Metro Area Bicycle Discussion

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (and Streetcars!).

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S33
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Postby S33 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:51 am

What makes the article unbiased? Because they mentioned a single figure from AAA which has nothing to do with the basis of your argument?

Like mentioned above, you can't simply ditch your car in a city like Omaha. But if you were to, and did so with the motive to keep your dollars in the local community, then you better also watch where you shop and what you buy because I can guarantee you that the majority of the money you spend ends up in places like Guangzhou, China and Bentonville, AR. ...Just to avoid any hypocrisy...

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Postby riceweb » Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:00 pm

Also, I don't believe that keeping money in the local economy is a good thing. Amazon and Wal-Mart are great examples of this, where I, as a consumer, can save boatloads by not shopping at locally-owned stores. It's not as if Wal-Mart neither invests back in the communities they serve nor pays a dividend to those who wish to own shares of its stock.

But that aside, I do agree that car expenditures are crrr-azy! The typical American household, with 2+ cars in every garage, has structural costs associated with it that pale in comparison to many denser, European cities. I probably spend close to $10k a year on my car among payments, maintenance, and fuel. At least while I don't have kids to shuttle around, I would gladly trade that for bike + mass transit if it were more of an option.

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Postby omaja » Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:01 am

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:I'm sure these numbers are totally slanted and biased and are just concerned with pushing an agenda, just like me.  8)


Kind of, yeah.  It's pretty much a given that more density will decrease the necessity of owning a car.  

The argument about keeping money close to home is a bit of an oversimplification as well.  We're talking about macroeconomic implications which are more complex than "oh golly gee, instead of sending a fat check to Bloomington, Illinois every month, I now get to spend that at the local groceries/cinemas/restaurants/whatever!"  Very few things are truly local anymore, so will it really make much of a difference at all?  Probably won't amount to much, other than a game of unemployment musical chairs.

People have no incentive to leave their cars behind for anything while mass transportation remains abysmally poor everywhere in this country.  That doesn't look to be changing for the foreseeable future unless/until there is a massive investment in infrastructure as a whole.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:38 pm

Will do, Linkin5.

omaja wrote:
StreetsOfOmaha wrote:I'm sure these numbers are totally slanted and biased and are just concerned with pushing an agenda, just like me.  8)


Kind of, yeah.  It's pretty much a given that more density will decrease the necessity of owning a car.


What does this info-graphic have to do with density? 

omaja wrote:The argument about keeping money close to home is a bit of an oversimplification as well.  We're talking about macroeconomic implications which are more complex than "oh golly gee, instead of sending a fat check to Bloomington, Illinois every month, I now get to spend that at the local groceries/cinemas/restaurants/whatever!"


Sure it's an oversimplification, but it logically follows that by not having to spend money on an automobile (the overwhelming majority of which is sent out of the local community), people's real incomes increase, just as they would if the price of gas went down, etc. This increases their purchasing power, and they are most likely going to spend more on recreation and "luxury" goods (i.e. non-necessities) within their local community.

omaja wrote:People have no incentive to leave their cars behind for anything while mass transportation remains abysmally poor everywhere in this country.  That doesn't look to be changing for the foreseeable future unless/until there is a massive investment in infrastructure as a whole.


You're essentially right, but the problem is much more profound. To most Americans (disgustingly most Americans), public transit is an "inferior good," that is, something one resorts to when one is poor or tight on cash and that one readily will leave behind when one has enough money to drive again. This is in stark contrast to many far more civilized places in the world.

I foresee a near future where this relationship is turned on its head.
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
Lewis Mumford, The Highway and the City, 1963

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Postby omaja » Sat Mar 12, 2011 3:11 pm

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:
omaja wrote:
StreetsOfOmaha wrote:I'm sure these numbers are totally slanted and biased and are just concerned with pushing an agenda, just like me.  8)


Kind of, yeah.  It's pretty much a given that more density will decrease the necessity of owning a car.


What does this info-graphic have to do with density?


