Again with the tax nonsense

idiotic_pollSomehow I missed this one when it was posted, and it took one of Biking in LA’s great posts to bring it to my attention. Continuing this month’s trend of bashing media outlets, SFGate has given me more targets with their latest “weekly poll.”

Is it time for bicycle riders to pay to use the roads just as motorists do through vehicle license fees and gasoline taxes?

This assumption that our roads (the ones cyclists actually ride on) are funded entirely by gas and vehicle registration taxes is just plain wrong. In fact, it would be wrong to say that even a majority of the funding is coming from these motor vehicle specific sources.

The truth is, if you compare the amount of road surface I take as a cyclist, add in the amount of damage I do to the infrastructure resulting in the need for maintenance costs, and compare that with a car, you will find that as a cyclist I am not only paying my fair share, I am actually subsidizing the very group that is demanding increased taxes from me.

What Lois Kazakoff should have had in her survey was another line item:

No. Cyclists already pay more than their fair share. Instead, bicycle related products should be exempt from state sales tax to compensate for this disparity

 

“Perfect” suspect in Critical Mass incident

090715-kgo-ian-hespelt-imgI swear you can’t make this stuff up.

Pictured right is Ian Hespelt. The 31 year old cyclist has been arrested in connection with a recent Critical Mass incident involving a U Lock and a Zip Car. According to an ABC7 article on the story, neighbors were “shocked”, saying “…he’s not a violent person.” Well, the actions caught on film which he is now being accused of enacting sure are violent.

Could this guy seriously be a more perfect stereotype for the Critical Mass cyclist gone amuck? Keep reading →

NPR Has this one wrong

national-public-radio-npr-logo_100318079_mI seem to be spending a fair amount of time being frustrated with cycling stories in the media lately. I was hot off of my rant about the Jeff Jacoby opinion piece when this NPR article popped up in my social media. The article’s title clearly indicates the slant of the article: “As More Adults Pedal, Their Biking Injuries And Deaths Spike, Too.” Yet another title geared to perpetuate the myth that cycling is inherently dangerous. Or at least that was my take on it.

OK. So on the surface, you take an activity that occasionally results in some injuries, get more and more people doing it, and logically you’ll get more people getting injured. Simple, right?

Sure – until you then go and try to show how it somehow more than that.

Keep reading →

Jeff Jacoby doesn’t want you riding on his roads

According to Boston Globe Opinion Columnist Jeff Jacoby, you have no business being on the road on your bike. His latest opinion piece reuses tired old (and factually inaccurate) arguments to explain why efforts to increase bicycle access and utilization in our cities is, in his words, “irresponsible and dangerous.” But it is an opinion piece – right? I mean, he’s just stating what he thinks, not any actual facts.

Except for the things is cites as facts – that actually aren’t.

Keep reading →

The Critical Mass has passed

I’m annoyed. I’m sick of it. I’m pissed. I’m speaking only of San Francisco – and I may be digging my own stick-a-frame-pump-through-my-front-spokes kind of grave, but I do not believe that Critical Mass has any place, relevance, or purpose in the city of San Francisco any longer. (Caution: Strong language to follow)

Yet another unfortunate incident has taken place during a Critical Mass ride, and as per usual these days there is video, and it found its way to You Tube. Keep reading →

Google cars confused by track stands

In news linking technology and bikes in a funny, non-socially offensive way, the Washington Post reported on a humorous encounter between a fixed-gear cyclist and one of the Google Autonomous cars. According to the article, the slight motions created by the cyclist executing a track stand triggered the car to stop.

It apparently detected my presence … and stayed stationary for several seconds. it finally began to proceed, but as it did, I rolled forward an inch while still standing. The car immediately stopped…

— Washington Post, http://goo.gl/LlqH25

Track stands always have been an exciting, thrilling and reckless thing – as this video clearly demonstrates

Can San Francisco override California state vehicle code?

By Mayor_Ed_Lee.jpg: Nancy Pelosi derivative work: Tktru (Mayor_Ed_Lee.jpg) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Mayor_Ed_Lee.jpg: Nancy Pelosi derivative work: Tktru (Mayor_Ed_Lee.jpg) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
San Francisco’s recent demonstration in favor of adopting an Idaho Stop law in the city has stirred up the expected point/counter-point debate across social media and comment sections of various news articles.

One of the valid questions being asked is “Can San Francisco as a city actually do anything to change this law?” In truth, the answer is probably no. Stop signs – including their design, placement, and requirements – are actually regulated at the state level. Idaho’s law is was enacted at the state level. However, cities in Colorado have actually done what people are asking for in San Francisco, so it is not something inherently unique.

However, San Francisco does actually have a different option to achieve functionally that same goal. And it is one that has been utilized before. Keep reading →

San Francisco all abuzz about Idaho stops

The_Wiggle
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wiggle#/media/File:The_Wiggle.jpg

Idaho – arguably one of the pointiest states in the union – is back in the news again. This time on the streets of San Francisco. More precisely on the bike route affectionately known as “The Wiggle.” This road has become yet another battleground in the war between local police departments, cyclists, the anti-cycling bias and those frustrated with what they perceive as persistently scofflaw cyclists.

However, this time the news was not about cyclists breaking the law. Rather, it was about a bunch of cyclists going out of their way to follow the very letter of the law. That’s right. It was a deliberate act of civil-OBEDIENCE. Keep reading →

Just be nice…

Photo by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious https://www.flickr.com/photos/bike/
Photo by Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious https://www.flickr.com/photos/bike/

There is a scene in the movie Roadhouse where the main character is telling the bar staff at a rather rough bar to just “be nice.” If you haven’t seen it – it is a classic. Go watch it. If you have, stop rolling your eyes at me…

Anyhow, it struck me today how great the advice from this scene is for all of us bicycle commuters out there. There is far to much confrontational thinking where none is needed. Sometimes it is motorists thinking we are complete asses, and sometimes it is us assuming motorists are complete asses just out to kill us. But I had three separate incidents in the past two days that have turned me back on to the idea of “just being nice.” Keep reading →

More Women’s Cycling at “Pretty Damned Fast”

PDF-LOGORan across another beautiful and thoughtful cycling blog featuring content for women. Pretty Damned Fast strives to be about “Women’s cycling in all of its forms,  especially when it’s done with style.” Blogger Tayler and Anna Maria come from backgrounds in photography and fashion, and that design ethic comes across beautifully in not only the visual layout of their blog, but also the stories they include. Well worth adding to your daily feed readers.

Find the blog at http://www.prettydamnedfast.com/.