Another LTTE, from the Alexandria Times
I was astonished to read the audacious misrepresentations in Jonathan Krall’s column.... he asserts, without any proof, that receiving a bronze award for bike-friendliness has made Alexandria “more attractive to new residents and businesses.”
Old Town merchants have successfully protested this plan, not buying into Krall’s idea that their sales would improve if customers can’t park their cars.
According to Jonathan Krall, "At the November 25 public hearing, supporters included the Environmental Policy Commission and, via letter, the Parks and Recreation Commission and the chair of the Transportation Commission. A regional bicycling and a regional “smart growth” organization also sent representatives to speak up for health and safety. Neither the Alexandria Chamber nor any other business association was in evidence." As someone said "I submit that misrepresentations make rational discourse impossible. "
At the October 30 meeting on this project, King Street residents protesting this plan were families with young children and older residents concerned with safety issues.
Many cyclists have young children too - not that that's relevant. King Street residents are not fighting for safety. They're fighting for their own convenience OVER safety. She gives that away earlier when she writes that
What [Krall] doesn’t tell you is that this cannot be done on King Street — as the city has suggested — without taking away the parking spaces on the thoroughfare....
and most tellingly
If you want to take something away from people, back up your desire to do so with facts.
She thinks she owns that parking, and that it will be taken away from her. That's the issue here. Not safety.
Then she doubts that more people are biking.
Krall wrote that “more and more riders are using bicycles to drop off children at school and pick up groceries from the store.” Where’s the proof?
There's data that more people are commuting by bike. There's data that more trips are being made by bike. There's data that Bike to school day participation is going up. There's data dealing with increased use of Capital Bikeshare. There's data on increased bike sales. But mostly, it should be apparent to anyone with eyes.
Then she throws out some dubious facts as well
moms continue to get their kids to and from school in the traditional way. And not one of them could possibly schlep home the groceries to feed their young families by bicycle.
Really? Not one. Where's the proof? [Maybe they need some bike lanes]. And the use of "young families" is so "Won't someone please think of the children" that it's almost a parody.
Just picture a mom picking up her three kids and four bags of groceries and trying to figure out how to safely attach all to her bike, especially in the rain.
Or maybe you just keep the kids home on bad weather days and starve them.
That does sound like the only reasonable alternative. Or maybe you just drive your kids to school. Krall is not saying that everyone (or anyone, for that matter) has to bike their kids to school. Only that more people are choosing to do so, and that this is a reason to improve the bike network. This is about allowing people who to bike to do so safely. It is not about forcing people who want to drive to give up their car. But they may have to give up their free, spillover parking for a better bike network. And that is price that Esther Goldberg is not willing to pay for cyclists with young families.