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"About a week ago, I found myself on a backstreet in Ravenswood, trailing a cyclist without a helmet riding on old-style ten speed with a courier bag slung over his back. It appeared to me that he didn’t know I was there while we were both approaching the upcoming stop sign. I say he didn’t know I was there because it seemed he was off in his own world, daydreaming while riding, and was clearly hearing-impaired from the huge Beats headphones he had on. Being the (sometimes) nice and courteous guy that I am, I figured I’d just give him a heads-up that I was there. So I tooted my horn lightly.

Oh, spare me the white man’s burden crap. It appeared he didn’t know you were there?  Why? Because he had an “old-style ten speed” and a “courier bag?”  Because he didn’t have a helmet?  (Like that even fucking matters.)  Because he was wearing headphones that may or may not have been playing music at a volume completely unknown to you?  He could have been listening to “News from Lake Wobegon” for all you know.  ”Appearances” don’t mean shit.  I mean, when I see a mushy putz driving an SUV like the guy who wrote this article, it “appears” to me that they couldn’t possibly achieve or sustain an erection (much less hear or see a thing what with his radio and cellphone and cabin insulation and climate control and blind spots), but that doesn’t mean I attempt to have sex with their spouse or life partner for them. 

Anyway, so what if he didn’t know you were there?  He doesn’t really have to know you’re there.  You have to know he’s there because you’re the one approaching from behind.  So wait until it’s safe to pass him and then do so.  Don’t honk at him, especially as you’re approaching a fucking stop sign.  It’s irritating enough when people honk at you for no reason, but it’s quadruply annoying when they do it at a stop sign or red light, and if you want to know why sometimes we’re inclined to roll those things then there’s your fucking answer.

And for fuck’s sake, how do you honk your horn “lightly?”  Horns don’t modulate—it’s on or it’s off, you twit!  Nobody can detect the nuances in your car horn.  We can’t even detect the nuances in your prose because you’re such a shitty hack.

So, unsurprisingly, the hack gets the finger:

Guess I should have known better. Not that I expected a waive from the cyclist, nor did I expect him to stop and say thank you, but I didn’t expect him to give me the one-finger salute in a long, protracted, five-second long flip-off accompanied by a scornful face.

Hey moron, maybe he was just flipping you off “lightly”—you know, just so you knew that he was there.”

Bike Snob

(via thegreenurbanist)

» It's Time to Stop Sharing the Road

The PC urban professional crowd you see on their corporate sponsored, helmet-required tours will shun assertive language and cling to a vocabulary of non-confrontationalism. For them, reputation and obedience are more important than responding to clueless motorists and their lethal driving habits with equal and opposite force. Whether in the streets or in our ongoing discourse, the tendency is to back down, to let the oppressor define the rules of engagement and debate. That kind of power dynamic has gotten us basically nowhere.

The burden of mortality is always on the person riding a bike, yet the burden of responsibility for killing or maiming a person with a car virtually never falls on the driver. If that pisses you off, it’s time to start acting like it. We’ve come to a point where all the soft-ball pitching of our needs has failed to deliver streets that are safer. Asking for permission to ride without fear doesn’t work – motorists don’t care, or they can’t hear you. It’s time to start adopting principles of two-wheeled liberation.

While I’d caution most people about kicking and punching the vehicle belonging to a driver that almost just ended a life, I cannot stress enough how important it is to not let them simply drive away without holding them accountable – even if it’s only to receive a strongly worded scolding of their dangerous behavior. If they can almost kill you and get away with it, there’ll have zero negative feedback from which to form a lasting memory of the incident, and they’ll be that much more likely to do it again.

It’s okay to get mad, it’s okay to curse. Don’t get out of control, and always be aware of your surroundings. First and foremost, keep yourself and your comrades out of harms way. But remember, you don’t have to take shit from anyone. Somebody rides your ass with their two-ton death machine blaring the horn, that’s a threat, and you have every right to defend yourself from that kind of aggressive action.

Just because you’re at risk out there doesn’t mean you have to be a victim. Remember, you’re on a motherfucking bike.

read more: rebelmetropolis, 15.10.13.

you can cop the hoodie (or tank) in the photo above @AWLF.

A study in Wisconsin by the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce determined that a typical Walmart store costs taxpayers over $1.7 million per year, or about $5,815 per employee. A 2004 study in California put the cost per employee at $2,103.

For the year 2012,  Walmart’s pre-tax U.S. income was almost $18.7 billion. That’s over $14,000 per U.S. Walmart employee.

5 Industries That Are Mercilessly Robbing the American People (via futuristgerd)

(via emergentfutures)

If you demolish the whole city for the flow of traffic, what destination for that traffic would be left?

Marc van Woudenberg of Amsterdamize

in Why the Streets of Copenhagen and Amsterdam Look So Different From Ours. atlanticcities, 25.04.12.

» The U.S. Can’t Afford Nice Transit, So Everyone’s Fawning Over BRT

nextcity, 24.09.13.

» Think your plastic is being recycled? Think again.

The US may have Save the Earth campaigns to thank for the embrace of recycling. But more likely, it was made possibly by China’s emergence as a manufacturing powerhouse. The more China made, the more it needed used plastics, eventually sucking up around two-thirds of the US’s plastic scrap each year, worth several billion dollars.

“[Plastics] 3-7 are absolutely going to a landfill—[China’s] not taking that any more… because of Green Fence,” David Kaplan, CEO of Maine Plastics, a post-industrial recycler, tells Quartz. “This will continue until we can do it in the United States economically.”

China controls a large portion of the recycling market, importing about 70% of the world’s 500m tonnes of electronic waste and 12m tonnes of plastic waste each year. Sudden Chinese policy changes therefore have a significant impact on the global recycling trade, which puts pressure on western countries to reconsider their reliance on the cost-effective practice of exporting waste, a habit that’s reinforced by a lack of domestic recycling infrastructure and a lower demand for secondary raw materials.

China’s Green Fence policy just might spur the U.S. government and recyclers into much-needed innovation..

dailykos, 18.09.13.

» America: Where It's Okay to Regulate Women, But Not Guns

i know, maaang…

how many people gotta fucking get killed in the streets just walking or bicycling before laws change (ie. the 3-foot bill, transportation bills that actually fund ped-bike projects) and old-school street engineers get thrown out so streets can get redesigned??!

america is not holland, where people called out the automobile’s role in the “kindermoord"—murdering children, and consequently re-righted the streets to walking and cycling. america won’t act on things like that. 

kids getting killed by guns, cars? who cares? i don’t know what this talk about gun regulation is, much less a complete street.

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