Local Commentary

The Little City Weed

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Laudy … heat is driving people plum crazy. This week the simmering pot of antipathy between bicyclist and car people bubbled into a frothy summer soufflé of sex, danger, theft, and accusations in our little city.  Come sit down right here and let Old Weed tell the tale.

 

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Laudy … heat is driving people plum crazy. This week the simmering pot of antipathy between bicyclist and car people bubbled into a frothy summer soufflé of sex, danger, theft, and accusations in our little city.  Come sit down right here and let Old Weed tell the tale.

It started with a group of grumpy men of a certain age. These things usually do. Some of them live by the W & OD Trail which cuts through the shire. The trail is popular with walkers, joggers, strollers, the occasional pervert, and bicyclists … but you knew that already.

The grumps noticed bicyclists blowing through stop signs where the trail crosses city streets. There are opportunities for injury here, so the get-off-our-lawn crowd decided to complain about the way the whole damn city is being managed. They even got a video camera and mocked out (New Jersey phrase added for flavor) local police officials. In response to the gathering angry clog of curmudgeons twisting themselves into a clenched fist of active citizenry, the police stepped up patrols, issued citations, handed out teddy bears, and made soft nurturing noises to sooth the raging old people.

Still folks continued to use the W & OD Trail. The grumps continued to complain. The city stepped up its efforts and purchased a whole bunch of road signs which warned folks in cars to yield to bicyclists. The signs costs $2,500 and were put up by city employees in six different intersections in the city.

Guess what happened next … the signs were stolen from five of the six locations immediately after they were put up! Can you just believe that sexy twist?

No one knows for sure, maybe it was just some young city hooligans bored with their school ranking and looking to do hard time at county, but most folks believe this was done by car people.

Car people in the area are hard core. This is not California with wide bike lanes and all inclusive bike-walk-drive-scoot-swim-sail-skip whatever feels good to you culture. Nope. Car people here are busy trying to get somewhere in a hurry. In their freaking air-conditioned car by themselves, thank you very much. The snowflakes in the tight bright bike outfits and pale government wonks trying to live the bike-to-work-save-the-planet dream are just ticking the car people off.

The outcome of the summer intrigue is not clear. The grumps may win because no one really likes bicyclists and grumps have experience and the time to nag the government. The car people may win because they are big and there are more of them. Plus, the city ordinances seem to suggest it is the bicyclists, not the cars, which should be yielding. Little chance the bicyclists will win, there are too few of them and they are not particularly well organized.  Of course, there is zero chance the city will win, what with the grumps, car people, and bicyclists now all demanding it solve the problem they created.

Draining city coffers $2,500 drip by $2,500 drip.

 


Michael Gardner is a quixotic citizen and founder of the Blueweeds community blog.

 

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