Graphic video of cyclists being hit by a car.

11 07 2011

And its not what you think, even here, in cycling most hallowed competition the cyclists aren’t safe from automobiles.

 





Open Hostilities

27 06 2011

I like the way this NY Times article starts:

While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars. The methods vary, but the mission is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

While I don’t hold out too much hope for car culture in the states to change anytime soon, there is always time for hostility toward cars. This seems like an excellent opportunity for some google image search car destruction porn. Unfortunately, while “hostility toward cars” sounds great, prepared to be underwhelmed. In the eloquent parlance of our former President Bush I “misunderestimated” the power of google images to deliver captivating scenes of twisted metal wreckage. I was expecting images of  cars on fire, flipped, turned upside down, and I’d like to take a minute just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-air. Or something like the bonus stage in Street Fighter 2 wherein you get the chance privilege  GOD GIVEN RIGHT to engage in open hostilities towards an automobile and rip it apart with your bare hands in wanton abandon.

"perfect" is an understatement.

But no, all that was there was this:

Disgustingly cute is the new hostile.

While most motorists have about as much skill at operating their vehicles as this dog does, I have to fault whatever algorithm google is using to compile search results. I DEMAND BLOOD at least a drippy oil pan,maybe a coolant leak, something! Come on, give me a little to work with here google.

Maybe theres an app for that. If theres an app to help drivers find parking, there is most likely one to help them injure and maim pedestrians, cyclists, and other unarmored street combatants. Oh, wait, that would be all the apps and cell phones drivers wield while mercilessly patrolling the streets.

Adding to the European arsenal in the fight against cars and their ruthless totalitarian dictators, Michael Kodransky, global research manager at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in New York said:

“Sihl City, a new Zurich mall, is three times the size of Brooklyn’s Atlantic Mall but has only half the number of parking spaces, and as a result, 70 percent of visitors get there by public transport”

Now, I don’t know what types of shops are at the Sihl City mall, but I do know that here in Brooklyn there is nothing that makes me want to go to the Atlantic Terminal whatsoever, regardless of how many parking spots they have. I’m not alone. A couple years ago Blogger fuckedinparkslope did a 4 part undercover mission to expose the conditions in which the war torn target store was enduring. Having made the mistake of willfully entering the failed state that is the Atlantic Terminal Target, I can vouch for FIPS documentary. NATO needs to head there next.

In what could be an unintended choice of wording, (that I will take creative liberties with and mischaracterize) Peder Jensen,  of the Energy and Transport Group at the European Environment Agency said:

“In the United States, there has been much more of a tendency to adapt cities to accommodate driving,…Here there has been more movement to make cities more livable for people, to get cities relatively free of cars.”

I don’t know if he means “livable”, or “living”, as in “In Europe we like to have living people, as opposed to America”. Yes, in America we are openly hostile but we don’t like to actually declare it. We use words like “military campaign” instead of “war” and somehow, magically, that legitimizes it and turns the horrors and atrocities of war into a small dog in the seat of a car. What does it take to actually be “openly hostile”? Maybe the dog urinating on the upholstery in the police car? Whatever it is, its not what we think. As Washington Post opinion writer Eugene Robinson finds:

“Obama, with uncommon disregard for both language and logic, takes the position that what we are doing in Libya does not reach the “hostilities” threshold for triggering the War Powers Act, under which presidents must seek congressional approval for any military campaign lasting more than 90 days.”

There we have it, aircraft strikes, missiles, shootings, and countless other forms of violence that we have at our disposal are not “hostile”. I should have no trouble physically assaulting  automobiles then, Street Fighter 2 style.

Luckily there is an app for that. The Obama 2012 application has apparently been bugged from the start. Maybe we got the alpha version. In any case, it is apparent that it has been loaded with malicious software. Read the first review:

“Obama 2012 just doesn’t work! When I click “close gitmo” it starts a war in Libya. When I click “Nobel Peace Prize” it errors out and increases unmanned drone attacks in Pakistan!”

Pio Marzolini, a Zurich City official, who is confusingly is under the insane notion that he, and other 2 legged human beings, are more important than our 4 wheeled motorized counterparts. Having mentioned “twisted metal” earlier in the post I feel obligated to use a photo from the real life documentary “twisted metal 2” which portrays “one mans daily commute to the office”

Yeah.

“We would never synchronize green lights for cars with our philosophy, when I’m in other cities, I feel like I’m always waiting to cross a street. I can’t get used to the idea that I am worth less than a car.”

This guy. Pfft. Crazy talk.





David Byrne: On Bikes and Cities

22 06 2011

Momentum mag has a short but good article with Talking Head David Byrne.

“I haven’t wanted to be a real advocate or proselytizer,” he said in a phone interview from New York. “But if I sense that people are kind of ready and willing to try something, later I’ll say, ‘Well yes, this is how you do it, and this is how it’s done, and this is my experience, and the rest is up to you’.”

While I don’t agree with some of his points (for example I’ve found a hero in Miami City Manager-Hector Mirabile and in true South Miami style I feel that people shouldn’t do things when they are ready, but more so just do what I say when I say it) he is in a unique position for cycling advocacy, and should utilize it. If only he had included the reason people such as myself and Nattefrost are cyclists, for the vomiting.





Miami Declares War On Events

22 06 2011

Maybe we do need some anarchy. Alex Pro come on down to south Miami, a little street justice is needed there. Leave your Labatt Blue behind though, and only bring your bike.

