DC Bike Summit report (lobbying effort)

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Mike Jacoubowsk, Mar 6, 2004.

  1. Just got back from the DC Bike Summit and have quickly
    thrown up a page about it on our website-

    http://www.chainreaction.com/dcbikesummit04.htm

    I felt this was an enormously-important (and successful)
    event. When cyclists present their voice on the hill, things
    *do* happen. It's unfortunate that it's so difficult for the
    average person (or shop owner) to get involved, but it's not
    impossible... otherwise I couldn't have done it!

    If you have the time, please check out that page; it lays
    out the issues that were addressed. And get involved if you
    can. If the issues strike you as relevant, send an email to
    your Congressperson. They *do* pay attention, and,
    surprisingly, breaking through the clutter isn't that tough
    (each Congressperson has a fairly decent staff, with
    different people dedicated to different types of issues; in
    general, the "transportation" staffer is the one you'll be
    dealing with).

    If you need info on who your Congressperson is and how to
    contact them, go to either www.house.gov or www.senate.gov.

    And finally, I know emails seem tacky, but right now that's
    the best way to get ahold of them. Mail simply isn't working
    anymore, due to the anthrax and other security scares. The
    process of irradiating the mail destroys about half of what
    comes through (it causes various inks to cook and/or melt,
    and even destroys some types of paper), and it takes forever
    to find its way to them, if it does at all. Representatitve
    Tom Lantos' office hadn't seen a mail delivery in one week!

    Thanks-

    --Mike Jacoubowsky Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReaction.com IMBA, BikesBelong, NBDA member
     
    Tags:


  2. On Sat, 06 Mar 2004 23:18:25 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction
    Bicycles" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Just got back from the DC Bike Summit and have quickly
    >thrown up a page about it on our website-
    >
    >http://www.chainreaction.com/dcbikesummit04.htm
    >
    >I felt this was an enormously-important (and successful)
    >event. When cyclists present their voice on the hill,
    >things *do* happen. It's unfortunate that it's so difficult
    >for the average person (or shop owner) to get involved, but
    >it's not impossible... otherwise I couldn't have done it!
    >
    >If you have the time, please check out that page; it lays
    >out the issues that were addressed. And get involved if you
    >can. If the issues strike you as relevant, send an email to
    >your Congressperson. They *do* pay attention, and,
    >surprisingly, breaking through the clutter isn't that tough
    >(each Congressperson has a fairly decent staff, with
    >different people dedicated to different types of issues; in
    >general, the "transportation" staffer is the one you'll be
    >dealing with).
    >

    I'm never sure whether to despair or hope for democracy.

    A good buddy of mine used to work on the Hill doing just
    this. Talking to him put me off ever trying to contact a
    United States representative; he would talk about reams of
    constituent mail and emails, and lots from cranks, as well.
    The Member had, through his chief of staff, issued them a
    list of 'approved language' that gave a reasonable
    impression that the member had read or even responded to the
    communication.

    At around the same time, I was doing thesis research at
    the Library of Congress and the National Archives. Passing
    by the House office buildings on my way to the Library, I
    was always touched to see families, touring Washington for
    the first time, and calling on their U.S. Representatives,
    as a courtesy.

    -Luigi
     
  3. Top Sirloin

    Top Sirloin Guest

    Luigi de Guzman wrote:

    > I'm never sure whether to despair or hope for democracy.

    I appreciate Mike's effort and his report, but in all
    reality should the federal government be involved in
    micromanaging cycling and pedestrian access at a local level
    nationwide?

    The only roads the feds should be building are interstates,
    and only in the cause of national defense. The focus should
    be on starving the fed gov of funds, freeing up money for
    state/county/city cycling initiatives where the process is a
    million times more efficient and intimate.

