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Just posted a link to this at the Simmons' article. You know, where someone who isn't a cycling advocate might see it :-)

I tried using the Washington Times to line our guinea pigs' cages but the guineas didn't like it.

"And it is, since they have paid effectively nothing for the benefits of cleaner air, less congestion, more available parking and better public health."


Again this is why the CMAQ money is a fraud. I don't think there is a way to mesure any of the above. Sure we can see how much CABI is used, some metrics -- but none of that suggests anything for the non-users.

Yes. Really.

I certainly don't mean to impugn Ms Simmons' capacities as a public thinker, but she sounds like a professional clown, paid to keep the mouth-breathers guffawing.

Oh, yes, and Tea Party Kulturkampf, btw.

Charlie: I'll expand a bit on washcycle's response to you. If even a single person takes a single ride on a bike instead of riding solo in a car, the number of car trips is reduced. That brings all of the benefits listed in washcyle's commentary. Surely you admit that at least some CABI rides would've been solo car rides?

I assume that the Washington Times needed an anti-bikeshare commentary to keep on the same page as their fellow travelers, and Ms. Simmons took the assignment. There is nothing in her comments that suggests anything other than an attempt to use up a few lines of print on the subject.

The facts are bad enough that the Times is almost obliged to issue a retraction and publish a letter to the editor--the only question is whether it is even worth CaBi staff time to seek the correction.

A recent survey of CaBi riders showed that 55% of CaBi trips replaced passive transit ones; that is, bus, taxi, metro, and car.

The majority of CaBi trips replaced the first three types of trips; far less so for car which isn't surprising given CaBi's predominance in downtown DC.

The fact that CaBi has replaced so many trips where people would not have been getting any meaningful exercise (with the possible exception of walking) is significant.

In a year of bike commuting, my blood pressure has dropped significantly, my pulse has lowered, my cholesterol levels have improved, and I have more energy. That will save society in the long run and makes me a better employee.

You should also point out the enormous societal costs of sedentary lifestyles and bad nutrition. (While cycling doesn't automatically mean that someone will eat better, there is a general correlation between active lifestyles and good nutrition, i.e., people who exercise also tend to eat better.)

People who exercise (which includes cycling) and eat right end up paying enormous subsidies to cover the avoidable health costs that are caused by sedentary lifestyles and bad nutrition. One recent study estimated that the U.S. spends $190 billion a year to treat these avoidable medical problems (Type II diabetes, early onset of heart disease, high blood pressure, etc.). If Ms. Simmons is so concerned about saving money and not paying out subsidies, why isn't she as concerned about the massive healthcare subsidies that are paid out to people who voluntarily live unhealthy lives? (The subsidies come from a combination of higher private health insurance premiums as well as higher taxes for public health programs.)

I don't think that articles like this are really sincere. It looks to me like most of these are just "complaining" without any attempt to actually understand the issue.

Hmm ... my comment to the article was not posted, and I didn't receive any negative feedback from Simmons or the paper. I guess they don't want substantive comments, just "I reposted this! Woo hoo!" :-(

I don't think that articles like this are really sincere. It looks to me like most of these are just "complaining" without any attempt to actually understand the issue.

Exactly. Hearst wasn't the first newspaper man to figure out that inflaming the rubes sells papers.

Can someone please tell me why Ms. Simmons is paid any attention by anyone anywhere?

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