DC added >15,000 residents and <15,000 cars without increasing its land area.  Where isn't density a factor?

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:
omaja wrote:The argument about keeping money close to home is a bit of an oversimplification as well.  We're talking about macroeconomic implications which are more complex than "oh golly gee, instead of sending a fat check to Bloomington, Illinois every month, I now get to spend that at the local groceries/cinemas/restaurants/whatever!"


Sure it's an oversimplification, but it logically follows that by not having to spend money on an automobile (the overwhelming majority of which is sent out of the local community), people's real incomes increase, just as they would if the price of gas went down, etc. This increases their purchasing power, and they are most likely going to spend more on recreation and "luxury" goods (i.e. non-necessities) within their local community.


That's just the thing: it won't.  You still only have $8485 annually.  Purchasing power is not determined by where the money is spent.  And unless those luxury goods are produced locally (which, let's face it, they won't be), it is a moot point.

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:
omaja wrote:People have no incentive to leave their cars behind for anything while mass transportation remains abysmally poor everywhere in this country.  That doesn't look to be changing for the foreseeable future unless/until there is a massive investment in infrastructure as a whole.


You're essentially right, but the problem is much more profound. To most Americans (disgustingly most Americans), public transit is an "inferior good," that is, something one resorts to when one is poor or tight on cash and that one readily will leave behind when one has enough money to drive again. This is in stark contrast to many far more civilized places in the world.

I foresee a near future where this relationship is turned on its head.


It is an inferior good in this country, regardless of who is riding it or what their financial status might be.  American mass transportation is, on the whole, dirtier, slower and less convenient than its European and Asian counterparts. The solution isn't to (continue) ignoring and underfunding roads.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sat Mar 12, 2011 4:29 pm

Well, I guess we can agree to sort of disagree; I don't necessarily disagree with anything you have just said, but I also don't think anything you just said really counters or retorts anything I said--and maybe it wasn't meant to... ?
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
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Postby omaja » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:18 am

I was agreeing with the point you made about it being slanted and biased to support your agenda.  Because, in a way, it is.

It isn't that I disagree with the point you are making; I disagree with the manner in which you are going about it.  Using a narrow sample of vague statistics from four years in DC doesn't prove that this will work on a macro level.

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Postby Big E » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:28 am

Doesn't disprove it, either.

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Postby omaja » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:57 am

Which is why it is useless in "illustrating the benefit of increased bicycle use to local economies."

If anything, it has much more to do with the existence of efficient and expansive mass transportation systems.  Increased bicycling is but a secondary effect.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:58 pm

omaja wrote:Using a narrow sample of vague statistics from four years in DC doesn't prove that this will work on a macro level.


I'm not even arguing that, man. Whatever about the DC statistics. The point is simply that the info-graphic paints a picture of how much money could be staying in the local economy--something most people don't think about as they fill up their gas tank.

The point I'm making (and I don't know why you disagree with the way I'm "going about it") is simply that vastly improved mass transit, though desperately needed, will take large investments in time and money. Conversely, most people have a bicycle sitting in their garage that they could use to start re-appropriating that money today.
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
Lewis Mumford, The Highway and the City, 1963

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Postby omaja » Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:43 pm

Wouldn't we have already seen that happen in the past with spikes in gas prices, recessions, etc.?  Most American cities are simply too spread out (due to geography or sprawl or both) to make bicycles a viable alternative to the car.  Couple that with inferior public transportation and you have a situation where people simply won't be able to abandon their cars.

I guess what you see as part of the solution I see as a symptom of the problem.  People need cars to get around most places and if you're going to be spending the money on the car, you might as well get your money's worth and get around faster than via a bicycle, or so the logic goes.  The costs associated with cars would have to skyrocket (and not just $4+ gasoline prices) before people would consider bicycles in any real way without the appropriate upgrades and investments in mass transportation.

