Dumb things politicians say about bikes
I thought it would be good to start tracking this stuff in a public way.
I’ll start off with a doozy with Mayoral hopeful John Welch blaming bike lanes for the PWSA water crisis. This one was in the PG.
“Mr. Welch said at his news conference that problems at the PWSA have been “creeping up” for 15 years, while Mr. Peduto was mayor and before that on City Council, but he did nothing about them. He said the board resignations “call attention to the crisis” and a lack of leadership, and argued that the mayor spent thousands on bicycle lanes that could have been used to mitigate water supply problems.”
What about things politicians do around or about bikes? If I recall, @stu has some footage featuring a local mayoral candidate…
In the same category, on WESA a few weeks ago the head of the police union (?) was saying that since the city has all this money for bike lanes, they should have money to give cops a raise in the next contract.
BRITISH LORD BLAMES CYCLE LANE FOR AIDING WESTMINSTER ATTACK
A member of the British House of Lords, Lord Carlile, said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 that the terrorist attack in London was aided by the bicycle lane on Westminster Bridge, since it’s paint-only design offered “uninterrupted” access to the pedestrian walkway.
1:20 The bike lane ends. I comment, “End of the bike lane, we’re getting in the driving lane.”
1:34 “Twenty-three.” The speed limit is actually 15 here, though the sign was missing at the time of the incident. Just prior to this, it’s 25 mph.
1:54 First honk, a ways back. (Difficult to hear.) She gains a lot of ground on me in a hurry here. Must have been going 35-40.
2:00 Second honk, right on my tail. Of course there is nowhere to go, even if I wanted to.
2:15 We pull up to the stop sign, side by side. She yells something a fraction of a second before I yell “What’s your problem?” and zooms off. I yell the plate, GPJ-8259.
2:37 Repeating the plate number while in hot pursuit.
2:56 I catch her at a red light. “What’s your problem?” Clearly her voice, responds with “Stay in the damned bike lanes. That’s what we put ’em there for.”
3:03 The light is green, someone beeps, she zooms off again, ignoring my command to “Pull over!” I try to catch her again, even going faster than a car on my left, but she gets the light green at East Ohio and gets on 279.
Someone later verified that that is her plate number.
She’s obviously a very important person and has important places to go. So her importance outweighs any concern about other people on the road.
Sheesh, didn’t you know that, @stu?
…and he’s doubled down on the bike lane hate.
FLINT IS HAPPENING IN PITTSBURGH! We need a new mayor who tackle this crisis immediately! No more commissions! No more studies! GET THE LEAD OUT!Democratic mayoral candidate John C. Welch addresses the Mayor's lack of attention to the water crisis with misplaced priorities, putting bike lanes over the health of city residents.Democratic mayoral candidate John C. Welch addresses the Mayor's lack of attention to the water crisis with misplaced priorities, putting bike lanes over the health of city residents.
Posted by Dr. John Welch Mayoral Candidate on Friday, March 24, 2017
I’m really glad he’s raising the issue of lead. But why does it have to be in opposition to bike lanes?
It is like guns and butter. If you have bike lanes then you can’t get rid of the lead, and vice versa.
Who is his audience? They are our next set of opponents, not him. Dis-education. He will fall into obscurity (outside his bubble) come the week after the primary, but the thousands who listen to him will be the ones giving us crap on the streets. And that is unacceptable.
He’s not really obscure; just in the white community. He’s a known and respected leader among African-Americans. And I hope he’ll continue to lead the push to replace lead service lines and remediate lead paint.
One odd fact: Pittsburgh has lead service lines because it was a wealthy industrial city. Lead was considered a superior material for plumbing, because it didn’t rust and was malleable, so you could bend it if necessary during installation. But it was heavy and expensive to ship. Cities only used it if they had money and were near a lead smelter.
I think I heard this on science friday, but replacing lead lines can actually make the problem worse. dislodging lead into the system. the other issue is that the city lines may be lead which connect into private home lines, which are lead. also, truly “lead free” fixtures like faucets, etc., were actually only 100% lead free from 2013 onward.
It’s not that I don’t care about bad water, it’s that I care about safe streets more. If he’s talking crap about bike lanes, that will extend to anti-bike-ness in general, and I want to see more cycling, not less. Again, and I keep saying this, what does it take to get people to get around via anything other than to drive? It takes, among other things, not dissuading them from riding bikes.
I’ll help however I can on the water situation, but could he please change his tune on the bike lanes? That’s all I’m asking.
zooming out a bit, I think his overarching message (that he’s not getting across correctly) is, “Black people are getting left behind in this city.” He’s probably talking more about gentrification (i.e., pushing poor out of once affordable areas) and using bike lanes as a catch all. i.e., “the mayor can spend money on pampered white people.”
I think his heart is in the right place. He is a smart man — he’s Dean of Students at Pgh Theological Seminary. His delivery of his message is a bit… off.
an interesting back and forth between Bricker and Welch took place in the City Paper
Huh. Candidates that fire from the hip and make crazy statements not backed up by facts… At least those types of people never get elected anywhere in the end.
Harris and Welch splitting the anti-bike vote isn’t a good way to win. But Welch is right about lead; it should have been taken care of a long time ago.
Ann Pfoser Darby, a longtime member of Community Board 4 in Queens, has said that most users of area bike lanes are undocumented immigrants.
Harris is in on it now:
Harris: “He hasn’t done anything but bicycle lanes.”
Delano: “Bicycle lanes?”
Harris: “Bicycle lanes without traffic and safety studies. Bicycle lanes.”
Delano: “That’s all he’s done for Pittsburgh?”
Harris: “That’s all I can see he has done.”
Retorted Peduto, “I would ask Mrs. Harris to go onto the website.”
“There are over 300 initiatives that we have undertaken,” says the mayor.
Hmm… I’d actually feel a lot safer if she was President, honestly.
She’s trying to ride this bike lane thing and I don’t think it’s enough. Peduto has made sure he was good on the “things that matter”: snow removal, paving, police, fire department. And being the incumbent endorsed Democrat is a HUGE advantage.
BTW, what redeeming qualities are you thinking of? Darlene’s hair is at least as nice.
Harris: “Bicycle lanes without traffic and safety studies. Bicycle lanes.”
As a constituent, Darlene’s ignorance is infuriating. I can accept difference of opinion, but the willful spread of disinformation without so much as bothering to have a staffer pick up a phone and ask should make anyone unfit for public office. This is right out of Trump’s playbook.
DPW has multiple consultants under contract to do traffic study work on every bike lane project that requires lane reductions. In fact, there’s one going on right now in her home District. Anyone of us in the advocacy world knows first-hand how difficult it is to get DPW to cave on this.
She has no idea of the process her own Public Works Department undertakes for projects despite being on Council for years. Great material for Mayor, huh.
At the end of tonight’s mayoral debate Darlene Harris brought up bike lanes herself. She seemed to think it was suspicious nobody had asked about them. Questioned safety, “somebody’s going to get hurt.”
She also mentioned she was cut off by an Uber on the Southside.
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