    --
    Scott Johnson / scottjohnson at kc dot rr dot com
     
  4. > I appreciate Mike's effort and his report, but in all
    > reality should the federal government be involved in
    > micromanaging cycling and pedestrian access at a local
    > level nationwide?
    >
    > The only roads the feds should be building are
    > interstates, and only in the cause of national defense.
    > The focus should be on starving the fed gov of funds,
    > freeing up money for state/county/city cycling initiatives
    > where the process is a million times more efficient and
    > intimate.

    "The feds" generally aren't building roads at the state or
    local level. Nor are we suggesting otherwise. But this isn't
    a "states rights" issue! The federal government has a very
    real and very important responsibility to ensure consistent
    standards for roads, in every state, for obvious safety
    reasons. The federal government also has an obligation
    (largely overlooked) to consider transportation issues as
    something that goes beyond what a local municipality is
    willing to do. For example, at the local level, a
    jurisdiction may decide to hell with air quality issues, you
    shouldn't trust air you can't cut with a knife. *I* would
    argue (while you may not) that citizens deserve some degree
    of minimal standards for the environment.

    Probably one of the most important issues we're pushing,
    regarding the "complete streets" program, is a uniform set
    of standards for how cyclists & pedestrians are accommodated
    at intersections, as well as on roadways in general. This
    isn't the government actually building anything, but rather
    making sure that our needs are accounted for by default,
    rather than us having to have esp and know when something's
    coming up and make our voices known each and every time (not
    to mention that uniform standards improve safety, since
    everyone knows what to expect at, say, an intersection).

    As for freeing up funds because the state/county/city is
    a "million times more efficient and intimate"- I don't
    think that's true. I'm sure you can find examples of
    federal boondoggles that are shocking beyond belief, but
    there are definite advantages to doing things on a
    national scale in terms of providing better analysis of
    what works and what doesn't, due to both a larger and
    more consistent sample size.

    But trust me on this one- "The Feds" would much rather
    pretend to give the states money and let them do what they
    wish. Two things go wrong. First of all, the big lie. Like
    the California Lottery, which was supposed to save our
    schools with increased funding (but the reality is that the
    state offset the new funds by reducing others)... well no,
    bad example, this would be even worse. "The Feds" wouldn't
    capture any less money, they just wouldn't send it to the
    states. *Or* they'd claim they weren't capturing (ok,
    collecting taxes) the funds in the first place, so it
    becomes the state or local municipalities job to do so.

    I could probably provide better arguments if I hadn't just
    gotten back from a Century...

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  5. On Mon, 08 Mar 2004 06:15:04 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky"
    <[email protected]> wrote: <snip>
    >As for freeing up funds because the state/county/city is
    >a "million times more efficient and intimate"- I don't
    >think that's true. I'm sure you can find examples of
    >federal boondoggles that are shocking beyond belief, but
    >there are definite advantages to doing things on a
    >national scale in terms of providing better analysis of
    >what works and what doesn't, due to both a larger and
    >more consistent sample size.
    >

    Just the same, Mr. J, I'd rather deal with city hall than
    Capitol Hill. If I have a problem with how things go in my
    town, I can walk into the mayor's office, or the city
    manager's, and have it out.

    I do however agree that setting federal standards on
    accomodation is an admirable goal. How about calibrating
    all those accursed induction-loop traffic lights to trigger
    for bicycles? grrr! But there, again, that's an easy thing
    to go to the municipal authorities to do, traffic light by
    traffic light.

    (on that score, I've been fortunate. Someone--I don't know
    who--has made sure that nearly every induction loop light I
    ride through is triggered by my bicycle. eventually. yay
    city hall/VDOT/someone!)

    I haven't ridden nearly so far today. Just to church and
    back. and I'm still annoyed that I couldn't motorpace behind
    that minivan for as long as I wanted to.

    -Luigi half the age and a quarter the strength of Mr. J
     
  6. > Just the same, Mr. J, I'd rather deal with city hall than
    > Capitol Hill. If I have a problem with how things go in my
    > town, I can walk into the mayor's office, or the city
    > manager's, and have it out.
    >
    > I do however agree that setting federal standards on
    > accomodation is an admirable goal. How about calibrating
    > all those accursed induction-loop traffic lights to
    > trigger for bicycles? grrr! But there, again, that's an
    > easy thing to go to the municipal authorities to do,
    > traffic light by traffic light.

