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Creeping acceptance of bad air i.e code red...(5 posts)

Creeping acceptance of bad air i.e code red...Djudd
Jun 25, 2002 4:26 PM
This is the second day of "code red" air alert in the DC area. We are looking forward to at least another day of the same. I worry that we are slowly accepting this stupidity as the norm in the summer. If the air is so bad they have to warn you to stay inside then something is wrong. As I rode to work I noticed no fewer cars on the street and many had just one person in them. These same fools have the nerve to blow their horns at me while they kill the air we breathe. The most inane argument for this behavior is " I gotta right to drive whatever and whenever I want". As if there is no consequence to stupidity.
These alerts are effecting my riding and my health, it is not acceptable.
what are you going to do?ishmael
Jun 25, 2002 4:41 PM
I just grumble and keep going. Are there any clean air bills up for decision soon(state or national). Find'em and let us know. I have a suspicion that the damage you get from breathing in all this bad air is worse than any one knows or is telling. Just think, it wasnt too long ago that cigarettes werent really thought bad for you. And since cyclists and other outdoor sports folk absorb something like a hundred times as much of the crap as anyone else we have more to complain about.
good question...the good old lobby and coalition..Djudd
Jun 25, 2002 5:04 PM
isthe only viable answer. At some point someone is going to have to utter the unthinkable "GET OUT OF YOUR CAR NOW !!!" Driving will have to be a luxury not a duty especially in urban areas. Bicycle and environmental lobbies will have to tell people this because the politicians are too afraid to say the can't drive your car everywhere.
"you can't drive your car everywhere"Ahimsa
Jun 25, 2002 5:22 PM
I agree, but let's be truly frank here... can't drive your eight cylinder, seats 9, four wheel drive, oversized tank of an SUV, BY YOURSELF, WITH EIGHT EMPTY SEATS everywhere.

And yet that is exactly what many do. It is fashionable to own the biggest, most over the top waste of resources possible.

Funny...what with gas being the biggest source of money to countries harboring terrorists.

I'd like to see those "I killed a cop." anti-drug and terrorism commercials changed to feature doughy white middle class american suburbanites.

"When you buy gasoline, you give money to terrorists."

At least then it would be CLOSER to reality.


re: code red...Fredrico
Jun 26, 2002 9:17 AM
Moved to Northern Virginia from the southern midwest, a small city with it's own pollution problems, but not a candle to here.

The way civilization is developing around the Dulles Airport area is shockingly going into a futuristic hell of worsening congestion and pollution: six lane thoroughfares are the only connecting roads. Apartments, housing developments, office and shopping complexes, all abut them, and are not otherwise interconnected. They are high speed, interconnected with cloverleafs and bridges, and have no shoulders. Biking on them, if not suicidal, is certainly impractical. So the planners have thoughtfully provided paths alongside many of these roads, also impractical, and unreliable. They often dead-end into woods.

For biking to be practical, shoulders must be on these roads, or bike lanes painted on, so cyclists won't feel intimidated by auto traffic, and drivers will accept the legitimacy of bike traffic on "their" roads. The paths are fine, but can only be an option.

Interestingly, downtown DC seems almost completely bike friendly. Aside from the painted bike lanes on 14th St. and others, auto traffic is slow enough for bikes to enter the flow. The only hostility seems to be from drivers frustrated at not being able to get through, while bikes sail around them as if they weren't there. I rode in DC ten years ago, and feel now drivers seem to accept bike traffic much more readily than back then. Now it's almost cool to be riding for transportation, as if drivers are finally seeing the problem for what it is: moving around in a car is becoming more and more impractical, and foolish.

The handwriting is on the wall with those pollution alerts, and the SUV craze may be the last hurrah. Autos will get cleaner and cleaner, using non-fossil fuels, and transportation options will increase: buses, rail, walking. Bicycling is already increasing in popularity, and being more purposefully integrated into transportation infrastructures.

That's just what I've noticed since returning to the DC area. Code reds can't last, unless they kill us first.