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NPR story today - Car vs. Cyclist

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

NPR story today - Car vs. Cyclist

Old 08-26-08, 08:21 PM
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NPR story today - Car vs. Cyclist

http://www.npr.org/blogs/talk/2008/0...cyclist_1.html

Anyone hear the segments today on NPR? I thought it was pretty biased against cyclists. This Rob Anderson is running for public office in San Francisco, thinks bikes harm the economy and says he doesn't trust "experts" (traffic engineers). Anyone from San Francisco have some input on what is going on out there?
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Old 08-26-08, 11:56 PM
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hes an idiot. everyone i know in sf thinks hes an idiot.
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Old 08-27-08, 12:37 AM
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he also got on the front page of the wall street journal with his wacky ideas: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...t=rob+anderson

seems like NPR would cater to car drivers; it's not like many people listen to NPR on the way home during the bike commute.
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Old 08-27-08, 01:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Val23708 View Post
hes an idiot. everyone i know in sf thinks hes an idiot.
+1! just look at holland, they ride their bikes everywhere and they are happier, taller and healthier. the real negitive impacts are from fast food and overweight americans in SUVs.
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Old 08-27-08, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Val23708 View Post
hes an idiot. everyone i know in sf thinks hes an idiot.
+1. he's an idiot. he just wants to hear the sound of his own voice. he enjoys the feeling of superiority he gets from this.
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Old 08-27-08, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by mattm View Post
seems like NPR would cater to car drivers; it's not like many people listen to NPR on the way home during the bike commute.
That's an excellent point. NPR also has a vested interest in keeping people in their cars. That's probably where the majority of people are exposed to their programming.
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Old 08-27-08, 01:38 AM
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Oh yeah, he's a real winner alright. Got 0.95% of the vote in district 5 in 2004.
http://www.smartvoter.org/2004/11/02/ca/sf/race/29/

He got nowhere in 2000, and his rants are probably no more popular this time either.

Why would NPR and WSJ give a crackpot like this any attention? Boggles the mind!
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Old 08-27-08, 01:47 AM
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Even in the most bicycle-friendly communities, this is still America. Not a slight to those of you down under or in other parts of the world - I haven't been there, so I don't know. I have been to Holland many times. The U.S. is still a car-centric society, and it is not going to change overnight. Comparing Holland to a vast majority of the U.S. is not a fair comparison.

This guy does sound like a doofus though.
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Old 08-27-08, 06:36 AM
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I think he's right. Bike lanes are not going to get more people riding. Not many anyway. And there will be more congestion. If you want to get people out of their cars, just add a $4/gallon gas tax and use that for public transit.

Bike lanes are for safety, not emissions reduction. So, it depends on what their goals are, and what the budget is for.
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Old 08-27-08, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
I think he's right. Bike lanes are not going to get more people riding. Not many anyway. And there will be more congestion. If you want to get people out of their cars, just add a $4/gallon gas tax and use that for public transit.

Bike lanes are for safety, not emissions reduction. So, it depends on what their goals are, and what the budget is for.
That would also raise the pump price of gas up to approximately its true cost of production+consumption, which would be rational.
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Old 08-27-08, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by fogrider View Post
+1! just look at holland, they ride their bikes everywhere and they are happier, taller and healthier. the real negitive impacts are from fast food and overweight americans in SUVs.
The NBA was my dream as a young boy. I only grew to 5' 9".

*****. To think I might have grown to 6' 2" if I'd been on the bike more as a kid.
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Old 08-27-08, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Flash View Post
The NBA was my dream as a young boy. I only grew to 5' 9".

*****. To think I might have grown to 6' 2" if I'd been on the bike more as a kid.
I rode my bike a lot, and I am 6'2". So there's your proof.
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Old 08-27-08, 06:54 AM
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If they are really serious about cutting car traffic down, they should consider doing what London, England did. Put on enormous user fees to take your car into town. And, I really mean enormous! Nobody wants to drive into the city any longer, and trains are much longer. New busses all over the place too.

Makes bikes and public transportation look pretty good.
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Old 08-27-08, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Coyote2 View Post
That would also raise the pump price of gas up to approximately its true cost of production+consumption, which would be rational.



What do you base this on ?
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Old 08-27-08, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Coyote2 View Post
That would also raise the pump price of gas up to approximately its true cost of production+consumption, which would be rational.
That is based on the large external costs (costs not included in the pump price) of producing and consuming gasoline. Production externalities include pollution (oil spills and other environmental damage from oil drilling and refining, subsidies which come from our tax dollars, etc); consumption externalities include, most obviously, the economic damage from pollution (e.g. global warming), congestion, noise, road damage, etc. If all of the true costs of producing and consuming gas were included in its price, it would be much more expensive. The higher taxes, such as those charged by much of the civilized world (e.g., Europe), raise the pump price to an accurate level and hence reduce consumption to an efficient level.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:18 AM
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Yeah, I've been beating that drum since college. Gas is way too cheap in the US.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
I think he's right. Bike lanes are not going to get more people riding. Not many anyway. And there will be more congestion.
I used to think the same thing, but a lot of my friends in philly started riding because they feel safer in bike lanes and there happened to be one on the way to work/school/whatever. As they began to ride more, they got used to riding without them.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by fogrider View Post
+1! just look at holland, they ride their bikes everywhere and they are happier, taller and healthier. the real negitive impacts are from fast food and overweight americans in SUVs.
Yesterday I rode by a local field that was holding football practice, pee-wee.
Probably 60 large SUV's parked along the bike path.
The parents were ticked because so many showed for practice and they had to park so far from their field.

go figure.
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Old 08-27-08, 07:48 AM
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Mrs. Woo asks that I post her opinion:

"Damn cyclists. I say we make a bike tax and use the money to build car lanes".

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Old 08-27-08, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CharlieWoo View Post
Mrs. Woo asks that I post her opinion:

"Damn cyclists. I say we make a bike tax and use the money to build car lanes".

Woo the hell does she think she is?

sorry
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Old 08-27-08, 08:19 AM
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-It's refreshing to hear scientific economic principles applied to this issue, rather than inane rantings about how our gov't should manipulate the market just to make us happy. Gas tax holiday, anyone?
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Old 08-27-08, 08:20 AM
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-That was directed at Coyote2. I'm still figuring out the posting interface.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Coyote2 View Post
That is based on the large external costs (costs not included in the pump price) of producing and consuming gasoline. Production externalities include pollution (oil spills and other environmental damage from oil drilling and refining, subsidies which come from our tax dollars, etc); consumption externalities include, most obviously, the economic damage from pollution (e.g. global warming), congestion, noise, road damage, etc. If all of the true costs of producing and consuming gas were included in its price, it would be much more expensive. The higher taxes, such as those charged by much of the civilized world (e.g., Europe), raise the pump price to an accurate level and hence reduce consumption to an efficient level.
Don't forget the military costs, since most of the oil comes from unstable areas that are not exactly best friends with US/Europe.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by dark13star View Post
Don't forget the military costs, since most of the oil comes from unstable areas that are not exactly best friends with US/Europe.
Yeah, it's kind of like looking at virtual water usage (like how it takes 16,000 liters of water to get 1kg of beef to your dinner table -- growing feed, drinking cows, refrigeration, transportation, storage, etc).

Last edited by waterrockets; 08-27-08 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 08-27-08, 08:37 AM
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Honestly, I'd like to see a high tax on gas so we can build a sustainable trasportation system before we hit peak oil and cars become unfeasable.
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