    Already done! Believe it or not, that exact situation was
    brought up as one of the success stories. There is now a
    standard way to mark the location of the coil for bicycles,
    so you know exactly where to position yourself. It's already
    being done in Palo Alto, CA.

    The problem with doing it by going to the municipal
    authorities, traffic light by traffic light, is that they
    have little, if any, incentive to fix things (aside from you
    bugging them). Worse yet, even if they do want to make your
    life better, they're worried that something they do is going
    to earn them a lawsuit. When they do something to the
    federal standard, that's no longer an issue, and this has an
    amazing effect on getting them to cooperate... with you!

    Also, one of the points to "complete streets" is that they
    have to show cause for *not* including bicycles and
    pedestrians.

    > (on that score, I've been fortunate. Someone--I don't know
    > who--has made sure that nearly every induction loop light
    > I ride through is triggered by my bicycle. eventually. yay
    > city hall/VDOT/someone!)

    But have they painted the appropriate symbol on the ground,
    telling you that a bicycle will trigger it, and showing you
    where you need to be?

    > I haven't ridden nearly so far today. Just to church and
    > back. and I'm still annoyed that I couldn't motorpace
    > behind that minivan for as long as I wanted to.
    >
    > -Luigi half the age and a quarter the strength of Mr. J

    Hey, at least you didn't skip church for a century today.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  7. On Mon, 08 Mar 2004 08:15:05 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    <snip excellent news on Federal standards for induction-
    loop traffic
    signals>

    >But have they painted the appropriate symbol on the ground,
    >telling you that a bicycle will trigger it, and showing you
    >where you need to be?

    Uh, no. I never thought of that. I have the most luck
    positioning myself dead center in the lane if I'm at the
    head of the queue at the stoplight. If I'm alone, being in
    the dead center of the coil usually does the trick.

    The funny thing is that I do this in the car, too. Dad is
    occasionally too impatient to wait , and occasionally rolls
    too far over to trigger the sensor when he's driving. He
    then gets even more mad when the light doesn't change.

    I figure if I know how to trigger the lights on a bicycle,
    applying the same care whilst controlling a ton and change
    of steel would easily get the lights to change for me. More
    cyclist traffic zen.

    >
    >> I haven't ridden nearly so far today. Just to church and
    >> back. and I'm still annoyed that I couldn't motorpace
    >> behind that minivan for as long as I wanted to.
    >>
    >> -Luigi half the age and a quarter the strength of Mr. J
    >
    >Hey, at least you didn't skip church for a century today.

    I'm in no shape for a century at this point in the
    season anyway.

    I am my own hypergravity training routine.

    -Luigi

    >
    >--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    >http://www.ChainReactionBicycles.com
     
  8. Rick Onanian

    Rick Onanian Guest

    On Sat, 06 Mar 2004 23:18:25 GMT, "Mike Jacoubowsky/Chain Reaction
    Bicycles" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >Just got back from the DC Bike Summit and have quickly
    >thrown up a page about it on our website-
    >http://www.chainreaction.com/dcbikesummit04.htm
    <snip>

    So, let me get this straight: You're trying to
    - make a difference
    - legally
    - within the system
    - properly
    - reasonably
    - _and_ successfully

    Hrmph. That's pretty rare. I see that it works...who'd have
    ever thought? ;)

    Meanwhile, while you go off gallavanting on trips of
    political usefulness, the rest of us here will armchair-
    quarterback our way to nowhere quite productively.
    --
    Rick Onanian
     
  9. Top Sirloin

    Top Sirloin Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

    > The problem with doing it by going to the municipal
    > authorities, traffic light by traffic light, is that they
    > have little, if any, incentive to fix things (aside from
    > you bugging them).

