Sad, Sad Flame War

It’s day-after-Christmas-deadly-slow news day at the Seattle PI, and the question of whether or not cyclists should be licensed makes the front page, top of the fold. A total non-issue. The impact that bicycles have on traffic flow, safety, and street construction and maintenance in Seattle is infinitesimal. Not to mention that by using bikes for transportation cyclists are doing a the city and the planet a favor by not polluting the air, not consuming non-renewable resources, and not killing 40,000 people per year (as cars do in the U.S.).

By the logic of the pro-licensing people, we should also license every pedestrian who walks on a public sidewalk. Sidewalks are expensive to build and they take precious space away from car travel lanes and parking. And those annoying pedestrians also have to cross the street, creating big delays in car traffic flow, as well as safety challenges.

But witness the voluminous flow of car-centric bile in the PI’s “Sound Off” comment page. It’s all so sad, and so revealing of how very far we, as a culture, still have to go to recover from our addiction to cars.