No this is not an onion article, although if you read the recent article in the globe you might be forgiven for confusing the two. Eric Berger, self appointed grumpy old man, has spent more than $40,000 (holy shit) of his own money. Not to cure cancer, or to plant trees, or to save the children, Mr. Berger wants more car traffic in front of his home, and he is not afraid to spend a lot of money to get it.
That’s right, Eric Berger loves him some car traffic, and he is willing to do anything to get more of it. Bigger, faster, more lanes, cars! Anything that stands in the way of getting the maximum number of cars past his home in a day is going to be dealt with, and dealt with sternly.
What is all the fuss about? A bunch of people in Arlington decided it would be awesome to have better pedestrian and bicycling facilities on that stretch of Mass. Ave. that runs through the town. If you have ever ridden on it you know its super wide, poorly laid out, and would be PERFECT for some bike lanes. Not so fast says Señor Grumpy Pants Berger:
Berger has shelled out $40,000 of his own money to hire an engineer, a law firm, two consultants, and another attorney to stop the town.
Wait, what? Why would anyone do that? Did a bicyclist or pedestrian kill his dog? Does he think that a band of rabid cyclists will descend upon his lawn and tear up his azaleas? Nope, he just feels that cyclists have it too easy already and its about time we do something nice for car drivers.
Berger and some others who oppose the reconfiguration say that Arlington already has enough places for cyclists, including a nearby rail trail. They argue that changing Massachusetts Avenue to accommodate bikes would only encourage more cyclists to use the road, making travel more difficult for cars and emergency vehicles.
Yes cyclists are going to make it harder for emergency, because they take up the whole road, and are impossible to move to the side if an ambulance or fire truck needs to get through. And a bike lane or wider sidewalk would provide absolutely zero space in case an ambulance or fire truck had to find some place to park. Color me dubious Mr. Cranky Berger.
As far as the argument of “well they don’t need bike lanes because they have the minuteman trail right over there” by that same argument you could say “well cars don’t need Mass. Ave. because Route 2, and 93 are right over there.”
And heaven forbid more people ride bikes than drive in their cars, you know that might just help reduce traffic, and then the poor souls that do choose to drive would have a big empty road with a bunch of cyclists on one side. How could they get to work in time under such conditions?!
The best part is Berger McDouche Rocket thinks that he is making some grand stand against tyranny.
“This is a story about citizens fighting to protect their safety against the local government,’’ said Berger, who likens his opposition to what the English government faced from Sam and John Adams. “It’s a story,’’ he continued, “about a group of citizens who refuse to sit quietly.’’
Oh you mean the revolution, where we got our freedom from a the tyrant king of England…yes your valiant fight to stop some bike lanes and better sidewalks is just like that. Or maybe you he was talking about Sam Adams valiant fight against bitter bear face? Either way, holy shit, crazy much? I would wager good money this guy has been watching too much Glenn Beck. He probably curls up every night with his stack of gold coins from Gold Line, and checks on his stash of non-hybrid apocalypse seeds every morning to make sure they are still in good condition so he can trade them for stuff when society falls apart.
For 40K he could have sent me to grad school for a year, or purchased enough food to feeds a couple thousand starving people in Africa, or helped clean up the beaches in the Gulf, or purchased almost 100 quality bicycles for people, or you know just kept it and gave it to his children when he kicks. Either way it seems like a lot of money to waste on fighting something that almost everyone agrees is a good thing. Is the noble struggle against the evils of bike lanes really going to be the one you blow your cash on?
If you are going to plant your old man crazy flag on the hill of battle, I am sure there are better causes you could fight. Try global warming, or air pollution, or obesity, or the geo-political consequences of our addiction to oil, ocean acidification, or asthma, or the lack of public transportation in many communities, to name a few. NOOO you had to fight bike lanes and side walks, whataguy!
I am both highly amused by this guy and his ilk, and disgusted. I can’t imagine how anyone who has ever ridden a bicycle through this area could think that there are already too many bike facilities. I also can’t imagine why they would want MORE car traffic in front of their homes? I mean do you really enjoy seeing cars zipping past your house at high speeds? What if you have dog, or a kid?
Traffic planers have been proving for years that adding more lanes just adds more traffic, and doesn’t solve the problem at all. All the studies of this part of Mass. Ave. completely refute Mr. Berger’s arguments. He has neither logical nor factual arguments on his side. What he does have is way too much free time, and a surplus of spending cash. Mr Berger is a sad, mistaken old man, who needs to take his wealth and go away.
For more highly amusing and disgusting quotes from these wack-a-moles, see the full article here.
Tags: Arlington, Bike Lanes, boston globe, cranky old man, cyclist, Eric Berger, loser
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