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this dude is going to get eaten alive

wow, that beijing tidbit is so lame and irrelevant, it's hard to believe it got included in an official message.

Lon Anderson is further proof that wielding deadly force (driving a car) on a daily basis while pretending that it's no big deal pretty much makes people bonkers.

The argument that bike facilities hurt tourism is contrary to the results of studies of tourism. See, for example, http://www.nttp.net/resources/economics/NCouterbanks.html

I am confident that DDOT's investments in transit and biking will prove to be economic winners.

Thank you for writing about this. I've sent an email to Mr. Anderson. I encourange others to contact him, specially if you're a AAA member.


Lon Anderson makes about as much sense as Lyndon LaRouche, but he's way better at getting press.

He's constantly in the news whining about some transportation issue and usually does it by taking the most extreme position possible.

He certainly does not seem concerned with finding consensus or tackling difficult issues constructively. He is not about finding solutions. The guy's like an SUV plowing down the highway at 95 mph. No concern for others on the road.

What really bugs me is the fallacy that cyclists slow down drivers. Its not true. More infrastructure for cyclists leads to more cyclists and fewer cars. Once in a while drivers get stuck behind a bike, but the vast majority of the time they drive around the bike. More bikes = fewer cars = faster trips by car. How do you argue with that?

kelvin robinson is running for DC council, so that's why he's here.

honestly, i love it when groups like this whine about the fees you get charged when you break the law. want to avoid them? DON'T BREAK THE LAW!

it's so simple, a caveman could do it :P

Here is the text of an email I just sent MR Anderson:

Dear Mr. Anderson -

I am a AAA member. I own a car. But I am also a cyclist and I commute to work (Falls Church to D.C.) nearly every day year-round. "War on Motorists"? You have got to be kidding.

If a bike lane is a war on motorists, are highways a war on cyclists?

Providing some bike lanes is hardly, as you state, "shrinking highway capacity." Since when is Pennsylvania Avenue a highway? 15th Street? Please.

Studies show that bike lanes reduce congestion. Every bike on the road is one less car. Encouraging cycling leads to more bikes, fewer cars, and less congestion. Whether I am riding my bike on the Custis Trail or the C&O canal (my usual commute routes), I am not contributing to traffic on Route 66 or Canal Drive. Amazingly, while you complain about congestion caused by other things, you do not acknowledge that bikes actually reduce congestion.

Comparing D.C. to Beijing? Give me a break. You know that's a red herring. No one claims everyone will switch to riding a bike. But for everyone who does, there will be one less car on the road. (You seem to think it's good when folks in Beijing switch from bikes to cars. I think it safe to say that Beijing is about to experience an increase in congestion, not to mention obesity and heart disease.)

If AAA really thinks bikes are so bad, why is it a sponsor of Bike to Work Day?

Most offensive, your equating bike lanes with a supposed "War on Motorists" is incendiary. Cyclist have enough problems with those motorist (a minority) that think cyclists do not belong on the road and are fair game for cars. I hope you don't ascribe to that school of reasoning, but whether you do or don't, your choice of language certainly suggest that you (and AAA) do. As a AAA member, and a bike commuter who just wants to get to work and home safely every day, I expect better from AAA.

Maybe AAA's sponsorship of Bike to Work Day is corporate espionage. Strange.

Anyone know of alternative companies which provide the same/similar services?

Think it time to let my money do the talking(as well as emails).

Joe, Better World Club gets brought up a lot on these AAA stories.

I gotta wonder about the other side of this... multi-modal people who drive sometimes, bike sometimes and take transit sometimes, seem to rightly see Mr. Anderson's comments as insane, and those of us who are AAA members are looking for alternatives. On the flip side, I wonder, are there commuters in Loudoun, Prince George's, Fairfax and Charles Counties, reading this and thinking to themselves: "Bravo, Lon! You're saying what we've all been thinking. I'm definitely renewing my AAA membership now!"? I would like to believe not. But, I guess so, or else it wouldn't make sense for him to say these things.

In that case, those who remain AAA Mid-Atlantic supporters will become more and more extreme in their views... kind of like the Republican Party.

New vocabulary:

Kornheiser - to "lightly tap" a bicyclist with a motor vehicle. Dude, did you see that jerk totally Kornheisered me!

Lon Anderson - to spout extreme, unsubstantiated, ignorant opiniones that nonetheless gain traction with large segments of the population. Our plan to see the Pink Floyd concert was called off after Tom Lon-Andersoned the idea by saying that they totally suck.

Scott F, I agree. Lon Anderson is doing what AAA does, advocate the position of drivers. That position, as he sees it, is to build more roads, provide free parking and lightly enforce traffic laws. As Kids in the Hall put it, "you don't hate a shark for killing. That's what sharks do." But it is bothersome that the media doesn't see it that way.

But that's not all AAA does. They also provide roadside assistance and guidebooks for people traveling the country. That's why most people are members, not advocacy.

So it's not hard to imagine that AAA's image as an opponent of every mode of transportation that isn't the car, could be a net loss for them. Not too many people, I suspect, are joining for the advocacy, and it's driving some of us -- members who also bicycle -- away.

I dunno. It may be wishful thinking, but I kinda think Lon is ultimately shooting himself in the foot. (And he does open by saying he favors a balanced transportation system, but the arguments against bicycles contradict this, so one wonders who he expects to fool.) I won't renew my AAA membership.

AAA also sells cell phones and fights distracted driving laws. No conflict of interest there...

I just sent an email out! I frankly didn't expect much else out of AAA -- that's what they do.

It still seems to warrant a response though ;).

FWIW, when I used the term "Kornheisered" the other day on my Facebook page - as in I "was nearly Kornheisered on my commute home tonight" - it prompted a discussion on the use of that term, and it was largely agreed that "Kornholed" was a better term.

There seems to be a bit of 'cognitive dissonance' with AAA. Everyone should follow the law, including bikes. However, when motorists break the law, the fines are "DC's turning motorists into its latest ATM machine."

I grew up in the NoVA/DC area and spent as much time (or more) on a bike than I did in a car.

IMO, AAA may be missing the boat here. Rather than trying to stop/delay/interfere with the proposed bike lands, perhaps than should consider offering a service to cyclists similar to that offered to its motorist members. I imagine more than a few cycle commuters would pay for the roadside assistance option should something happen to them during their morning ride.

Just a thought!

So why should I give a f*** about ANC4B, except for the fact that I live in it or ANC6A, which under Joe Fengler was great, and now must be going back to the sucking level, about downtown transportation issues?

What is it about their knowledge and skill that makes these positions either fact-based or relevant?

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