    You've evidently never seen me show up at a city council
    meeting. :)

    --
    Scott Johnson / scottjohnson at kc dot rr dot com
     
  10. Top Sirloin

    Top Sirloin Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

    > "The feds" generally aren't building roads at the state or
    > local level. Nor are we suggesting otherwise. But this
    > isn't a "states rights" issue! The federal government has
    > a very real and very important responsibility to ensure
    > consistent standards for roads, in every state, for
    > obvious safety reasons.

    I don't that that it's necessary for the feds to set
    consistent road standards nationwide, but that's just my
    opinion. The example I would give would be rural communities
    crosslaced with dozens of gravel and rough roads that while
    they may stink for cycling for even driving in your car, are
    perfect for their use of moving farm equipment and loads
    around. Forcing these communities to pay to upgrade these
    roads to perfect sections of two-lane blacktop with bicycles
    lanes and pretty interchanges would be a huge unnecessary
    tax burden.

    > The federal government also has an obligation (largely
    > overlooked) to consider transportation issues as something
    > that goes beyond what a local municipality is willing to
    > do. For example, at the local level, a jurisdiction may
    > decide to hell with air quality issues, you shouldn't
    > trust air you can't cut with a knife. *I* would argue
    > (while you may not) that citizens deserve some degree of
    > minimal standards for the environment.

    No, I completely agree that industry needs to be regulated
    in order to keep their impact on the environment as low as
    feasible, and more importantly that enforcement be swift and
    strict, and that it's appropriate for all of that to be
    determined at the federal level.

    > Probably one of the most important issues we're pushing,
    > regarding the "complete streets" program, is a uniform set
    > of standards for how cyclists & pedestrians are
    > accommodated at intersections, as well as on roadways in
    > general. This isn't the government actually building
    > anything, but rather making sure that our needs are
    > accounted for by default, rather than us having to have
    > esp and know when something's coming up and make our
    > voices known each and every time (not to mention that
    > uniform standards improve safety, since everyone knows
    > what to expect at, say, an intersection).

    This sounds like a good idea IMHO, but are they just going
    to be recommendations from the feds, or is the intent to
    have them incorporated into a bill? Are these going to be
    nationwide or just in urban areas.

    I think the tipping point will be when cycling and
    pedestrian recreation become popular enough (and you can see
    the rumblings of this coming with the current "war on fat"
    in the country - as cyclists we should be grabbing American
    obseity by the throat and pointing out how nmcompatible our
    current roadways are with unmotorized travel) that we hit
    critical mass in term of the percentage of elected officials
    at all levels of government who _automatically_ take into
    account the things we want because they themselves see the
    importance of them.

    > As for freeing up funds because the state/county/city is
    > a "million times more efficient and intimate"- I don't
    > think that's true. I'm sure you can find examples of
    > federal boondoggles that are shocking beyond belief, but
    > there are definite advantages to doing things on a
    > national scale in terms of providing better analysis of
    > what works and what doesn't, due to both a larger and
    > more consistent sample size.

    But local taxes _are_ more efficient. There's less overhead
    on every dollar of tax collected, which means for bang for
    the taxpayer buck.

    > But trust me on this one- "The Feds" would much rather
    > pretend to give the states money and let them do what
    > they wish.

    As above, the secret is to not send the money to Washington
    in the first place.

    > Two things go wrong. First of all, the big lie. Like the
    > California Lottery, which was supposed to save our schools
    > with increased funding (but the reality is that the state
    > offset the new funds by reducing others)... well no, bad
    > example, this would be even worse. "The Feds" wouldn't
    > capture any less money, they just wouldn't send it to the
    > states. *Or* they'd claim they weren't capturing (ok,
    > collecting taxes) the funds in the first place, so it
    > becomes the state or local municipalities job to do so.