In conclusion, good luck convincing people that abandoning their cars today is really worth it in a city like Omaha absent promises in the very near future for major improvements to mass transportation.  I'm sure there will be some, but not enough to make a noticeable impact.

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Postby Zilla » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:46 pm

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:I'm sure these numbers are totally slanted and biased and are just concerned with pushing an agenda, just like me.  8)


Annnnnnd, que snarky comment that pretty much makes me forget about any point you had and feel like just walking away from the conversation....


omaja wrote:In conclusion, good luck convincing people that abandoning their cars today is really worth it in a city like Omaha absent promises in the very near future for major improvements to mass transportation.  I'm sure there will be some, but not enough to make a noticeable impact.


There's absolutely zero reason for me to switch to mass transit or bike at this point.  I work too far away for either.  Even if I happened to move closer to my work that's only one aspect of my life that is incompatible with mass transit/biking.  My brother, my parents, friends, etc. live outside viable use of bikes/mass transit.  People cannot seriously expect others to give up their cars for the "promise" of mass transit, local resources, or whatever.  Those things will have to be in place before any significant percentage of Omaha will make the flip.
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Postby Big E » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:30 pm

Zilla wrote:Annnnnnd, que snarky comment...


Annnnnnd, you meant "cue".

Irony duly and dually noted.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:55 pm

Omaja, once again, I don't really disagree with you. So, wouldn't you like to see that change?

Anyway, for a lot of people, using a bicycle for short trips in their everyday life is completely reasonable, practical, and doable--and indeed there are already thousands of people in Omaha who already do this! Sure, it doesn't make sense for people who have chosen to live in the isolated mono-culture of the suburbs, but that's the bed they've made for themselves. As gas prices and motorist user-fees continue to increase, maybe those people will see living "further in" as an asset.
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
Lewis Mumford, The Highway and the City, 1963

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Postby omaja » Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:15 am

The "thousands" that do use bicycles for a meaningful percentage of trips are but a drop in the bucket and you know that.  It's easy to say a good percentage of Omaha could/should use a bicycle but the reality is they do not do so.  You are focusing on the "what" and not paying enough attention to the "why?" aspect of it.  Why don't more Omahans use their bicycles on shorter trips (even in the urban oasis that is east of 72nd Street)?  Because trading in the car for those types of trips makes zero sense when the longer trips are what give people more problems.  Zilla proves my point excellently.

I understand what you mean, it's just that it isn't very realistic.  It isn't as simple as telling people, "Hey, you see that bike in your garage? Substitute it for your car on shorter jaunts around the neighborhood."  Sure, it would be nice if it would work, but it won't.  It will take more than nominal increases or spikes in gas prices to push any major change; even then, the changes will be temporary so long as there is not viable mass transportation waiting to absorb the demand.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:31 pm

2+2=4

Just seeing if you'll disagree with me.  :;):

Again I say, wouldn't you like to see this change?

Yes, the number of people who bicycle to run daily errands is a drop in the bucket, but they exist and they show that even in the face of a total lack of facilities (beginning to change), it is still possible. I'll be the first to stand in line to shake your hand and agree with you that what we have is the result of decades of auto-centric policy and development--I don't necessarily blame people for behaving in accordance with what they are given.

So, can't we agree that there need to be some major changes in land-use and transportation policy to turn this pitiful state of affairs around?
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
Lewis Mumford, The Highway and the City, 1963

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Postby S33 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 8:16 am

Big E wrote:
Zilla wrote:Annnnnnd, que snarky comment...


Annnnnnd, you meant "cue".

Irony duly and dually noted.


Obviously this has nothing to do with the comment I'm quoting, but I can't help but to notice that you are almost a silent partner (though, you do often make short markings of support) of Street's entire transportation concept, which begs the question: Do you bike to work? If not, do you walk? If so, is it because you have conveniently located your offices within walking distance of your residence? And how many vehicles in your household?

Like most things, I have a very hard time thinking many of us are practicing what we preach here...

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Postby Big E » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:51 am

S33 wrote:
Big E wrote:
Zilla wrote:Annnnnnd, que snarky comment...


