Bicycles & My 2 Cents

Ok, so a lot of people jumped my case for the ad without even thinking it through.  They didn’t think the ad through nor did they realize they where attacking a bicycle advocate.  So I just want to get a few things straight right off the bat for any current and future readers.

  1. I don’t support bicycle registration, taxes, or any other nonsense of that sort.  Period.  I’ve already written the politicians involved and they’ve been informed of my opinions as well as other politicians that are directly responsible for the area I actually vote in.  I’ve blogged about this in the past, and have debated such many times and even posted pro-cycling blog entries such as my Bike Dedication & Bike Dedication Part 2.
  2. I’m an advocate of closing MORE streets to pedestrian and cycle only traffic.
  3. I’m an advocate to enforce, encourage, and perpetuate that automobile users pay vastly larger sums of their road usage so that competing modes; bicycles, buses, light rail, passenger rail, and anything else can actually compete fairly on a cost & right of way basis.  That would be vastly better than the lopsided mis-configured mess the Government has us setup with these days that leaves us; vulnerable to foreign energy, dependent on the dirtiest sources out there (oil/coal/etc), and ill-prepared for future progress of technologies without massive subsidies and the need for Government involvement in said affairs.  NOT cool.
  4. I’m also an advocate of using general budget or any other funds to build out bicycle, transit, or other modes to more evenly displace less efficient modes of transport (i.e. cars, etc) in urban environments.  Automobiles have had general budget funds dumped into roadways, often dedicated auto only roadways for decades – almost a century, with barely a few percentage points going to any other mode at all.
  5. I’m for laws that hold motorists accountable for actions committed in automobiles as I support laws that do the same for usage of guns, knives, pools, etc.  I name those because combined, they kill fewer children per year than automobiles, yet we have almost no laws governing the irresponsible and excessive use of the automobile on rural, suburban, and especially urban roads.
  6. I’m for realistic zoning laws that encourage development based around not bikes, transit, or other modes, but around people.  Only zone based on bikes, transit, etc once the necessity for easy human movement between development is fulfilled.  The last thing to be considered should be the intrusive automobile.  Portland is a great case of well designed (mostly private sector) zoning, human scales, and above all market based human interactions versus Government sponsored walls of Interstate Concrete and mass scale planning (even though some SOWA type environments allude to the continued attempts at Central Planning).
  7. If I had my way 100% though, I’d not have a single cent of subsidy in any transportation industry though; cycling, auto, transit, passenger rail, airline, or otherwise.  Subsidies do nothing but unbalance the entire flow and demand, allow society of over utilize and underutilize intelligent lifestyles.  It’s really a mess and should be remedied.  The solution, more manipulation of the population however is an unfortunate characteristic of what the last 50+ years of politics has left us with.

Is all of this stuff logical?  Not always.  But it doesn’t matter, point is, I’d go pretty far to create a more bicycle AND transit friendly HUMAN based environment versus the auto centric dehumanized environment most of this country has oriented itself around.  I moved 2400+ miles (as mentioned before for regular readers) back out here to Portland from other parts of the US.  There was a reason I did this, and it wasn’t because ODOT & WADOT want to build a $4.2 Billion dollar bridge across the Columbia River.  It’s for all the exact opposite of those reasons.

So hopefully that lays out this blog’s vantage point and it isn’t mistaken for an anti-bike blog.  Bicyclists by their mere efforts.  I generally won’t be commenting about bicycling much, but hope some of you keep reading and add to the transit discussions that often takes place here.  Thanks!

…and now, back to our normally scheduled topics on transit.

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