February 23, 2009

Urban Repair Squad They say city is broke. We fix. No charge.
  • Why no love for in-line skates?
  • As someone who rides a bike in traffic to get around, I see where they're coming from but think these vigilante methods are a bad approach. Like cyclists that take a lane and expect to be treated the same as any other vehicle on the road, but also regularly run lights and stop signs, they give all of us a bad reputation. Sure, our roadways were designed primarily for car and truck traffic. Bike lanes are an afterthought, typically tacked-on and poorly implemented. The fact that motor vehicles far outnumber cycles stacks the odds against progress, and I can see how frustration leads to spray paint in the night. But are these DIY lanes helping? They appear to work, as the before and after pictures of the bike boxes illustrate, so there is an immediate benefit. However, I'm worried that this comes at the expense of long-term progress. I doubt the city crews sent out to paint over this graffiti are thrilled about it, and I bet those in charge don't appreciate the extra hassle and expense. This is probably the same department in charge of planning and implementing official bike lanes. Now, when that small but vocal minority tries to get the traffic system changed through official channels, they are seen as that bunch of punks who've been painting graffiti all over town. We have a moderately sized chapter of critical mass protesters in town, and it seems that the number of motorists that pass dangerously close with a honk or a shout goes up noticeably after a protest ride. Apparently causing a traffic jam isn't the best way to earn respect on the road. I have a feeling that pissing off city hall will be just at effective at getting bicycles considered in traffic planning. Crap, that's long. Sorry if it comes across as a rant.
  • Waxboy, I can understand the frustration--on both parts. It can be really tempting to be a monkey wrencher, but it does hurt the cause of those attempting change by legitimate means. Our cities suck for human beings not enveloped in a carapace of steel.
  • That's not all that long waxy. We've all seen (and maybe written) much longer rants. But here, I don't need to, because you pretty much summed it up for me. Except, I'd like to add - how much does it cost the "broke" city to fix the "repairs", and how much more would get done with that municipal money otherwise?
  • I don't know where you people live, but here in San Francisco, the city is prohibited by court order from making any improvements whatsoever which benefit bicyclists. And this is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities on earth. Tobacco seems to be where the Democrats hit the Republicans. Bikes seem to be where they hit back.
  • My city has very few bike lanes. But there is still some room for development, so they have been building bike paths that are eventually going to cross the city. They will be great for bicycling, but not so great for transportation. I see more mopeds on the roads than bicycles, and they need some sort of lane, too. We did also just have someone recently get killed on a bicycle -- and that person was on probably the biggest road that has a bike lane.
  • Crap, that's long. Sorry if it comes across as a rant. Serious? Then fuck your fears and sorrow. Dig a hole for it and put it there. An opinion is not a rant.
  • Hey, I'm kind of new here, and since reading this thread I've been trying to play nice. Digging a hole isn't a bad idea though, I could toss cigarettes and a few other things in there as well.
  • I don't think it came across as a rant at all, waxboy. Breathe easy. (digging of holes not a bad idea, at that)
  • Actually, I WB was very restrained in his opinion, and I believe RA was trying to tell him it's ok, in his own NOT imitable way.