Two contrasting bits of bike news today.
The new issue of the NW Examiner includes an editorial by the paper's publisher Allan Classen, about the bicycling zealots who are running roughshod over his neighborhood. BikePortland tipped me off to the pretty hilarious editorial here, which you can read in pdf here. The editorial closes with these lines:
Classen is a classic curmudgeon about a lot of issues, ranting about everything from air quality to parking issues, so I wouldn't take his thoughts on cyclists personally, if you happen to be one of the 17,449 Portlanders who commute to work by bike every day. I think it's good to have a curmudgeon like Classen around, for one because he's saying things in the paper that people are probably saying over the dinner table and it's good to have these opinions out in public.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Sun-Times has an interesting profile of Rob Sadowsky, who is ditching his job as chief of Chicago's big bike/ped advocacy group to become executive director of Portland's Bicycle Transportation Alliance. I interviewed Sadowsky here and the Sun-Times piece reaffirms that Sadowsky likes to push politicians a little farther than they're comfortable:
"Chicago was leading the way for a long while in cycling," Sadowsky said. "Things have been happening in other cities, like Minneapolis and New York, that really made strides we're not even coming close to. Part of that is a strong presence from the Department of Transportation's commissioner level and strong backing from the mayor. We're kind of lacking that in the city right now."
For example, the alliance would like to see bike lanes that are physically separated from traffic by more than a painted line. This is being done in Europe and in other U.S. cities. But it hasn't happened here.
"I haven't seen him put his foot down and say 'Make this happen,' which he can do,' said Sadowsky