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Ah, the idiots amongst us....(8 posts)

Ah, the idiots amongst us....rollo tommassi
Jul 29, 2003 1:09 PM
Is this a valid argument? Oh, I can't WAIT to hear from us RBR-ers!! C'mon guys, let 'er rip!!!
Sorry Rollo, it's a re-run, check the last couple of weeks postings nmScot_Gore
Jul 29, 2003 1:27 PM
Oh no!! I'm lame!! LAME!! I should pay more attention!rollo tommassi
Jul 29, 2003 1:33 PM
but, there are good rebuttal letters toorollo tommassi
Jul 29, 2003 1:30 PM
click on the "Guest Opinions" link on the left

apologies if this link/issue has been posted earlier!
but, there are good rebuttal letters toowitcomb
Jul 29, 2003 2:26 PM
Excellent, good to see some nice arguments to put her in her place.
Giving IL due creditSpoiledBikeDaddy
Jul 30, 2003 8:33 AM
While I strongly disagree with about 99.9% of the views expressed in this website, I have to give them credit for posting intelligent, well-reasoned rebuttals to this column. Some websites would have focused on the cranks and flames I'm sure she received...
Wait, you must read this "Guest Opinion"Kristin
Jul 30, 2003 9:03 AM
Dear Ms. Morrison:

I read your article "Beware of Bicycles" with great interest. I worked as a program manager for IDOT Division of Public Transportation in the early 1990s. One of my colleagues was an avid cyclist and an avowed ultra-Green liberal. While employed with the Division of Public Transportation, he launched a one-man jihad in support of public spending for urban bicycle routes, secured bike parking structures and bicycle storage accommodations on public transit vehicles, which all seemed rather innocent until he explained his vision.

He cited all sorts of problems that could simply be cured "if only more people rode their bikes to work." I tried to explain that you would not want to ride your bike through many of the neighborhoods surrounding the central business district; it's just too dangerous because of street crime, traffic, etc. I also scoffed at the idea of riding a bike to work in bad weather, which is about half the year in Chicago, or when it rained during the other half of the year when temperatures were not too cold.

Of course, the idea of wearing business attire while riding a bike was of no concern to him. It quickly became apparent that I was not reasoning with a completely rational person.

I'm a runner; not a fanatic, but an exercise enthusiast. It helps me to stay in shape and keep my weight under control. For many years people marveled at my dedication, but I never thought much of it. I know runners from all walks of life and political persuasions. But, these cycling fanatics, not the run-of-the-mill bike messengers or the weekend riders, but the fanatics, are nuts! They don't believe that traffic laws should apply to them (I'm not kidding; this is part of their published manifesto); they think that everyone should ride their bikes to work on the coldest and rainiest days of the year (sounds like something out of Mao's China); and they mistakenly believe that cycling is more environmentally-friendly than any other form of transportation except maybe walking, which is simply not true according to Manhattan Institute Fellow Peter Huber's calculations.

However, I disagree with your point about "Rails to Trails." Bike trails are great public resources; they make excellent cycling, hiking and running routes with little traffic or other obstructions. I think that they serve a purpose, certainly by keeping cyclists off dangerous roads. Like dog parks in the city, the impact is significant to the community as a whole, not just to those who use them. Therefore, I don't have a problem with these trails so long as they don't cause obvious problems to adjacent property owners.

That said, I have seen the disrepair of some of the most beautiful parks and public building in the country, which are currently under the management of the Chicago Park District. I know what public ownership can yield.

I think you are on to something with respect to licensing and fees that may be set aside for maintenance and upkeep of these trails, which ought to be outsourced to private entities that are more efficient at management than the government.


Phil Williams

Hmmmm...Phil Williams, from Chicago. Yeah, he'll be easy to track down. I'm sure he has a copy of that manafesto we all wrote for the big liberal cycling conspiracy. This letter is every bit as authentica as any spam chain letter ever was.
Yes, I keep my copy of the "Manifesto" in the same drawer as my copy of the "Gay Agenda." NMjtolleson
Jul 30, 2003 10:00 AM