And the result is the usual blend of nonsense and made up shit.
At first, I found the comment to be highly intriging:
“There seems to be a widespread mental block against looking at a problem as anything but a deficiency of SOMETHING and the solution as anything but acquiring more of that SOMETHING. There might be some debate about what that SOMETHING is, but it is always assumed without question that, whatever IT is, the problem stems entirely from not having enough of IT and the solution is to get more of it, without regard to any other factors.”
I definitely fall into this camp as well. Let’s see what the other paradigm is!
“…As I teach (http://cyclingsavvy.org), it is still safe and easy to bike on almost all of our current roads.”Walking is a basic activity of life for humans and all other legged creatures. It does not require any infrastructure. The infrastructure required for biking is pretty minimal: a smooth strip of land. People were walking since there were people and people were biking more than 100 years ago, well before there was any notion of “bike/walk infrastructure”.
What!? If we need more education is this not the SOMETHING that they spoke of above. Color me highly confused. This comment which seeks to break out of the horrible duality paradigm falls into the very same duality.
“I use quotes because I think that the notion of “bike/walk infrastructure” is kind of ridiculous.”
LTRs know that this is part of the catachism for being a VC DB.
On the other hand, after riding in great infastructure as well as walking on it, I feel that good infrastructure is AWESOME. And it is still my SOMETHING. I want more!
“Walking is a basic activity of life for humans and all other legged creatures. It does not require any infrastructure. The infrastructure required for biking is pretty minimal: a smooth strip of land. People were walking since there were people and people were biking more than 100 years ago, well before there was any notion of “bike/walk infrastructure”.
All good stuff. I totally agree!
“What does require substantial infrastructure is driving motor vehicles. And as a society, we have built so much infrastructure to accommodate driving motor vehicles, and to make driving motor vehicles as easy as possible, that we have destroyed our older, simpler habitat in which it was easy to things to do a simple thing like walk (WALK!). The problem is one of excess, not deficiency.”
But then they go back to the whole class horseshit.
“… it is still safe and easy to bike on almost all of our current roads.”
No it is not. That’s a total lie. In fact, many people who are highly intelligent, can’t figure it out or just give up. In fact, google engineers found biking to work to be a veritable puzzle where they had to talk to a single cyclist to get the sacred lore. To say that this is easy is a cruel lie.
“It turns out that nobody at his new company knew whether it was practical either. Forty years ago, much of the peninsula was farm country and bucolic suburbs, but the prolonged tech boom has crammed more cars and more roads into the Bay Area. And in a strange way, all of this transit development has made it trickier for cyclists, who prize flat, low-traffic, unimpeded thoroughfares…”
“…Eventually, they heard about a legendary Google biker named Joe Gross, who’d mapped out a route from San Francisco that included a detour through the parking lot of a horse racing track. “
While it’s wonderful that they figured this out, the whole thing sounds like a complicated nasty hack. How did they motor to work? They just jumped on the freeway and followed the signs. Why aren’t there signs pointing them to google? Because we want more of SOMETHING.
Yes, I would like some more way finding signs, please.
” The biggest contributor to the problem for biking is a harmful social norm, one that (as Peter Norton describes in his book, Fighting Traffic) was created in the ’20s through automobile industry campaign. “
No! That’s not the problem. The problem is that PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO MIX IT UP WITH HIGH SPEED TRAFFIC BECAUSE IT’S LOUD SMELLY, AND OFTEN DEADLY.
“The next biggest contributor is a deficiency of education, which was once more common.”
“Lack of education” sounds nice, but in this context, it’s actually code for someone who’s out of step with the entire world. Complaining the vast majority of the population isn’t “educated” about cycling is nonsense. Most of us can ride a bicycle, but we prefer not to risk our lives doing it. No set of expensive and proprietary classes is going to change this. Classes have been around for decades and they do nothing but train the next generation of advocates to be contemptuous of normal people who just want to get some excercise and to work and back safely, comfortably, and efficiently.
Also, it’s a contradiction. If riding a bicycle is so easy, why do we need classes?
” But by disregarding the need for a rigorous understanding of the problem, we come up with proposed solutions that are ineffective and often counterproductive. There is a wealth of information on counterproductive bike infrastructure.”