Annnnnnd, you meant "cue".

Irony duly and dually noted.


Obviously this has nothing to do with the comment I'm quoting, but I can't help but to notice that you are almost a silent partner (though, you do often make short markings of support) of Street's entire transportation concept, which begs the question: Do you bike to work? If not, do you walk? If so, is it because you have conveniently located your offices within walking distance of your residence? And how many vehicles in your household?

Like most things, I have a very hard time thinking many of us are practicing what we preach here...


I hate my commute, no arguments there, and begrudgingly acknowledge the shred of hypocrisy.  The location of the office wasn't/isn't my call.  I'd love to be Zero Impact Man, but there's no practical way.  However, I take as many steps as I can to reduce my impact:

In the last year I switched us to a totally cloud based accounting, manufacturing and CRM system.  As a side effect, this allows me to make the commute only 3 or 4 times a week, down from sometimes 6 or 7 per week in previous years.  I drive one of the most fuel efficient vehicles you can purchase (42 MPG for the life of the vehicle so far) as do the six people on our sales team.  I walk to 95% of everything else I do.  I couldn't tell you the last time I was in a car by myself when I wasn't going to or from work.   Additionally, I almost never commute during peak hours and I'm going the opposite direction of the majority of commuters here, so I rarely if ever contribute to rush hour congestion.

We reduced our work week for half of our employees from five eight hour shifts to four ten hour shifts, effectively reducing the amount of commuting they do by 20% (and reducing our daily clean-up related water consumption).  Our local sales force (three people) no longer works from the office, eliminating 100% of their commute time.  Those two things alone eliminated more total commute miles than I could drive in five years.

We've worked out pricing structures for our customers that have literally reduced the proportional number of outbound shipments from our facility by over 50% in the last three years.  I've found it is actually pretty amazing how much money you can save from the little things that most people would scoff at as green hippie liberal agenda, but are really nothing more than breaking stupid habits that are "the way we've always done it".

When we go on vacation we pick locations that don't require a car once we are there (NYC, DC, Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Europe).

Of course I largely agree with Streets, but I have no desire to get in the middle of the bull |expletive| you guys turn every last one of his threads into.  So he doesn't do a good job of arguing his position in your eyes (largely due to the court of public opinion's staunch "because we said so, so nanner nanner" policy).  It doesn't necessarily make him wrong.  As many of the urban posters on this forum have been told in the past:  If you're only here to start an argument, stay out of the |expletive| thread.

I've never proposed completely eliminating the car.  Yes, I do propose taxing the holy heck out of them (whether it be licensing, toll roads, gas tax, whatever) so people actually think about their actions and our course of development from time to time.  ($4 gas seems to work as well as anything.)  I absolutely hate being dependent on cars and their need for oil.  I am an advocate of making the baby steps - and the big boy steps - towards less dependency on both cars and oil.  I'm well on my way.  Just my commute is dependent on a car, not my entire life.

I have zero desire to justify to nor argue with the crowd that would rather give up a limb than their car, or act like anything they are doing has any negative effect on anyone else.  I'm also not going to throw a |expletive| fit about being a victim of circumstance while gleefully paddling along with the status quo and fighting ANY attempts toward change like a three year old at bath time.

I'll accept missing my goal of 100% independence from cars over that any day.  If half of companies and their employees applied half of what I laid out above to their daily operations and lives, we could literally stop importing oil from the Middle East tomorrow.  (No, hyperbole police, I didn't do the math.)

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Postby TechnicalDisaster » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:16 pm

S33 wrote:The sad part is that I agree with him many times, until he crosses the line of reality and makes presumptions about the logistics one's personal life and how they should live it when, in reality, he has minimal life experience, no kids, and an agenda. (again, hard to take seriously)


Hit the nail on the head with this one.
"This is America.  It is my God given right to be loudly opinionated on issues I am completely ignorant of."