    Going to the Federal Government isn't going to solve
    Californias problem of having elected dozens of
    socialists! :)

    You'll find this interesting (and I only linked from a
    conservative news forum so you wouldn't have to register
    to read it):

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1093079/posts

    > I could probably provide better arguments if I hadn't just
    > gotten back from a Century...

    This isn't an argument, just a discussion.

    --
    Scott Johnson / scottjohnson at kc dot rr dot com
     
  11. Top Sirloin

    Top Sirloin Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

    > "The feds" generally aren't building roads at the state or
    > local level. Nor are we suggesting otherwise. But this
    > isn't a "states rights" issue! The federal government has
    > a very real and very important responsibility to ensure
    > consistent standards for roads, in every state, for
    > obvious safety reasons.

    I don't that that it's necessary for the feds to set
    consistent road standards nationwide, but that's just my
    opinion. The example I would give would be rural communities
    crosslaced with dozens of gravel and rough roads that while
    they may stink for cycling for even driving in your car, are
    perfect for their use of moving farm equipment and loads
    around. Forcing these communities to pay to upgrade these
    roads to perfect sections of two-lane blacktop with bicycles
    lanes and pretty interchanges would be a huge unnecessary
    tax burden.

    > The federal government also has an obligation (largely
    > overlooked) to consider transportation issues as something
    > that goes beyond what a local municipality is willing to
    > do. For example, at the local level, a jurisdiction may
    > decide to hell with air quality issues, you shouldn't
    > trust air you can't cut with a knife. *I* would argue
    > (while you may not) that citizens deserve some degree of
    > minimal standards for the environment.

    No, I completely agree that industry needs to be regulated
    in order to keep their impact on the environment as low as
    feasible, and more importantly that enforcement be swift and
    strict, and that it's appropriate for all of that to be
    determined at the federal level.

    > Probably one of the most important issues we're pushing,
    > regarding the "complete streets" program, is a uniform set
    > of standards for how cyclists & pedestrians are
    > accommodated at intersections, as well as on roadways in
    > general. This isn't the government actually building
    > anything, but rather making sure that our needs are
    > accounted for by default, rather than us having to have
    > esp and know when something's coming up and make our
    > voices known each and every time (not to mention that
    > uniform standards improve safety, since everyone knows
    > what to expect at, say, an intersection).

    This sounds like a good idea IMHO, but are they just going
    to be recommendations from the feds, or is the intent to
    have them incorporated into a bill? Are these going to be
    nationwide or just in urban areas.

    I think the tipping point will be when cycling and
    pedestrian recreation become popular enough (and you can see
    the rumblings of this coming with the current "war on fat"
    in the country - as cyclists we should be grabbing American
    obseity by the throat and pointing out how nmcompatible our
    current roadways are with unmotorized travel) that we hit
    critical mass in term of the percentage of elected officials
    at all levels of government who _automatically_ take into
    account the things we want because they themselves see the
    importance of them.

    > As for freeing up funds because the state/county/city is
    > a "million times more efficient and intimate"- I don't
    > think that's true. I'm sure you can find examples of
    > federal boondoggles that are shocking beyond belief, but
    > there are definite advantages to doing things on a
    > national scale in terms of providing better analysis of
    > what works and what doesn't, due to both a larger and
    > more consistent sample size.

    But local taxes _are_ more efficient. There's less overhead
    on every dollar of tax collected, which means for bang for
    the taxpayer buck.

    > But trust me on this one- "The Feds" would much rather
    > pretend to give the states money and let them do what
    > they wish.

    As above, the secret is to not send the money to Washington
    in the first place.

    > Two things go wrong. First of all, the big lie. Like the
    > California Lottery, which was supposed to save our schools
    > with increased funding (but the reality is that the state
    > offset the new funds by reducing others)... well no, bad
    > example, this would be even worse. "The Feds" wouldn't
    > capture any less money, they just wouldn't send it to the
    > states. *Or* they'd claim they weren't capturing (ok,
    > collecting taxes) the funds in the first place, so it
    > becomes the state or local municipalities job to do so.

