Saturday, February 18, 2012

Savage Transportation

Dear Savage Transportation,
Mixed messages.
My city and I have enjoyed a long, solid polytransportational relationship of several decades and through it all I think I have been very GGG. 

Though I am primarily a bi (cycling), ped (estrian), like any red-blooded american I do frequently, out of necessity cross over into and thoroughly enjoy auto (mobile) territory.  My city indulges it all:  auto, bi, (car) sharing, driving, training, flying and together we sometimes get on and off on public transport.

Here’s the problem: for years I put up with her auto fixation, sucked exhaust regularly (still do), and accepted (and often enjoyed) that the thrust of her auto focus was hard driving, but as a bi/ped I frequently felt second tier in my city’s affections. My city claims to love and support my bi/ped needs as equal to those of her auto-philia, and has even in recent years laid me paths to ride.

Lately, though, the mixed signals my city sends me have me feeling pretty insecure. I keep running up against all these confusing signs that say pretty clearly that I am second rate and will never be taken as seriously or be as important to her as her hard driving . I’m confused, Savage Transportation, and uncertain where I stand.  Should I give up, DTMFA, and move to Portland, Montreal, or Amsterdam? Or can I believe that my city will start genuinely treating my transportational predilections fairly and stop being so inconsistent?

Hoping Urban Biking Replaces Indolent Drivers Expecting Retrogression

First, HUB RIDER, let me remind you that regardless of your transportational preferences, we will all go to hell on a communion wafer if Rick Combo-of-Lube-and-Fecal-Matter gains national public office so don’t forget to lobby/ride/run/spend and vote against him.

Now, Hub Rider, though you seem to be very clear about what you and your city get on and off on, reading between the lanes I see another piece of your relationship that you don’t mention or choose to ignore: S and M. You’ve been enjoying a good eastern Massachusetts city ride for decades, HUB RIDER, so you are clearly a tad masochistic – and I offer that observation, as always, with no judgment.

It is also clear that your city has had the best of all worlds – including the world of federal grants and subsidies.  This country made a decision that the straight missionary position of transportation, the automobile, would reign supreme as The Ride and much of the economy has been based on its maintenance and perpetuation: from road construction instead of train bed development to artificially depressed gasoline prices – your city has only been following the example of your country.  All things will be equal, HUB RIDER, when Congress is willing to spend $25 billion to bail out bike and walking shoe manufacturers. Or even Amtrak - without whining.
I can’t tell you whether your city is sincere, HUB RIDER,  but I can tell you with certainty that the second Inquisition is around the corner if Rick Combo-of-Lube-and-Fecal-Matter gains public office so don’t forget to agitate/ride/run/spend and vote against him.

The climate (in every sense of the word) is changing, HUB RIDER, and bi/peds will have their day – if only because they’ll be the only folks able to move self-propelled.  More than a third of the adult US population may be obese and subsequently demented and the Supreme Court may have its head up its robe (what fun!) but you are on the right track for getting what you (and much of the country) need.   Instead of moving towns keep moving your booty, HUB RIDER.  And just continue to enjoy the ride.

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