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:02 pm

S33 wrote:Like most things, I have a very hard time thinking many of us are practicing what we preach here...


Well, you've got to at least give me that then. :)

BigE, thanks for all of that. Sincerely.

S33, TechDis, et al., I've come to understand that you and others like you are always going to hear (or see) anything I say through your own filter that turns me into some kind of extremist. I'm actually OK with this. I know better--I know me, and I know that you guys actually don't know me. And it shouldn't come as any surprise that I really don't take the things you say very seriously, and I am definitely not alone in feeling this way.

It's actually pretty absurd this idea of not being able to be taken seriously by certain folks here; What does it take? My actions and the lifestyle that I live are completely reflective of my "rhetoric" about transportation and planning, I'm completing a master's degree in exactly the subject matter that you "can't take me seriously" on, I lived in Omaha my entire life until less than a year ago (and intend to come back as soon as possible), and I witness every day the very scenarios some of you seem to think are impossible.

Yes, you can clearly not take me seriously.

Back to the topic of bicycles and the local economy:

http://americancity.org/buzz/entry/2919/
Bikes actually pump a surprising amount of money into the local economy, according to Ciarlo. It’s a selling point for attracting tourists, and a recent study from CEOs for Cities shows that Portland keeps $800 million that would drain out-of-town if local residents drove cars at the same rate as an average U.S. city. The conclusion is that by spending less money on gas and less time on the highway, Portlanders have more of both to spend at local businesses.

Mia Birk, Portland’s Bicycle Coordinator from 1993-1999 and now CEO of Alta Planning+Design, points to a study showing that bikes now account for $100 million in local economic activity each year (including retail sales, national firms based here, and proceeds from bike events and rides), and are directly responsible for almost 1000 jobs in the region.  She notes that a similar study in Wisconsin found a $1.5 billion boost for the state economy.
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Postby S33 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 4:28 pm

Why am I reminded of those contestants on American Idle who are shocked that they, in fact, cannot sing for |expletive|?


To the point...

I find it interesting that you link an article to Portland, Oregon's additional 100 million in economic activity due to biking alone. Perhaps you are on to something regarding the biking in the instance of Portland. I also find it ironic that that is seems to be the only new-age renewal taking place in Portland which doesn't dig a huge financial hole, unlike their streetcars and other urban renewal, which helped double the cities debt in the last decade.

Do I still think the idea of an average person in Omaha, Nebraska ditching their car for a bicycle is absurd and completely unreasonable? Yep, sure do. There is only one alternative in Omaha's metro, and that is a bus (loosely speaking, of course).

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Postby Zilla » Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:30 pm

Big E wrote:I have zero desire to justify to nor argue with the crowd that would rather give up a limb than their car, or act like anything they are doing has any negative effect on anyone else.  I'm also not going to throw a |expletive| fit about being a victim of circumstance while gleefully paddling along with the status quo and fighting ANY attempts toward change like a three year old at bath time.


Wow.  I'm using sign language right now, guess what sign I'm giving?  I'd love to give up my car, not have to buy gas, or drive to work every morning.  But I can't.  Much like you, I didn't choose to have my work where it is from me.  I actually used to work quite close until the relocated our datacenter.  Unfortunately, not everything can be sent to the cloud.  So, alas, I have to go in to work.  I could move closer to work, but my parents (whom I regularly run errands for since they can't) live on the other end of town.  Well, geez, that's awfully inconsiderate of them.  They should move closer to my work.  My brother should too.  So should all my friends.  the daycare we take our kids to isn't close either.  I'd love to have gotten into a closer one but three were all booked up and one had some poor references.  But, well, for the sake of the planet I should have probably sacrificed my child's well being, huh?  Dang circumstance!!!  I've done what I can, including downsizing my vehicle to a more fuel efficient model.  Not quite 42mpg, but far better than I was getting.

