Response to Joan Vennochi

Joan Vennochi hit on some interesting points related to bicycling in the city and its position in the political landscape. While her auto-centrism shouts out from behind her attempt at neutrality, she’s right that cycling shouldn’t be a conservative or liberal issue.

But driving cycling into the local political landscape is important. The common ground we share is our local streets. For too long automobiles have had the sole franchise on street planning, parking and infrastructure investment all at the cost to others. It’s no wonder the demographic of today’s early adopting riders are young men as the number one thing preventing more folks from riding is their fear for their own safety from the preponderance of automobiles clogging and hogging our streets.

Vennochi almost makes the connection that for every rider there is one less person in a car or truck clogging the streets, but alas she failed. She also failed to realize that parking isn’t what local businesses need in order to thrive, but better friendlier street design that provides safe access for everyone especially pedestrians and cyclists. There is a growing mass of evidence of the economic benefits of complete street design and there are examples where conservative elected officials recognize it and they’ve begun to adopt complete streets as part of their agenda.

Besides if today’s conservatives truly lived up to the meaning of that word, they’d be all for saving money, time and resources for little cost to the government. After all most riders motivation isn’t politics, but saving time and money while getting free exercise. It certainly isn’t to irritate “driver seat” liberals like Joan Vennochi.

Leave a Reply