Miami local Mari Chael wanted to organize a “joyous bike ride” around town. Unfortunately she made the mistake of inviting some city officials. Fearing an invasion of anarchists masquerading as cyclists, and assuming that “joyous bike ride” is a euphemism for “cocaine fueled Taliban atheist sex riot” (I’d like to google that, but I’m afraid (“I’d like to google that” sounds bad too incidentally)) the  City Manager-Hector Mirabile had this to say:

“Under no circumstances will you do this unless this commission authorizes you to do it. If it does happen and you violate a law, the police will take action and code enforcement will take action.”

The issue apparently lies in Chael’s use of the word “event”, which upon hearing sets the members of the city government into an uncontrollable rage. Also, Chael decided that she has something called “rights”, whatever those are, and that she was “concerned”, something the city government should convene an exploratory committee to investigate.

 “I’m concerned, it is within our rights, within the Florida statutes that a group can get together and bike ride as long as they abide by the rules of the road of the state of Florida. There is no special event here.”

Frothing at the mouth and violently spastic, the city officials apparently have been taking anger management classes from Bill O’Reilly:

Further inciting the city, Chael had the nerve to try to reason with them:

When Ms. Chael referred to the ride as an “event,” it all went downhill from there. She offered different suggestions so the ride could proceed without conflicts with the city manager’s office, but to no avail. Her suggestions included a new point of origin, waiving any interest in a voluntary police escort and changing the date of the ride. She also reiterated that there was no need for street closings of any kind.

Seeing through her obvious ploy, the city, knowing that no reasonable person would attempt to co-operate with them, and deducing that Chael must be an Al-Qaeda operative bent on wreaking havoc on Miami through “joy”, city manager Mirabile shot back:

“This is an event. It came out of your own mouth. You are not allowed to do it unless this commission approves it.”

Thankfully there is a hero in Miami, a man who will take a stand, a man who will be there to stop joy in all its forms, a man who we can count on to be on the front lines of the war against “events”. If there is one thing I know, its that “events” will be the downfall of America, they lead to nothing but “anarchy”. Look at how the Stanley Cup turned out. So next time a person invites you to an “event” on facebook, call Homeland Security right away. Together we can stop “events” and being led by the champion of our cause City Manager Hector Mirabile, we can win!





AFRICA: ‘Bicycles Are For Good

21 06 2011

Great read over at World Streets Blog, these are a few good quotes straight away, but the article is quite a bit longer.

“Politicians may tell us that bicycles are a sign that we are not advancing,” says Patrick Kayemba, managing director of the First African Bicycle Information Organization in Uganda, “but we ourselves have seen that cycling is a socio-economic tool. It works now – we don’t have to wait for someone to rescue us with better public transport, better this, or better that…”

So it seems as though politicians the world over have an agenda to eliminate cycling as more than a hobby.

“A bicycle in Africa means access,” Kayemba told an international cycling planning conference audience in Seville, Spain in March 2011. “You have a bicycle, you have access to income, clean water, social services, different places of work, a means to carry goods,” he said. “It is not for leisure, it is not for reducing weight – here, a bike is life.”

And, the world over, bikes have the same meaning, life.





My Hero! *swoon*

21 06 2011

http://meslin.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/john_count_2/

Here is a cyclists cyclist.

As opposed to the earlier post I made dealing with a traffic count, this one has quite a bit better outcome. And what with pretty infographics and twitter screen grabs, my internal designer (as opposed to interior designer, who doesn’t exist because I cant afford one) is a bit jealous.

At least the twitter screen grab wasn’t the now infamous Anthony Weiner weiner one, although I’m a bit jealous in that area too. You cant seem to go anywhere without seeing Anthony Weiners…well…I’m sure we are all tired of genital jokes by now. Which brings me to the, again, now infamous Weiner (careful clicking that link, you never know what will “pop up” sorry, I couldn’t help it) who could stand to learn something from the City Councillor Josh Matlow.

Instead of tweeting raunchy pictures to underage girls, or threatening that  “When I become mayor, you know what I’m going to spend my first year doing? I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your fucking bike lanes” (I guess Weiner will have plenty of time to get to work on that now) actually spent some time doing his job and went to investigate the contested traffic count. Cheers to you good sir, keep up the good work!





Motorists Injure Cyclists, Police Get Tough On Cyclists?

21 06 2011

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/cyclists-face-fines-as-police-get-tough-20110621-1gcjs.html

Well, in a fit of American tea party type logic, the Aussie police have seen fit to “get tough” on the victim. The article quotes a senior police sergeant as saying: “We have seen a number of incidents recently, particularly in the St Kilda Road area, where cyclists have collided with opening car doors,” Dubbed “Operation Compass” (which is humorous because it is evidently the police who have lost their way here and should be trying to find it) police “will patrol major routes into the city at peak times following a recent jump in bicycle crashes that have left some cyclists with serious injuries”. The article goes on to state that:

“The most recent figures from Bicycle Victoria’s annual road count, taken on March 1 this year, revealed that 1510 cyclists passed through the intersection of Swanston and Flinders streets in the city between 7am and 9am. That was the busiest bicycle commuter intersection in the city, recording an average of 12.6 cyclists per minute. However, the number of riders was down 18.5 per cent on the previous year due to wet and windy conditions in the city on the day the count was taken.”

Which of course, in a car dominated culture is exactly what “they” want.