Working at a company with over 6000 people, I don't have much say in how things work, so I can't make all the wholesale changes you've been able to make.  But, *sigh* maybe I'm just not trying hard enough.  There's simply no way that I can't model what you guys are doing!?!?  I'll just sit here in my bath water and throw a fit.....since apparently that's what I must be doing.

Big E wrote:I've never proposed completely eliminating the car.  Yes, I do propose taxing the holy heck out of them (whether it be licensing, toll roads, gas tax, whatever) so people actually think about their actions and our course of development from time to time.  ($4 gas seems to work as well as anything.)  I absolutely hate being dependent on cars and their need for oil.  I am an advocate of making the baby steps - and the big boy steps - towards less dependency on both cars and oil.  I'm well on my way.  Just my commute is dependent on a car, not my entire life.


This |expletive| p****s me off.  I love how gleefully ignorant people are, and I'm completely disgusted at how some people can be in a state of glee when the thought of "taxing the holy heck" out of those dirty car drivers or suburbanites.  Nevermind the fact that many families are already struggling and adding the additional burden of $4 gas, raising licensing fees, toll roads, and god knows what else, would potentially cause significant hardship.  It's got nothing to do with the fact that they aren't thinking about their actions or wouldn't like to change things, but it's a FACT that not everyone can simply change their way of life at the drop of a hat.  There is NO WAY in holy heck that I could sell my house and move anywhere right now.  Omaha is far to spread out with a pathetic attempt at mass transit for me to be able to give up my car.  Fact.

You've been able to make some huge changes.  Good for you.  Wish I could.  But you're living in some kind of LCD induced dream world if you think that half the people in this town is in the same life situations you are and CAN make those changes....but simply don't want to.

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:It's actually pretty absurd this idea of not being able to be taken seriously by certain folks here; What does it take? My actions and the lifestyle that I live are completely reflective of my "rhetoric" about transportation and planning, I'm completing a master's degree in exactly the subject matter that you "can't take me seriously" on, I lived in Omaha my entire life until less than a year ago (and intend to come back as soon as possible), and I witness every day the very scenarios some of you seem to think are impossible.


Degree's and certifications.  After 20 years I've come to realize they mean absolutely nothing.  I've worked with a pretty significant number of guys with "certifications" and "Master's degree's" that really don't seem to know anything.  Experience has far more weight than those any day.  That being said, the ones that seem to succeed and get taken seriously, are the ones that actually know how to talk to people.  Notice I said talk TO people, not talk AT them....or worse, DOWN to them.  Which you seem to have a bad habit of doing.   I don't care how amazing an idea is, if the only way you can express your ideas is by belittling the people you're trying to convince, that idea is going to fail.
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:17 pm

Zilla, if you're not one of the people that BigE described (which is great!), then why take offense?

Also, the forum is a piece of |expletive| when it comes to communicating. If you're going to judge me because I haven't talked "TO" people appropriately, then you're wasting your time. You think I would talk to average citizens at a public planning meeting the same way I might talk to some of the loons on this very casual forum of "enthusiasts"?

I would never belittle somebody I was trying to convince--only the people who are lost causes, only on a medium such as this forum, and only if provoked (which is a popular pass-time for some here).

And if you think a degree doesn't mean anything... well, just...wow. Sure, there are a ton of |expletive| out there who have earned degrees, because that's "just what you do", but that mere fact is not proof that a degree doesn't matter. Indeed, experience is very important and must not be discounted. But gosh, I'd hate to be under the knife of a surgeon who was still in the "trial-and-error" phase of gaining "experience" having not gone to medical school.

You may think it pretentious for someone to point to their degree (which represents EXPERIENCE) as a defense as to why they may actually know what they're talking about, but to dismiss such an academic endeavor, and to say that only experience is what matters, is truly ignorant, and really, a tragedy.

S33, I didn't find a point in your last post on the first reading. Forgive me for not going back to look a second time.
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Postby Zilla » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:44 am

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:Zilla, if you're not one of the people that BigE described (which is great!), then why take offense?


