F.H. Buckley: We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight the Bike Lanes – WSJ.com

This is straight from the Agenda 21 playbook.  In our area they are putting bike lanes on Route 22, one of the busiest and most dangerous highways in New Jersey.  It was built in the 30's, has 3 lanes in each direction with a center island that has businesses in it.  You sometimes make left turns with a small deceleration lane on the left or by a jug handle on the right.  Normal speed of traffic is 60-65 on a road engineered for 50.

And they want bike lanes. No cyclists now use it and there is no place to go to or come from, other than by car.  You can't cross it safely other than by pedestrian bridges, spaced every 5 miles or so..  Yet they are spending $$$ to put in bike lanes and reduce the size of the shoulders.

The following is from the Wall Street Journal.  What is happening in Virginia and New Jersey is soon coming to you.  Beware.


My brave little neighborhood of King Street in Alexandria, Va., has calmly met the challenges of the Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War, but now we're seriously annoyed. What's bothering us are the bike wars. The city of Alexandria has proposed to take away our street's parking spaces and replace them with a dedicated bike lane. The preening activists who favor these lanes are in my town, and they will soon come to a neighborhood near you if they're not there already.

It's not as though local cyclists favor King Street. It's a main artery, State Highway 7, that runs for 70 miles east from George Washington's Alexandria to Patsy Cline's Winchester in the west. Each day the road conveys 15,000 commuters past my house, traveling from Arlington and Fairfax to their jobs in Old Town or to the Patent and Trademark Office, along a two-lane street only 30 feet wide. Cars speed by, and city buses plow through our red lights at 40 miles per hour.

Our stretch of King Street is also extremely steep. The very few cyclists you do see on this thoroughfare use the sidewalk, as they are permitted to do. Coming up the hill, they rarely move faster than the very few pedestrians, so everyone's safe.

As for the residents, we're really attached to our parking spots. We like to tell our friends to drop by anytime. We don't want to send our plumbers to park a few blocks over, on streets that are already congested. Not a problem, the city tells us. Just get a special parking permit from city hall for visitors. And what about the occasional party? What do we tell our guests? Ah, the city's street coordinator said, channeling her inner Marie Antoinette, let them get valet parking.

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Part of the bike brigade in Alexandria, Va. City of Alexandria

Many people on our street are bicyclists, so we're not antibike. When bicycling, however, we never use King Street. We'll take the safe side streets that get us to wherever we want to go. We're also not fabulously wealthy. We don't hire valets to park cars for our visitors.

But the bike activists are mobilizing the troops. The cycling advocacy blog Wash Cycle published a two-step action plan, calling on proponents to stand up for the lanes by inundating the city council with support. Alexandria Transportation Commissioner Kevin Posey has taken to firing off tweets about how "some neighbors can't bear the thought of giving up unused parking," and that opposition to bike lanes represents "a trend where a few wealthy residents oppose projects to benefit middle class consumers."

The problems of a few hundred Alexandria residents wouldn't deserve a great deal of attention if all this weren't part of a growing national movement that pits local homeowners and businesses against cyclists and their trendy allies on city councils. It happened in Washington, D.C., in 2011, when Adrian Fenty's support for bike lanes helped make him a one-term mayor, and it's going to happen across Alexandria. Bike wars have also broken out in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley, Seattle, Austin and elsewhere.

Forget religion and politics, says New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. What you don't want to talk about at dinner parties is bike lanes, she told a luncheon in January.

We're seeing a similar kind of activism in the national "Park(ing) Day" movement. These are open-source events when artists and activists take over a parking space, put a coin in the meter, and for two hours turn the space into a mini-park or gallery. We've had them in Alexandria, and they can be a lot of fun, bringing out the tiny anarchist in all of us. What's behind the movement, however, is an anticar political agenda. The Park(ing) Day Manual tells us the point of the movement is to let people know that "inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution."

Our little squabble illustrates the tactics you can expect to see when the bike wars reach you. Cyclist-commuters may number no more than 2% of the adult American population according to a 2002 report by The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, but they are the ones who go to city council meetings. They'll push for the kind of "Complete Streets" policy that our city adopted, one that gives priority to pedestrians and cyclists over cars.

In the abstract, that will sound innocuous, but when the time for implementation arrives, you'll find yourself losing your street parking, street by street, as roads are repaved. And parking spaces are just the beginning. As Mr. Posey wrote on the blog Greater Greater Washington, "if we can't take a few parking spaces, how will we take the traffic lanes?"

When you see the bike activists in your neighborhood, be warned that they tend not to play nice. Our local gang misrepresents their number and talks of assembling a "critical mass" of cyclists who will ride together up King Street. On their blog, one of them urges bicyclists to "ride slowly and smack in the middle of the lane, especially at peak times."

Come to think of it, if you've ever been held up by a cyclist blocking traffic when there was plenty of space on the side of the road, you've already participated in the bike wars.

via F.H. Buckley: We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight the Bike Lanes - WSJ.com.

Are “Green” Progressive Policies Really Good for the Poor?

It is typically understood that "Green" policies are tailor made to support and improve the lives of the working poor. Joel Kotkin does a great job of debunking that myth on NewGeography.com.



by Joel Kotkin 10/28/2013

Historically, progressives were seen as partisans for the people, eager to help the working and middle classes achieve upward mobility even at expense of the ultrarich. But in California, and much of the country, progressivism has morphed into a political movement that, more often than not, effectively squelches the aspirations of the majority, in large part to serve the interests of the wealthiest.

Primarily, this modern-day program of class warfare is carried out under the banner of green politics. The environmental movement has always been primarily dominated by the wealthy, and overwhelmingly white, donors and activists. But in the past, early progressives focused on such useful things as public parks and open space that enhance the lives of the middle and working classes. Today, green politics seem to be focused primarily on making life worse for these same people.

In this sense, today’s green progressives, notes historian Fred Siegel, are most akin to late 19th century Tory radicals such as William Wordsworth, William Morris and John Ruskin, who objected to the ecological devastation of modern capitalism, and sought to preserve the glories of the British countryside. In the process, they also opposed the “leveling” effects of a market economy that sometimes allowed the less-educated, less well-bred to supplant the old aristocracies with their supposedly more enlightened tastes...

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