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The surrealism of everyday life


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so your idea of an ideal city is what? You realize that the roads will always be the same amount of congested no matter how big and wide you make them right?

Well, as a start, my ideal Manhattan doesn't involve any bicycles; certainly not more. I don't think a lot of people riding bikes adds anything.

I'm not terribly concerned about the emissions. But perhaps you'll tell me that our buildings are eroding and are going to fall down. Or that Manhattan isn't a better carbon footprint than anywhere else in America. Not that that means Manhattan should try to be even better, but not at the expense of other quality of life issues.

If you tell me that, say, high tolls on passenger cars or other non-make-traffic-worse plans wont limit the number of cars in the city so that cabs, trucks and buses can get around easier, I guess I'll take your word for it.

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We have threads for annoyances and what made us cheerful, but then there's those weird things that happen.....   My workplace is particularly fertile ground for the surreal. 2 current examples:

Yeah, me too.   As soon as I'm a real member, I'll upload a real avatar.   Or did you mean my sig?

You talkin' to me?

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No no - high tolls would work - but we can't have them.

 

From time to time tolls on the MTA bridges get raised. For awhile traffic volume goes down a bit and then it goes back to where it was.

 

Of course if you imposed a truly punitive charge for driving in to Manhattan you could reduce traffic. For something like that to happen we'd have to muster the political will to to do that. So far that hasn't happened and it's not something a mayor can unilaterally decide to do.

 

BTW, I agree with you that the bike agenda is stealth traffic calming.

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No no - high tolls would work - but we can't have them.

Ok. So, I think it would be great if there were fewer cars and trucks in NY so that taxis, buses and commercial vehicles (I'm assuming that some of the high cost of stuff in NY is due to traffic issues?) can get around easier. On the other hand, it's New York (fucking) City, so people really shouldn't complain too much about traffic. I think the idea of turning the city into some version of Peking circa 1978 is silly, but I admit no one is suggesting that. Having people ride bikes around the city is fine, as long as they don't hit people, but I don't see why it should be encouraged or why anyone thinks it will benefit anyone other than the bicyclists themselves. If I lived on a quaint block and all of a sudden one of those bikeshare things popped up, I'd be very unhappy.

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No no - high tolls would work - but we can't have them.

Ok. So, I think it would be great if there were fewer cars and trucks in NY so that taxis, buses and commercial vehicles (I'm assuming that some of the high cost of stuff in NY is due to traffic issues?) can get around easier. On the other hand, it's New York (fucking) City, so people really shouldn't complain too much about traffic. I think the idea of turning the city into some version of Peking circa 1978 is silly, but I admit no one is suggesting that. Having people ride bikes around the city is fine, as long as they don't hit people, but I don't see why it should be encouraged or why anyone thinks it will benefit anyone other than the bicyclists themselves. If I lived on a quaint block and all of a sudden one of those bikeshare things popped up, I'd be very unhappy.

I think they are looking at Rotterdam or Copenhagen.

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Well, as a start, my ideal Manhattan doesn't involve any bicycles; certainly not more. I don't think a lot of people riding bikes adds anything.

Agreed on this. Got hit by one going the wrong way against a red light a few weeks ago (while walking). Luckily I saw him at the last second and was able to lower my shoulder. So maybe one less on the road now.

 

I do notice more near-hits than I care to try and count now.

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We can always remove the parking lots that public housing provides and turn those into bike stations. Or perhaps, a bicycle obstacle course, for the first time bike riders who are most likely going to kill themselves getting on a bike they normally wouldn't have.

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I'd like to ban bikes just to annoy cyclists.

Me too.. They seem to be super into government intervention. I am sure they would be huge supporters of the government requiring bike riders to be licensed and taxed. I am all for it, myself. Assuming it will help the greater good, of course. Every rider will have to be insured, subject to random stop and searches by police. Each bicycle should have a plate, vin number all registering it with some commission. Maybe put it under a new branch of the DMV.

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I'd like to ban bikes just to annoy cyclists.

Me too.. They seem to be super into government intervention. I am sure they would be huge supporters of the government requiring bike riders to be licensed and taxed. I am all for it, myself. Assuming it will help the greater good, of course. Every rider will have to be insured, subject to random stop and searches by police. Each bicycle should have a plate, vin number all registering it with some commission. Maybe put it under a new branch of the DMV.

 

Actually, they strongly resist helmet laws, licensing, insurance, mandatory Bike Ed courses, etc.

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The sample of cyclists you are used to in New York may be skewed toward a high percentage from the militant fringe. People want to frame it as a mini-culture war. I think that if you have a much larger population of cyclists you'd find that most of them wear helmets and obey traffic laws. And pedestrians would learn to be aware of cyclists bicycle riders and not step off the curb without looking.

 

If I lived there I would like to have the option of riding a bike. Not to make a statement but just to get around quickly.

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The sample of cyclists you are used to in New York may be skewed toward a high percentage from the militant fringe. People want to frame it as a mini-culture war. I think that if you have a much larger population of cyclists you'd find that most of them wear helmets and obey traffic laws. And pedestrians would learn to be aware of cyclists bicycle riders and not step off the curb without looking.

 

If I lived there I would like to have the option of riding a bike. Not to make a statement but just to get around quickly.

 

I think you're on to something. For a lot of people in New York (not all, but a lot) a bicycle is a political statement masquerading as a way of getting around.

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