Because, as with most things on this forum, there's only black or white.  Either your an urban bicyclist or you hate earth and your fellow man.  So whether I like it or not, I'm already generalized into one of those categories.  It's (apparently) impossible to believe that there are people who would really like to change some things, but simply cannot.  That's BS.  Maybe it's a pet peeve, but that |expletive| bothers me.

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:Also, the forum is a piece of |expletive| when it comes to communicating. If you're going to judge me because I haven't talked "TO" people appropriately, then you're wasting your time. You think I would talk to average citizens at a public planning meeting the same way I might talk to some of the loons on this very casual forum of "enthusiasts"?

I would never belittle somebody I was trying to convince--only the people who are lost causes, only on a medium such as this forum, and only if provoked (which is a popular pass-time for some here).


Fair enough.  I hope that's the case.  There's been several examples with you being (seemingly) confused at how someone thought something you said was belittling or arrogant.  So I guess that's just part of the "act" and not just how you have discussions.  You think the people on here are loons, I can't wait to see someone propose cutting down Dodge to just one lane each way to make way for bikes and pedestrians.  LOL.  Frankly, if I was in any public forum and got some of the answers you've given in the past, I'd tell you to get bent and make sure to vote the other way.

And lets be honest, there's a WHOLE lot of people making judgments about people's lives and what they think they can do and what they can't do.  What one person is able to survive on and how they are able to live in no way defines what everyone else can do.  Yet that seems to be the theme.  I don't know how many times I've heard "People do it here." or "I've done it, so anyone can do it."  BS.  It's nowhere close to that simple.  It's comparing apples to teddy bears.

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:And if you think a degree doesn't mean anything... well, just...wow. Sure, there are a ton of |expletive|-ups out there who have earned degrees, because that's "just what you do", but that mere fact is not proof that a degree doesn't matter. Indeed, experience is very important and must not be discounted. But gosh, I'd hate to be under the knife of a surgeon who was still in the "trial-and-error" phase of gaining "experience" having not gone to medical school.

You may think it pretentious for someone to point to their degree (which represents EXPERIENCE) as a defense as to why they may actually know what they're talking about, but to dismiss such an academic endeavor, and to say that only experience is what matters, is truly ignorant, and really, a tragedy.


OMG, really?  We're comparing degrees for a doctor and degrees for city planning or whatever?  C'mon....You know full well that wasn't where my mind was at.  But Ok, next time I'll list out all the job fields I'm referring to so we don't have these little misunderstandings.  Of course not EVERY person who has a degree is a moron, and sure, perhaps I should have added a "generally" to that sentence so it wasn't so all encompassing.  So how's this instead...GENERALLY, people who tend to immediately point to their degree and go "SEE!!  SEE!! SEE!!" as proof that they know what they are doing or should be taken more seriously than anyone else....then yes, those people are generally full of hot air.  And I'm NOT referring to anyone in the medical, aviation, rocket scientist, veterinarian, nuclear physicist, or other direct life effecting career fields.
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S33
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Postby S33 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:44 am

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:S33, I didn't find a point in your last post on the first reading. Forgive me for not going back to look a second time.


The point was that I found it interesting that Portland has actually found a single solvent program within its city limits. Basic math seems to have waved bye bye to that city long ago. But since you seem to be stuck in your idiot savant, bicycle mindset, I really doubt you would be interested in covering that topic.

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Postby Big E » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:51 am

Well, the eight seconds of civility around here was nice.

What say...  next year, same place?

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Postby S33 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:14 am

I'll check my calendar, but that shouldn't be a problem.

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Postby Uffda » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:43 am

You think I would talk to average citizens at a public planning meeting the same way I might talk to some of the loons on this very casual forum of "enthusiasts"?


One thought here --- some of people you label as loons on here could end up being those citizens (or their friends) at an Omaha Public Meeting about transportation that if you get your wish you might be presiding over.  And it isn't just the people who comment but also the lurkers that are out there.

