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So says Jack Conahan in The Baltimore Sun:

Our self-righteous pedallers will argue that they are reducing emissions by having one less car on the street. They neglect that the hundreds of motor vehicles they impede burn far more fuel following them in first or second gear than they would in fourth or fifth gear if the bikes were absent. Let them ride public transportation, which would certainly benefit from more fares.

Read the rest (and leave a comment pointing out the multitude of complete BS in this article).

Hmmm, cars don’t actually burn more gas in low gear when they are moving slowly.  In fact, if cyclists make cars drift, that saves gas.  But even that’s a smoke screen.  You know who’s responsible for the planet-killing effects of your car?  YOU ARE! If you’re so damned worried about pollution, why are you driving?!  And if you can get your car into fifth gear in city traffic, you’re driving too fast.

I am very, sincerely, utterly sorry if I am the cause of you not being able to drive up Charles Street at 45mph.  Really I am.  You’re right.  I concede.  You pay to register YOUR car and to put gas in YOUR car to pollute MY lungs.  You’re out more money than I am, and I have MUCH more fun on my bike than you have on your way to work in your car.  So.  Okay.  You can have Charles Street on your way home.  We’ll all get out of your way because you have to pay for your own car.  I know — who would have thought you should have to pay for your own license and registration and insurance?  What?

Oh, yeah.  You pay for your license and registration because you are paying for the right to drive your car around other people.  You’re not paying for the road.  That’s paid for by taxes we all pay.  That’s right.  I don’t drive a car, and I have to  pay for the road you ruin with your car through my taxes.  I don’t pay for highways, but I don’t use them either, not personally.  And anyone that delivers me something via highway pays it themselves.

And you pay for insurance because of all the other people (because I’m sure YOU are a safe driver) who run their huge metal boxes into other people and their boxes and ruin their metal boxes and hurt and kill people, even people walking or cycling without big metal boxes.  In short, you’re paying insurance because cars are dangerous, not because it’s some toll giving you sole access to the road.  All the money you pay is because you ruin the road, because you pollute the air, because you hurt people.  You pay these things because of the nature of cars, which is to trample the road, people, other cars and the environment.  These are not your ticket to claim everything paved.

The fact is that most cyclists own cars (not all; I don’t), which entitles them to the road under your criterion anyway, i.e., that they pay for it.  And guess what?  The rest of us pay for it, too.  They are called taxes.  Do your research into how they’re spent before venting your anti-cyclist issues a week after one of YOURS killed one of OURS.

If you think licensing and insuring bikes will lead to better bike life in Baltimore, that’s just naive.  Even with bike lanes and sharrows, drivers like  you act like they/you own the road.  What we’ll have is licensed bikes getting hit by cars, rather than unlicensed bikes.  Car drivers/owners pay for licenses, insurance, everything you want us to pay for already.  Do YOU have great infrastructure?  Hell no.  “Your” roads are crumbling, and it’s not from bikes.

The problem is one of attitude.  And your post illustrates this attitude (this problem), not some solution you think you’ve found in paperwork, fees and bike-sized license plates.

One can boil down 2/3 of the comments on The Sun to some weirdly Rush Limbaugh-esque assumption that being contrary is the same thing as being intelligent.  Well, hell, I’ll play along.  I’m being contrary about your contrariness, so I must be much, much, much smarter than you are.  Bow before my towering, contrary intellect!

Seriously, though.  How can the only “official” news agency to show up for the memorial ride go ahead and print this shameless, low-brow nonsense all the time?

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