Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Is Oregon Really That Bike-Friendly?

And, is civil discourse as dead as it seems?

It's starting to feel like the answers are "No" and "Yes", respectively, and it's depressing me.

Two cycling-related legislative proposals have hit Salem in the last week or so, and the resultant firestorms of "debate" (applied in the loosest of possible contexts) have amounted to hate-speech.  Both sides are guilty, but the pro-car/anti-bike wing wins hands-down for both overt and covert threats of violence and preponderance of ignorance.  They've got the gross vehicle weight behind them, after all.  So, when push comes to, well... squish... the cyclist loses.

There are some pretty damned stupid "spokeys" out there, too... don't get me wrong.  A carbon-neutral footprint doesn't win you any points if you're otherwise an idiot.

Few of the combatants in the alleged debates seem to be from the "real world"... that is, people who both ride and drive and take a pragmatic view of both sides of the issues and try to find peace in the middle.  The loudest of the shouters are the anarchist bike-fans and the "you'll pry me from my car with your cold, loud Jaws-of-Life" crowd.

A news-flash, folks:  Peace is possible in the middle.  But it requires thought, tolerance and some flexibility.

Oh, damn.  I just remembered that I'm asking all three of the above from a majority of state citizens.  

Nevermind.  I'll keep an eye on my mirror for the pick-em-up truck aiming to make a hood ornament out of me.

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