Saturday, June 2, 2012

I Must Be A "Commun-ist"

I'm not that familiar with Charles Hurt, but I happened across his recent piece in the Washington Times about Capitol Bikeshare in Washington, D.C. He refers to it as "broken-down socialism".

That is because across the street from my house on Capitol Hill is a loud, clanging “Capital Bikeshare” docking station. It is one of the locking ports for those fat, red communal bicycles you see peddled all over town by commune enthusiasts. (Say that fast, and it sounds like you are saying “commun-ists.”)
Having people pedal around on these bikes, they say, means fewer people riding pollution-emitting city buses and fewer cars clogging the roads. And healthy riders means less of a burden on socialized medicine. These people get very excited talking about all the upsides.

As you can see he's a real fan and he's looking at Capitol Bikeshare with an unbiased eye. He's not done yet.

But there are problems.

The most obvious one is that you can check out a bike and pedal yourself anywhere your heart desires — so long as it happens to have a docking station for your bike. (The bikes don’t come with locks, and these geniuses haven’t yet eliminated bike theft — even of crappy, fat red ones.)

If your destination just so happens to have a handy-dandy bike-docking station, you better get there early or hope that not everybody is going in the same direction at the same time. Such as what we happen to call “rush hour,” which only occurs every single weekday, twice a day.

What's interesting is the parallel between his nonsensical complaint about lack of space at the docking stations (go see the stats for yourselfwith the very real lack of space and increased cost of parking for vehicles.

Map of Bikeshare stations
Hurt mocks what he does not understand. The bikeshare program is both economically and environmentally ideal for short trips in Washington, D.C. Those are precisely the type of trips you want to reduce because they increase wear on the roads, increase congestion, pollute the air, and increase the personal cost of vehicle ownership. 

I've been to D.C. Waiting and idling at those many six-way intersections throughout the city looks like fun. Top that off with trying to find parking and then paying top dollar for it. Hurt is welcome to it.

1 comment:

Rye said...

I'm not sure if communism is dead. The socialist Washington State Liquor Board actually delivered cheap bourbon.

At least, compared to the prices since the Great Costco Liquor Swindle.

The Centennial Trail will became a smuggling route across the border, a Ho Chi Minh Trail of cheap booze for the Peoples Republic of Spokane.

Drinkers of the world unite!

Who would have thought the latest Whiskey Rebellion would start next to the bananas at Rosaurers.