For someone who wants to be in the public eye with his vision, I feel you need to develop a communication that doesn't come across as arrogant, 'I know it all and you don't' or condescending if you want to convince a majority of people to see your view.  There have been people on here who have said they what your trying to say and see -- but that your delivery sucks.

But that is just the opinion of a 50+ yr old citizen.

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Postby Big E » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:47 am

Uffda wrote:There have been people on here who have said they what your trying to say and see -- but that your delivery sucks.


In fairness, a fair chunk of those people would also call him a communist if he said the sky was blue.

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Postby S33 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:05 am

Big E wrote:
Uffda wrote:There have been people on here who have said they what your trying to say and see -- but that your delivery sucks.


In fairness, a fair chunk of those people would also call him a communist if he said the sky was blue.


But the sky isn't blue, we ruined it with our cars, and the only anecdote is the bicycle, lots and lots of bicycles.

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Postby Big E » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:14 am

Kind of making my point for me there.

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S33
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Postby S33 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:33 am

Big E wrote:Kind of making my point for me there.


You needed help.

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Postby Bomaha » Wed Mar 16, 2011 1:41 pm

Hey, I didn't know if I should make a new topic somewhere or ask on this thread. I am thinking up of taking up biking. Nothing major at this point, just recreational. Over the past six months, I have been eating healthier and exercising more (worked so far, down 60 pounds) and have decided to add some more routines. Anyway, does anyone have any recommendations on what store to get bike at a good price? I want to buy locally and do not want to just go to Walmart or Target, but I don't want to spend a whole heck of a lot. Just thought if anyone had suggestions? Thanks!

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:03 pm

Hi Bomaha. I'm not sure what area of the Metro you live in, but I would suggest Greenstreet Cycles (Downtown), Re-Cycle Bike Shop (S 13th Street) with great pre-owned and refurbished bikes, or Olympia (Midtown and West-O). There are lots of other great local bike shops in the suburbs and in Council Bluffs. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Brad, I see you and your moderator-scythe found your way into another involved discussion.
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Postby Brad » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:16 pm

StreetsOfOmaha wrote:Brad, I see you and your moderator-scythe found your way into another involved discussion.


I haven't moderated anything in weeks...
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StreetsOfOmaha
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:41 pm

Hmmm, well my apologies. I swore there were some mysterious, disappearing posts. Sorry about that.
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
Lewis Mumford, The Highway and the City, 1963

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Postby Linkin5 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:47 pm

Bomaha wrote:Hey, I didn't know if I should make a new topic somewhere or ask on this thread. I am thinking up of taking up biking. Nothing major at this point, just recreational. Over the past six months, I have been eating healthier and exercising more (worked so far, down 60 pounds) and have decided to add some more routines. Anyway, does anyone have any recommendations on what store to get bike at a good price? I want to buy locally and do not want to just go to Walmart or Target, but I don't want to spend a whole heck of a lot. Just thought if anyone had suggestions? Thanks!


For anything city related I ride an older Cannondale (80s) road bike and works great.  Good job on the weight loss!

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Postby bluecollartechworker » Fri Mar 18, 2011 8:47 pm

I rode about 80 blocks worth of the Keystone Trail in Omaha and it's a great asset for Omaha.  I love how it connects to the streets and even has street signs on it, but you can actually avoid all the streets with the underpasses.  It's great fun, but it could really get you across large parts of the city for different practical uses.

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:18 pm

Absolutely, bluecollartechworker!

The trail is beautiful, and a huge asset. However, it is really due for a widening--many areas are dangerously narrow to be "multi-use" with cyclists, runners, strollers, roller-bladers, etc. On nice weather days that trail is literally congested in the central parts of Omaha.
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
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Postby bluecollartechworker » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:55 pm

it is really due for a widening--many areas are dangerously narrow to be "multi-use"


This could be an issue with the underpasses where there is a wall to one side and the creek to the other.

Another thing about the trail is that it's less hilly than Omaha because it follows the waterway, which makes for easy cycling.


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