    Going to the Federal Government isn't going to solve
    Californias problem of having elected dozens of
    socialists! :)

    You'll find this interesting (and I only linked from a
    conservative news forum so you wouldn't have to register
    to read it):

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1093079/posts

    > I could probably provide better arguments if I hadn't just
    > gotten back from a Century...

    This isn't an argument, just a discussion.

    --
    Scott Johnson / scottjohnson at kc dot rr dot com
     
  12. On Tue, 09 Mar 2004 10:08:25 -0500, Top Sirloin
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I think the tipping point will be when cycling and
    >pedestrian recreation become popular enough (and you can
    >see the rumblings of this coming with the current "war on
    >fat" in the country -

    Whew! I'm thoroughly exhausted. Uncontrolled, undignified
    laughter is so tiring....!

    What it boils down to for the average American is this:
    faced with a choice, would you rather suffer moderate pain
    for your own good, or have another Big Mac?

    They go for the Big Mac, every time. I would, too. Any rat
    in a Skinner box would.

    The only thing that will get non-motorized transport off the
    ground in any serious fashion in America is a 1970s-scale
    major energy crisis. As in long lines to get gasoline. As in
    total failure of supply.

    You will note that the "bike boom" and Bikecentennial and
    nearly all of the major advances of the latter half of the
    twentieth century for cyclists in America can be traced to
    that brutal contraction of the energy supply. As soon as the
    oil started flowing again, the bike boom died out, and
    bicycles were safely on the back roads and back burner.

    -Luigi
     
  13. On Tue, 09 Mar 2004 10:08:25 -0500, Top Sirloin
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I think the tipping point will be when cycling and
    >pedestrian recreation become popular enough (and you can
    >see the rumblings of this coming with the current "war on
    >fat" in the country -

    Whew! I'm thoroughly exhausted. Uncontrolled, undignified
    laughter is so tiring....!

    What it boils down to for the average American is this:
    faced with a choice, would you rather suffer moderate pain
    for your own good, or have another Big Mac?

    They go for the Big Mac, every time. I would, too. Any rat
    in a Skinner box would.

    The only thing that will get non-motorized transport off the
    ground in any serious fashion in America is a 1970s-scale
    major energy crisis. As in long lines to get gasoline. As in
    total failure of supply.

    You will note that the "bike boom" and Bikecentennial and
    nearly all of the major advances of the latter half of the
    twentieth century for cyclists in America can be traced to
    that brutal contraction of the energy supply. As soon as the
    oil started flowing again, the bike boom died out, and
    bicycles were safely on the back roads and back burner.

    -Luigi
     
  14. Max

    Max Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote

    > What it boils down to for the average American is
    > this: faced
    with a
    > choice, would you rather suffer moderate pain for your
    > own good,
    or
    > have another Big Mac?
    >
    > They go for the Big Mac, every time. I would, too. Any rat
    > in a Skinner box would.

    I hear ya, but as my friend who introduced me to long
    distance cycling and commuting pointed out -- if you ride,
    you can eat _more_ Big Max.

    I think that might be cycling's biggest challenge, to move
    cycling from being percieved as a challange to being seen as
    a gateway to other, better things.

    I tried this winter, my successes tempered by my snotsicle-
    encrusted arrivals at work. "No, Really! It's fun!"

    .max i can dream.
     
  15. Max

    Max Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote

    > What it boils down to for the average American is
    > this: faced
    with a
    > choice, would you rather suffer moderate pain for your
    > own good,
    or
    > have another Big Mac?
    >
    > They go for the Big Mac, every time. I would, too. Any rat
    > in a Skinner box would.

    I hear ya, but as my friend who introduced me to long
    distance cycling and commuting pointed out -- if you ride,
    you can eat _more_ Big Max.

    I think that might be cycling's biggest challenge, to move
    cycling from being percieved as a challange to being seen as
    a gateway to other, better things.

