Saturday, July 16, 2011

"bikes beat the plane, bikes beat the plane, bikes beat the plane"

"bikes beat the plane, bikes beat the plane, bikes beat the plane" - the Ghost of Bobby Thomson.

Congrats to the @WolfpackHustle for beating the BUR->LGB JetBlue flight, and to JetBlue for being such good sports. Final results: Unofficial times via twitter - Bikes-1:34 Metro/Walk-1:44 Rollerblader-2:40 Plane/lost cab driver-2:54.

What turned out to be the highlight of the Carmaggedon weekend was the throw down match between the Wolfpack Hustle a bicycling club in Los Angeles and a special promotional flight offered by JetBlue (just when you thought unlimited blue potato chips couldn't be bettered) for the weekend. The whole thing was kicked off on Twitter by Author Tom Vanderbilt who wrote the book Traffic that I've written about before who twipondered (to ponder out loud on Twitter) could some bike beat the flight if all the security lines were taken into account. Add did they, by a long shot!

As fun as the event is, it does bring into mind how much of our transportation is getting to the transportation. I have a 2 mile rule where I try to make as many of my less than 2 mile trips on my bike. Not a problem in sunny Califor There are viable alternatives when and where there is support. I recently rode to a strip mall and there was ZERO bicycle parking. It's interesting that most local building codes mand minimum car parking requirements, but they don't mandate minimum bicycle parking. This tweet asks the big questions

class5tax Devin Martin
Cyclists just proved bike is most efficient transit in why do cars/planes get all the tax breaks??… #flightvsbike

Cars have become the oxygen we breathe. In the same vein, most citizens don't realize the expenses of driving, in the same way they don't think of many government services as government Service. Robert Reich points out a survey by Cornell professor Suzanne Mettler:
A recent paper by Cornell political scientist Suzanne Mettler surveyed how many recipients of government benefits don’t really believe they have received any benefits. She found that over 44 percent of Social Security recipients say they “have not used a government social program.” More than half of families receiving government-backed student loans said the same thing, as did 60 percent of those who get the home mortgage interest deduction, 43 percent of unemployment insurance beneficiaries, and almost 30 percent of recipients of Social Security Disability.

The cost of the 405 Freeway expansion is about $1 Billion. I wonder how much people think the expansion is going to cost? Probably not even close.

This little stunt was exciting in that it shows, alternatives exist, but we have to believe this is true to act on it.


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