24.8.11

Reading the Highland Villager Op-Ed Extra! #2

Villager publisher Michael Mischke's editorial, “What Would Jefferson Say?,” is paranoid, insulting, and full of inaccuracies. According to Mischke, the 41.2 percent of the neighborhood who support the Jefferson-Cleveland traffic diverter or median are all part of a “cadre of local bicycling utopians, backed by the largess of a strong, profligate—and broke—federal government.”

Think about that: Mischke things half the neighborhood is part of some massive government conspiracy—that the Jefferson median is, in his works, “a small piece of a much larger federal pie being baked largely to coax people to leave their cars and trucks.”

In reality, the city is pursuing a safe commuter bikeway through Macalester-Groveland becamse, prior to Jefferson Avenue, none existed. Cyclists and pedestrians need ways to get across busy north-south streets at rush hour, be they traffic lights, pedestrian-actuated flashing lights, sopt signs, or medians. During rush hour, a pedestrian or cyclist can wait 10 minutes for a gap in traffic to cross Cleveland or Cretin avenues. Some of us don't consider it a waste of taxpayer money to try and solve that problem.

According to the latest US Census, over 5 percent of Twin Cities residents commute to work by bicycle—and this doesn't include all the people who ride for recreation, to school, or for other purposes. And everybody at some time or another walks. Spending some money on these non-automotive modes isn't part of some vast government conspiracy. It's simply acknowledging the reality of how people get around.

Andy Singer
Macalester-Groveland

[The median in question.]

2 comments:

Nathaniel said...

Andy from Mac-Groveland,

Thank you for writing that! I picked up the Villager last week-ish (?) and read that Letter to the Editor. Absolutely absurd - as if creating bike lanes is some sort of conspiracy or trickery? I wonder if he got congratulations for that letter at his next local Tea Party rally?

Best, Nate from Highland Park

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