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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bike Rant

Started 4/14; I finished it up now because I figured I might as well make use of old fragments I started.

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This country's attitude toward biking continually frustrates me. The MS facilities people seem determined to make it as hard as possible to get started biking to work, making the lockers convenient only for people who already want to ride in every day; cities have no interest in setting up bicycle routes that are for actual transportation; and even cyclists are snooty to anybody who isn't eager to cycle over the Alps yet wants comfortable clothing.

Imagine if we applied the same biases to cars. Some ideas that would be around:
  • You should only buy a car with a lot of power if you intend to race it.
  • You can only have a parking permit if you drive to work at least 12 days a month.
  • Your car will be automatically unlocked if you leave it parked anywhere for more than 10 days, unless you put an extra lock on it and email a particular alias ahead of time.
  • We'll build roads, but they won't actually be connected; you'll have to go through some shipping lanes if you want to go more than a few miles.
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Okay, okay, all that being said, some of it isn't really that bad. It was a moment of frustration at a particular change I thought was completely backward. But, MS actually does make an effort to support cyclists, even if I don't agree with some of the specific rules. We have showers, and that's really the essential one. The city, though, still pretty much tries to get cyclists killed, and most of the people riding don't seem to be trying to fight this either. Riding with traffic? I'm sorry, no, that's not acceptable. That's how most cyclists get killed. Let's please build separated facilities. They don't have to be as big or tough as roads, and they won't take as much maintenance once they're there, but for goodness sake... riding between a line of parked cars and a lane of busy traffic is just a bad idea, and no amount of alertness or experience will save you.

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