This was inevitable. With cities like Chicago and New York increasingly going out of their way to roll out the red carpet (or, in Gotham’s case, painting a chartreuse lane) for cyclists–you half expect Mayor Bloomberg to bypass his beloved 4 train for a Huffy mountain bike–the biker backlash has begun.
Some San Francisco zealots have argued that squeezing cars into fewer lanes to make room for cyclists is bad for the environment, reports the Wall Street Journal. Reporter Phred Dvorak (uh, listen to Phish much, “Phred”?) said the anti-bikers, spearheaded by unemployed activist/blogger Rob Anderson, are arguing that the bikers get way too much leeway in an era when everyone’s concerned with saving the environment and assuaging our national addiction to gasoline.
Cars always will vastly outnumber bikes, he reasons, so allotting more street space to cyclists could cause more traffic jams, more idling and more pollution. Mr. Anderson says the city has been blinded by political correctness. It’s an “attempt by the anti-car fanatics to screw up our traffic on behalf of the bicycle fantasy,” he wrote in his blog this month.
Anderson likens San Francisco’s substantial pro-cyclist community to Islamic fundamentalist suicide bombers.
Mr. Anderson and Ms. Miles have teamed up to oppose a plan to put high-rises and additional housing in a nearby neighborhood. He continues to blog from his apartment in an old Victorian home. “Regardless of the obvious dangers, some people will ride bikes in San Francisco for the same reason Islamic fanatics will engage in suicide bombings — because they are politically motivated to do so,” he wrote in a May 21 post.
That’s just not going to win Mr. Anderson much support.