Bike News Roundup: How can I speak for the trees if I’m also selling SUVees?

It’s time for the (very late) Bike News Roundup. Lots o’ good stuff, so let’s get to it.

First up, anger over the upcoming Lorax film — which appears to have somehow missed the obvious environmentalist message of the story, at least in its marketing — has launched into full-blown protest after the Mazda commercial below hit the web. That’s right, it’s THE LORAX selling a car. A freaking car. This is a guy who doesn’t even like using Truffula Trees to make bicycle seats! You don’t even need to be an environmentalist to be outraged by this. You just need to be able to read above a first grade level. Clearly they missed this passage in particular:

“I am the Lorax,” he coughed and he whiffed.
He sneezed and he snuffled. He snarggled. He sniffed.
“Once-ler!” he cried with a cruffulous croak.
“Once-ler! You’re making such smogulous smoke!
My poor Swomee-Swans… why, they can’t sing a note!
No one can sing who has smog in his throat.”

Pacific Northwest News:

National and Global News:

This is an open thread.

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13 Responses to Bike News Roundup: How can I speak for the trees if I’m also selling SUVees?

  1. LWC says:

    Re: learning from the Big Dig.
    The article mentions the park that replaced the surface highway in Boston. This is where AWV tunnel proponents have been a bit disingenuous. They talk about “reclaiming the waterfront”, but the plans call for as many as eight lanes of traffic between pioneer square and the water! If that proposal holds, I hardly think the end result will be worth the trouble and cost.

    • Gary says:

      If Seattle wanted to learn from the “Big Dig” they wouldn’t have dug another tunnel for cars. That’s a solution to a problem of the past. The future is about moving people, about having a sustainable city. That tunnel is none of those things.

      Seattle needs another tunnel, but it needs it for the second Light rail line. The one that needs to from West Seattle to Ballard. The current Downtown rail tunnel will be at capacity when the East Link is up and running. With a light rail line from West Seattle to Ballard, there wouldn’t be the need to have all those autos drive through that corridor in the first place.

      • Al Dimond says:

        Absolutely, both of these things. The way the waterfront is turning out just shows how delusional the tunnel proponents have been, and how they’ve lied and fooled every constituency they’ve sold it to.

      • Todd says:

        Did anyone ever doubt this was going to go for condos or whatever?? Of course they lied. You follow politics enough, you’ll soon learn that they’re gonna tell you — the voter — what you want to hear and then they’re going to do what’s right for big business. That’s all you need to know.

      • Al Dimond says:

        Ain’t nothing wrong with condos. If people want condos, let ’em have condos.

        I’m talking about the fact that there’s going to be a tunnel underground and still a hugely wide road on the waterfront. The tunnel group tried to sell this to the people that wanted a nice waterfront park as putting all the traffic underground, with a “nice park boulevard” on the surface. And the truth is that traffic going downtown will still be on the surface through the waterfront (everyone always knew this), lots of through trucks will still be on the surface through the waterfront (everyone should have always known this, but lots were misinformed), and lots of ferry-based traffic will still be on the surface through the waterfront (few people gave much thought to this, but its occasional peak loads will have a massive impact on the physical form of the roadway).

        The “nice park boulevard” will basically have to be a wide highway. Anyone that supported the tunnel was either deluded, uninformed, misinformed, or deliberately lying. Sadly, many people supported the tunnel because they were misinformed by deliberate liars.

    • Todd says:

      Light rail should connect all the major hubs in the area. There is no reason why the populace should not have another travelling alternative that doesn’t require automobile roads. Bike trails are only part of that solution. I give the city and county some credit for at least planning these things and carrying through on some of them. There is an effort and a will — if only it would happen sooner, right? All I know is I think doing a full commute or mixed commute by bike, bus, and rail is one of the best experiences/options out there.

  2. Doug Bostrom says:

    Meanwhile, clockwise wingnuts are complaining that the Lorax is a crypto-communist opposed to inhaling carbon monoxide even though inhaling toxic gases creates jobs. Can’t please anybody, poor little guy.

  3. Doug Bostrom says:

    OT but I finally drove the new bit of the BG yesterday. Two conclusions:

    — I really have to get gloves with fingers;

    — Given my personal experience with what started as an affordable remodel and then turned into a white-knuckle close encounter with emerging facts and a subsequent financial black hole, the final cost of the BG trail improvements does not seem like very much. A plethora of details had to be dealt with to do the job right and as they say, “if you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.” Mostly it seems as though the affected section of trail has been recast in a way that should work for a long time to come.

    • Tom Fucoloro says:

      Especially when you realize they built a couple new bridges, a sewer project (involving a delicate salmon-spawing creek, nonetheless), a mile or something of retaining wall and tons of new fencing (which I find ugly, but the neighbors wanted it), then yeah, the cost seems about right. It wasn’t just the trail they were working on.

      • Todd says:

        Yeah we all agree the cost was outrageous and easily predictable. But I must say they did a hell of a job. I complained at the initial cost so you know what I think about the total cost. It’s sad it works this way but it’s all water under the bridge (exactly what the players want from us) now and I must say I just rode it tonight and this improvement is very, very nice and well done. They put a first rate trail through the heart of LFP waterfront homes and took care of them. I’d be really curious if you can find any press regarding how the neighborhood feels about it — because as a rider it’s a MAJOR improvement through this area. In fact, it sadly makes the rest of the trail substandard.

  4. Doug Bostrom says:

    Todd: In fact, it sadly makes the rest of the trail substandard.

    Yeah, the problem w/remodels: redo the kitchen and the bathrooms look shabby. Rinse, repeat until broke. :-)

    Regarding the neighbors, as Todd says it looks as though a lot of care was taken w/regard to crossings, visuals behind downslope houses. An upgrade compared to the way things looked before, so hopefully they’re all happy.

  5. Doug Bostrom says:

    Fun discussion of “broken window” effect, traffic safety over at the NY Times:

    Making Cities Safer for Cyclists and Pedestrians

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