby lanes, pogo-stick lanes, lanes for Radio Flyer wagons (actually more practical than bicycles since you can carry a case of beer—if we're still allowed to drink beer), stilt lanes, three-legged-race lanes, lanes for skipping while playing the comb and wax paper, hopscotch lanes and Mother-May-I lanes with Mayor Bloomberg at the top of Lenox Hill shouting to the people on Park Avenue, "Take three baby steps!"
The whole thing is here.

Comments (17)

Vintage O'Rourke. What a jackass.

Vintage O'Rourke, indeed.

I remember how funny he was when he used to enrage the sanctimonious elitists with the old Nat. Lampoon in the 70's. And now he continues with the sanctimonious bicyclists of today. Brilliant.

Oh so true, childlike or the stone age!

This is a great satirical piece, and there is much truth here. For instance - "You can't decrease traffic congestion by putting things in the way of traffic." I think about this every time I'm crawling behind some road-hog pedal-pusher, who refuses to ride to the right of traffic, even when there is plenty of room for it. Infuriating - and slow.

I like the bathroom scale comment!
Too funny and true!

Jack,
Is there a way to get O'Rourke to sign on as a regular.

I wonder what PJ would think of the planned Sellwood bridge replacement with 24 feet for vehicles and 37 feet for pedestrians and bikes.

I discovered last week why the design has two 12 foot sidewalks in addition to the two 6.5 bike lanes.
And this is NO joke.
The two bike lanes are fast lanes and the sidewalks are mixed use sidewalks for pedestrians and slower cyclists.
The Glenn Jackson has a single 9 foot ped/bike path and some whine that it's scary for walkers when a bike zips by from behind. Especially when it happens right at a light post. Oh the horror.
That happens a lot you know.
The planned Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Bridge had only two 12 foot paths but complaints resulted in a change to two 14 foot ped/bike paths.
Whew! That was a close one. Imagine if it had ended up only two 12 footers.
There is no question two 8 foot ped/bike sidewalks would be easily sufficient.
And that decades would pass without incident.
So why the embellishment of width?
Just like the transit bridge this is about an irrational and immature "look at us, we're special".
That and just plain stupid.


What's funny is that everyone in Portland points to New York as to why the city should be remade in the hipster image, while the Williamsburg and Park Slope contingent cries "Oh, but it's so much better in Portland! Make it like that over here!" Talk about a feedback loop.

P. J. O'Rourke remains one of my favorite writers. (Even if he doesn't embrace the Oxford comma.) And I consider myself to be a bleedin'-heart, animal-cuddlin' tree-huggin' liberal. (Some tea-bagg....er, tea-partier folks I work with insist that I'm not as nearly as liberal as I think I am.)

I respect the ability to hold up the mirror and force us to see our shortcomings, fallacies, and hypocrisy we refuse to admit. Whether it comes from P. J. or the late Sam Kinnison or the very late H. L. Mencken, the truth shall make you free. And laugh, too.

Love this blog, and agree with most of it here, but this bike-backlash, both here and NY and everywhere, just screams of tempest in a teapot. Bikes aren't taking over, or taking from cars, or not paying their share, or any of the false accusations.

We're doing pretty good here in PDX, something like 1-5% of commuters, which is better than most American cities. Emphasizing multi-use of roads isn't nearly as expensive as building new roads, and it CLEARLY RECOGNIZES THE INEVITABLE INCREASE IN THE COST OF AUTOMOBILE TRANSPORTATION. All the whiners are just in denial and looking for someone to blame. The same goes for public transit complainers. Planning for the future might turn out to be a brilliant move. Might not, but population increases every day, and fossil fuel resources decrease every day.

As an avid and loyal daily reader of the blog, I feel it is time for me to finally say ENOUGH to the mindless spew of utterly stupid bike bashing that has become a hallmark of this site. I moved to Portland from the relative cesspool of NYC in 1990 to attend law at Lewis and Clark, to which I commuted 10 miles each way by bicycle from my home at SE 29th and Morrison SE. At the time, I do not believe that there was a single bike lane in Portland and I basically had to take my life into my own hands every night I closed the library (where i was employed)when I rode home on Barbur Blvd at midnight to avoid the much greater distance (and in many stretches, equal danger) of going over Terwilliger Blvd on the sidewalk. And the terrifying experience of Barbur at night was only one example of the nightmare of my riding a bike in this town SO THAT THE CHILDREN OF IDIOTS DRIVING SUV'S DID NOT HAVE TO GAG ON MY CAR'S EMISSIONS. In other words, you ranting clowns, for over 20 years, I have been trying to do the filthy air in this city a favor, both for my child and yours. And all you people can do is blather on about what an irresponsible, selfish f***head I am? Are you seriously that short-sighted and stupid? Do you really think there is any sense or intelligence in continuing to artificially prolong the "internal combustion age" so that the masters of the oil industrial complex CAN OWN YOUR SORRY F***ING A**ES?! I realize that there is absolutely no argument that will ever shut you people up because argument is a rational exercise and your bike bashing crossed the threshold into the irrational long ago. So although there is not a snowball's chance in hell that; 1. we the biking community will ever be able to make a serious dent in dangerous, filthy and unnecessary automobile traffic and, 2. you simpering fools will ever shut up, let me assure that if it is war you want, it is war you shall have. I might have acclimated to my Raleighs in the tony 'burbs of Westchester County, but I learned to be mean as a bike messenger in Washington where we had to battle a four-wheeled army of Nigerian cab drivers who would have preferred us dead. Every effort I can make to turn the political tide in OUR favor, I will make. And if any of you make the fool error of cutting me off, yelling at me, flipping me the bird or any of the other charming habits you have cultivated in the safety of your air conditioned steel cages, be prepared to be humiliated in front of your kids. Because I flip the bird back, I yell, I spit and I follow you to the red light where I get up in your face and ask you to explain your baboon response to my piloting a vehicle that does your snot-nosed brats a favor. I know you think we are all faggots and grass eating, liberal, Cream of Wheat s**tters, but really, park you stupidity and your mouth when you see me through the windshield. You are like slave dinosaurs to me and I ain't no longer taking your s**t.

