Freedom of Mobility

Americans always seem to be incredibly afraid of losing their freedoms. Some responses to my anti-car transportation ideas have been “they might start controlling what kind of cars we buy!”

Guess what. They’re already controlling the very fact that we buy cars. It’s not even a choice for most people.

Also, Many are confused by the idea that we’re addicted to oil. They see cars as a necessity, therefore, it’s like saying we’re addicted to air.

Guess what. Cars are a necessity here.

And that’s a crime.

It’s an infringement on freedom to force one mode of transportation on a person. One that causes 40,000 deaths a year, one that costs $6000 a year, one lonely, frustrating, stressful, and unsustainable mode of transportation. It’s either that or walking/biking dangerously close to these dangerous shells. It’s either that or, if you’re lucky, the bus.

We’re addicted to oil, we’re dependent on it, and other countries are making sure we stay dependent on it.

Do you know how cheap it is to install parking lots for bikes?  How expensive it is to build parking lots for cars?  Do you know what amazing good a Bus Rapid Transit line would do for your city? This country is insane. Such potential–youngsters and disabled people and old people could get around on their own.

This is not about being “GREEN,” it’s a real look at our freedoms.  This wasteland is holding us back from rebuilding the economy. Time to rebuild the wasteland.

Bike Vs. Car – It Will Only Get Worse

Incidents like these are not likely to calm down as cities incorporate bike lanes more and more. It reminds me of the transition from horses to cars at the beginning of the 20th century: one road for two extremely different modes of transportation. I now agree with David Lagrand’s efforts here in Grand Rapids to make every cyclist wear a helmet–sharing the road with fast, ignorant, and pissed-off cars is DANGEROUS. 

When I get caught be hind a person on a bike on the city street (with no bike lane), I get very annoyed. I do wish they’d take the sidewalk. They are not going the speed of an automobile, but they are going much faster than a pedestrian, so where are they to go?  I’d still say with the pedestrians–it is safer and easier to pass pedestrians (shouting “on your right!”), especially in a nation where there aren’t that many pedestrians OR bikes on the sidewalks, where sidewalks exist, at least.

It’s simply going to be a difficult transition, no way around it. But bikes are not going anywhere. They’re a cheap, healthy, enjoyable, and sustainable way to get around.