Why does the mayor of NYC see cycling as a "very big quality-of-life problem? What do cyclists find ironic about his attitude? Why does the New York mayor consider bicycles a greater problem than automobiles? What problems, caused by automobiles, could be reduced or eliminated through the use of bicycles?
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Automobile Dependency in NYC
Ron Wallenfang wrote:
The same NYT article quotes the mayor as follows: "Bicycles are
a very big quality-of-life problem. It may be the thing that was
most mentioned to me when I was campaigning, particularly in Manhattan"
Eristoff said: "In my four and a half years in office, no other issue has
generated such a level of complaints," estimating he gets three calls a
week on the subject."
John Serafin replied:
Hmmm, I would think that in Manhattan, automobiles are a much
bigger quality-of-life problem, worth at least several hundred calls a
week in a city of several million.
If maybe autos aren't all that big a problem in Manhattan, then
there is no way bicycles are even a blip.
I remember reading
about one of the early Christian martyrs. He was frantically finishing
his diatribe before being led to the lions in the arena. Who was
he attacking? Not the Romans, who were about to kill him horribly;
instead, he was denouncing the Gnostics, which had never caused him the
slightest pain. Why? Because their beliefs were in conflict.
The major of New
York is not going to get upset about automobiles even if the fatalities
increase alarmingly, the temperatures rise above the markings on the thermometer,
and the water starts lapping at the city streets.
Our whole society
is built around the automobile, and when the last car has been hauled to
the crusher, we are going to have to live in a completely different world,
something that he, and his constituents do not want to face.
Do they want to
wear Lycra? No! Do they want to get hot and sweaty? No!
Do they want to build up their hearts so they won't have to pop pills and
endure double by-passes? No! Do they want an end to endless
traffic jams and the start of a less hectic way of life? No!
Do they want clear air and water and more comfortable weather? No!
Do they want to fight each other all day long, work endless hours on tired
legs, and retire to the nursing home without having seen anything more
than the inside of a cubical or an automobile? God, yes!
Autoholics Anonymous A Self-Help Program for Petro-Junkies by Riley Geary.
The Rhyme of the Angry Commuter The real solution to the problems of NYC.