Please point to it, and I’ll read it. I try to familiarize myself with all the available literature.
Also, note that the whole duality, education good, infrastructure can be good but often sucks mentality. How about the notion that Savvy Cycling (sic) is deficient and counterproductive? That’s what I believe, that Savvy Cycling sucks.
I don’t know the details of the classes, because I am not allowed to see their holy texts unless I pay, just like some other religions, but I do know that the people who espouse these classes are always uninformed when it comes to designing good streets.
“Even if we assume that the money designated for “bike/walk infrastructure” is well spent, it is still just a tiny band-aid on the problem caused all of the other transportation money.”
No, well build infrastructure is a game changer. Once we have infrastructure, we’re done. People will learn to cycle by themselves, and we’ll realize that we don’t need useless propaganda like Savvy Cycling.
“It is ridiculous to ask for more money to fix a problem out of the same fund that is sustaining the problem in the first place. “
This person sounds like they have Multiple Personality Disorder. They went to say that there could be good infrastructure, and now they say that this “sustains the problem.” If so, how to fix things then?
Instead of building good infrastructure, we could:
1. Continue to block good infrastructure and allow anti-cycling things to be built. This is the common “old guard” VC DB tactic. As Forrester said, to raise any kind of doubt in infrastructure, including the threat of lawsuits in order to make sure we get nothing built.
(These days are over. People are on to your old tricks.)
2. Build nothing and allow no roads to be maintained, effectively going back to the Stone Ages.
This is also a non-starter, so building good infrastructure, is really the only sane choice for someone who’s not peddling a useless class that would be made totally obsolete by good infrastructure.
” If someone takes your money and says they’re going to use it to buy a knife to stab you with, you don’t ask them to pick up some band-aids for you while they’re out. “
Wow! This is the heart of the problem. It’s a belief that “government is evil and anything that gets built with cycling involved will be bad.” This is wrong. We have one of the most open and transparent governments in history.
Yet, this belief that the government can’t do anything right or is actively hostile towards cyclists is pervasive in the classes approach.
Not only is this view wrong, but it’s insane. If the government is against you then you can do nothing to protect yourself. A class won’t help.
The fact is the government is made up of many different people. The vast majority of people like cycling as an option. There is no real bias against cycling in the left nor on the right.
People pick their mode rationally. They are not as stupid or as uneducated as Cycling Savvy makes them out to be.
In fact, Cycling Savvy people have lots of contempt for the average person. I have recently listened to part of Dan’s video on the fabled “door zone” and the contemptuous and self-superior laughter at an average cyclist’s attempt to navigate the scary streets by riding outside of traffic. To me, that’s an intelligent and rational response, but cycling savvy douches know everything so they say to ride in traffic even if it’s around a blind curve!
Not me. When there’s a blind curve, I’m on the sidewalk b/c I know that people tend to ride on the inside and that it’s a matter of time before I get hit in this manner. So when someone does die, while riding in the lane around a blind curve, I’m laying it at the feet of these Cycling Savvy and other VC DBs.
DON’T RIDE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. DON’T BE AN IDIOT AND GET YOURSELF KILLED!
“You ask, Why build schools in unsafe places and then try to fix them and make them safer?”
I totally agree with this.
” It’s not like they’re just naturally unsafe. They’re unsafe because we built them that way, and at great cost. It’s not like we couldn’t afford to make them safe at the time. They were safe to begin with until we spent a lot of money to do stuff that made them unsafe.”
Do they read my blog? I totally agree with this.
But now that the schools are where they are and the roads are the way they are, they need to be fixed. If we are going to check out of the “fixing the roads” business and proffer only useless classes, then we are part of the problem as well.
Thus, I find this comment highly contradictory. On one hand, we have the recognition that money has been spent to make things insanely dangerous. Then we have the fight against making them safe. Then we have the notion that we can somehow go back and time and rebuild things. I just don’t get it.
I suggest that we study those who have taken dangerous areas and fixed them. In cases where we don’t know about how to fix things, this is a great opportunity to build better infrastructure. Let’s stop wasting our time criticizing other cyclist’s riding styles and focus on fixing things so we naturally can figure out, without lameass classes, how to ride safely and effectively by ourselves.