Nice couple of Sam Adams posts.

Especially the foul mouthed Cozmic who thinks he's at the Mercury or WW blog.

Cozmic: bear in mind that your sort of attitude is likely to earn you an up-close inspection of a Portland bioswale.

Hey, wait - you were the whistle-blowing cyclist in that Portlandia episode, right? Loved when your lobe got caught in the door-chain, dude.

Every effort I can make to turn the political tide in OUR favor, I will make.

Try anger management first, then skip the ELF/ALF meetings, and remember that not every car driver is as passive as you believe, nor is every car driver your enemy.

And by all means, keep wearing your tough-guy New York mask. It's really amusing.

And why do you care so much about my kids?

(That WAS you on Portlandia, wasn't it?)

Cozmic Eddy, that was probably you who was riding one Sunday evening after dark on NE Broadway, no lights, no helmet, dark clothing, talking on your cell phone - and whom I nearly hit making a right hand turn off Broadway, since I couldn't see your sorry a**. Look, I'm all for riding bikes, and ride one myself at times - but it's the 1% or 5% or 10% of you who are absolute idiots, plus demand more than your share of the road who infuriate many of us who normally support bikers.

Coz,

War?
Hmmm?

Every unethical and corrupted effort is already being made by the racket you think is planning our future.

The warm, dry, air conditioned comfort, freedom and protection of the car is not going anywhere.

You on the other hand are heading towards
a different kind of steel cage.
Talk about humiliated in front of your kids.

As for you and Huck's misinformed ideas.

Take a look at reality and how Environmental Justice has indeed taken over.

http://bikeportland.org/2009/03/06/metro-flexes-funding-muscle-for-bikes-15777

Metro flexes funding muscle for bikes
From the regional flexible funds pot, Metro awarded over $10 million to bike/ped projects -- nearly half the total amount allocated.

Metro/JPACT have turned the Fed flexible funds into an Environmental justice account.

http://tinyurl.com/metro-e-justice

Look where all the money goes now.
2010-2013 projects

http://library.oregonmetro.gov/files//2010-13_approved_projects.pdf --------
Environmental justice galore

2008-2011 projects
http://library.oregonmetro.gov/files/jpactfinal.pdf ----note all the road capacity project that didn't make the cut

The negligence that resulted in the Sellwood bridge being closed to trucks and buses is far more egregious today.

Somehow this negligence is planning our future.

Ed's funny. He's like that all the time, on whatever issue riles him. He raises a fine froth.

But on the merits, let me propose a refinement: on the one hand, there are the vast majority of cyclists. We stop at red lights. We don't feel entitled. When we ride, our heads are on swivels, because it's dangerous riding around when people in cars aren't watching. (Yesterday on my ride home I was TWICE almost hit at a single intersection, Fremont and MLK -- slammed the brakes once to avoid getting right-hooked, then proceeding into the intersection slammed the brakes again to avoid getting left-hooked by oncoming driver. Arg.)

Then, on the other hand, you have the people who are spending your money. Jack and the legion of regular commenters here are excellent at pointing out the disconnect between the folks in City Hall and the people of Portland. They spend your money on "clean elections," and covering reservoirs, and trade junkets to Germany. They hold charettes to talk about enhancing the Portland experience for the creative class, because they like to hang out with the creative class. They have vanity projects that they fund so they can be written up in the NY Times. They like bioswales, and streetcars, and couplets. Unfortunately for me and the vast majority of cyclists, they also talk a lot about bikes, even though they don't spend that much of your money on bike stuff.

I am your local bike commuter. I have lights on my bike and I wear a bright yellow jacket. All I want from the City is for potholes to be fixed. All I want from drivers is for them to pay attention and be polite, and I will too in return.

PS on my ride home saw Sam Adams coming out of Ping at 5:50 last night. He looked well-fed.


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