    I tried this winter, my successes tempered by my snotsicle-
    encrusted arrivals at work. "No, Really! It's fun!"

    .max i can dream.
     
  16. On Tue, 9 Mar 2004 11:19:26 -0600, "max" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >"Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    >> What it boils down to for the average American is
    >> this: faced
    >with a
    >> choice, would you rather suffer moderate pain for your
    >> own good,
    >or
    >> have another Big Mac?
    >>
    >> They go for the Big Mac, every time. I would, too. Any
    >> rat in a Skinner box would.
    >
    >I hear ya, but as my friend who introduced me to long
    >distance cycling and commuting pointed out -- if you ride,
    >you can eat _more_ Big Max.
    >
    >I think that might be cycling's biggest challenge, to move
    >cycling from being percieved as a challange to being seen
    >as a gateway to other, better things.

    Nobody wants gateways. Everybody wants Big Macs. American
    society in the aggregate is not amenable to long-term
    planning, or visualization--which might account for the
    unbelievably low rate of savings in the American economy,
    especially in the last twenty years or so.

    The Good has never interested many people; fear of The Bad
    is far more compelling.

    -Luigi
     
  17. On Tue, 9 Mar 2004 11:19:26 -0600, "max" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >"Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote
    >
    >> What it boils down to for the average American is
    >> this: faced
    >with a
    >> choice, would you rather suffer moderate pain for your
    >> own good,
    >or
    >> have another Big Mac?
    >>
    >> They go for the Big Mac, every time. I would, too. Any
    >> rat in a Skinner box would.
    >
    >I hear ya, but as my friend who introduced me to long
    >distance cycling and commuting pointed out -- if you ride,
    >you can eat _more_ Big Max.
    >
    >I think that might be cycling's biggest challenge, to move
    >cycling from being percieved as a challange to being seen
    >as a gateway to other, better things.

    Nobody wants gateways. Everybody wants Big Macs. American
    society in the aggregate is not amenable to long-term
    planning, or visualization--which might account for the
    unbelievably low rate of savings in the American economy,
    especially in the last twenty years or so.

    The Good has never interested many people; fear of The Bad
    is far more compelling.

    -Luigi
     
  18. On Tue, 09 Mar 2004 10:08:25 -0500, Top Sirloin
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Forcing these communities to pay to upgrade these roads
    >to perfect sections of two-lane blacktop with bicycles
    >lanes and pretty interchanges would be a huge unnecessary
    >tax burden.

    Fed standards rarely apply to state only and county roads.
    They apply to roads using Fed dollars. Maryland grants
    waivers faster than the drop of a hat on almost any state
    roads. The counties ask what waivers you'd like before you
    start building...

    AASHTO is a recommendation in most cases.

    Curtis L. Russell Odenton, MD (USA) Just someone on
    two wheels...
     
  19. On Tue, 09 Mar 2004 10:08:25 -0500, Top Sirloin
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >This sounds like a good idea IMHO, but are they just going
    >to be recommendations from the feds, or is the intent to
    >have them incorporated into a bill? Are these going to be
    >nationwide or just in urban areas.

    If they are paid in part or in whole by Fed dollars, they
    have to use as the default the Fed standards. Anyone that
    can justify by hardship or special design a different spec
    will usually be allowed to build otherwise. The key is that
    the default includes considerations for bike and pedestrian
    travel and they have to justify building otherwise.

    Curtis L. Russell Odenton, MD (USA) Just someone on
    two wheels...
     
  20. On Tue, 09 Mar 2004 11:58:57 -0500, Luigi de Guzman
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >You will note that the "bike boom" and Bikecentennial and
    >nearly all of the major advances of the latter half of the
    >twentieth century for cyclists in America can be traced to
    >that brutal contraction of the energy supply

    Change that to road bikes and it may largely be true. MTBs
    have little to do with the oil issues.

    Curtis L. Russell Odenton, MD (USA) Just someone on
    two wheels...
     
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