Feeling Congested

This past weekend the family and I went away for a little overnighter, and since we’d be someplace flat and quiet we figured we’d bring all the bikes just in case:

While it was good to have them, let’s just say if we’d left them home it would not have negatively impacted our trip. We rode them into town and back exactly once, during which I managed to lock them all with a single lock, as you see above. Otherwise they spent most of the time on THE CAR THAT I OWN, and they received quite a soaking on the way home. This turned out to be a good thing for the bikes, since it finally stopped raining towards the end of the drive, and heavy downpour followed by a 55mph air-drying basically replicated a car wash for bicycles. Unfortunately I did lose the plastic bag saddle cover you see above during the drive, and the Brooks saddle, the saddle bag, and its contents did take a bit of a soaking, but I was early to the dentist this morning so I did have time to park myself by the mighty Hudson and sun-dry everything in the hot July sun:

As I sat, I thought about how I’m old enough to remember when we used to call heat, humidity and rainstorms “July.” Now it means the world’s ending. I also remember when idle weather chat was a way to avoid awkwardness in the elevator. Now it’s an opportunity to proselytize:

“It’s only gonna get worse until we stop burning fossil fuels” is the new “Have you heard the good news about our lord and savior Jesus Christ?” Either way, I’d be hitting that “Door Open” button like when the aliens get close in “Space Invaders.”

Also, unless these idle conversations are taking place between two drivers in idling cars à la “The Wire,” that’s quite a non-sequitur:

[“Yep. And it’s only gonna get a lot worse until we stop burning fossil fuels, right?”]

Speaking of saving the world, the Smugerati continue to pin all their hopes on congestion pricing in New York City, and if there’s one thing they love more than anything else it’s foffing off to models–and no, I don’t mean models in the “Swimsuit Issue” sense, I mean models in the “I made a spreadsheet to support the conclusion I already drew before I started” sense. Here’s the latest one:

I was under the impression congestion pricing was supposed to reduce congestion, but here’s congestion pricing’s number one cheerleader saying it shouldn’t apply to for-hire vehicles:

This is a bit of a puzzler, since for-hire vehicles account for anywhere from a quarter to over half the motor vehicle traffic in the proposed congestion zone:

So if we’re going to reduce car traffic, maybe that would be a good place to start.

Increasingly, the bike lane hater rhetorical tactic is to accuse the local advocates of being part of a “conspiracy” along with Uber and Lyft:

Generally I think this is overly simplistic at best and disingenuous at worst, but when you’re riding through a sea of motor vehicles in Manhattan with TLC plates day after day and then you read something like this, gets harder and harder to shrug it all off. Manhattan is positively choked with these fucking things. But I suppose when I’m riding home in the evening and for like the 15th time in as many blocks an Uber pulls over in front of me in the bike lane to disgorge some young revelers in front of a downtown restaurant, I’ll comfort myself in the knowledge that at least they don’t own the car. In fact, that’s been the line since at least 2015:

As with “micromobility,” the advocates have an uncanny way of throwing the door wide open to the annoying houseguest who won’t leave and then telling you why someone who leaves the toilet seat down and pisses all over it every morning is actually making your home a better place to live. These companies exploit their workers, choke the streets with traffic, and literally drove the cabbies they “disrupted” to suicide:

But somehow it’s all better than some regular schlub leasing a Hyundai, go figure.

Almost as surprising is that this same model recommends crediting the congestion charge back to drivers who take the tunnels:

Having literally been to the secret meetings of the anti-car cabal in which we were told to remind people on a constant basis that people who drive in from Jersey are the enemy, this surprised me even more than the for-hire vehicle thing. According to five seconds of Internet research that I in no way stand behind, here’s how many vehicles pass through the tunnels each day:

  • Lincoln Tunnel: 113,000
  • Holland Tunnel: 100,000
  • Battery Tunnel: 60,000
  • Midtown Tunnel: 80,000

TOTAL: 353,000

That’s a shitload.

But in fairness to the modelers, I guess the thinking is that these tunnels are already tolled, whereas an even bigger shitload passes over the bridges, none of which are tolled at all:

  • Brooklyn Bridge: 116,000
  • Manhattan Bridge: 76,000
  • Williamsburg Bridge: 104,000
  • Queensboro Bridge: 146,000

TOTAL: 442,000

In a sane city they’d just toll the bridges to even things out, but different bridges and tunnels are controlled by different city, state, and interstate agencies, so the only solution in this confederacy of corrupt fiefdoms that is the New York City metropolitan area is to come up with some charge that will exclude all the connected people and the special interests and in the end will only really affect, by the Smuggies’ own admission, only like 5,000 schmucks.

Fuck it, I’ll just keep riding my bike.

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