Jason McDowell is also known as Little Tiny Fish. He is the Creative Director for OnMilwaukee. Occasionally he freelances. Mostly he rides bikes. is not a cohesive blog, but a repository of musings on an assortment of topics, such as design, art, cycling, Milwaukee, and other personal experiences.

“It’s basically about [rich conservatives] in Madison who hate [bicycles] and think everyone should [drive] to work. It is basically making it difficult to use [anything but an] automobile.”

Sounds familiar, eh Mr. Nass?

Fortunately neither are terribly true—particularly in Madison, one of the most bicycle friendly cities in America. Sure, there are some car hating hippies out there, just like there are bike hating capitalists, but mostly there is a giant middle ground. The vast majority of cyclists own a car and drive regularly. The vast majority of drivers own a bicycle would like to ride their bike more often. The more people we can get sharing the roads, the safer everyone will be.

The reality is that there is room for all kinds of transportation on the roads. The bike boxes aren’t being installed in Madison so that cyclists can show off their well-toned posteriors. They’re being installed for safety. They are there to make sure drivers understand that they are not the only users of the road. They are there to make sure drivers give cyclists an appropriate amount of room.

Arguing against bike boxes is like arguing against crosswalks, traffic lights, speed limits, left-turn signals, and stop signs which also slow down traffic. Are pedestrians “liberal extremists who hate cars and think everyone should walk to work,” too? Should we tell construction workers that they can no longer close lanes or hold up “SLOW” signs? This also slows down traffic.

It’s not about hating cars, honestly. It really isn’t. It’s about undoing mistakes that have made our public roads such a hostile place. It’s about making fast flying, two-ton folks more aware of their surroundings. It’s about bridging the gap between anger and understanding, speed and patience.

Showing off our well-toned posteriers is just an added benefit.

—Signed, Jason McDowell

Please take a moment to send a message to Mr. Nass and let him know that you want to see more cooperation and less auto-centric planning on our public roadways.

Here’s is Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, contact info:

Madison Office
Room 12 West
State Capitol
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708

Voting Address
N8330 Jackson Road
Whitewater, WI 53190
(608) 266-5715 Or (888) 529-0031

District Telephone (262) 495-3424
Fax (608) 282-3631

Archived Comments

These comments were pulled from the archives after a site failure in mid 2014. Though I no longer accept public comments on my site, I’ve included them for posterity. If you’d like to submit a comment, send one to

  • I have to admit, Rep Nass’s rather uninformed (to be charitable) comments reminded me of a poem I learned long ago. It was written by EY Harburg (who also wrote the lyrics for Wizard of Oz). True, its subject was a Congressman, and not a state legislator but I think Rep Nass is worthy of the promotion:

    Should I Write A Letter To My Congressman?

    Each Congressman has two ends,
    A sitting and a thinking end.
    And since his whole success depends
    Upon his seat, why bother, friend?

    Arlen · 2010-05-28 21:52 · #

  • For the first time in my voting career, I feel like I have to make a real decision in regards to whom I am casting my vote towards in the upcoming Wisconsin primary. Since the beginning of this very, very (very!) early race, my brother had pointed out what seemed to me to be a logical, liberal-friendly platform of former Alaskan Senator, Mike Gravel. I took a couple of those “Vote by issue, not by personality” quizzes and came out overwhelmingly standing on the same side as he. Of course following closely behind are beloved news media mainstays, Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, each of whom, according to these quizzes, traded evenly between second place. The Republicans laughingly trailed quite far behind.

    Despite the even second place wins held by Obama and Clinton, I’m fairly certain that, without Gravel, I’d be casting my vote towards Obama. It’s his freshness that I agree with over the sort of “faux monarchy” we seem to have created with all these Bushes and Clintons.

    But at the time second place didn’t matter to me, because I was set on voting for Gravel. I know he isn’t going to win, but I would still like to do my part in turning the wonky art of politics around by voting for the best option, instead of voting for the lesser evil.

    Of course, by this time I assumed we’d see a clear leader and Wisconsin’s primary wouldn’t matter much. I figured my voting for Gravel would be an empty, idealist gesture (the easiest kind to make). This clear leader, however, has yet to show themselves. Obama is trailing the Queen by mere points, and I’m torn between my desire for immediate change, and my desire to follow through with my beliefs, resulting in long (long!) term change. I don’t want another Clinton in the White House, but can I really do anything about it?

    Would my vote for Obama make a significant enough difference to turn the tides against Clinton? If I voted for the lesser evil, would that change the outcome? Sure, in an idealist world, if everyone voted for who they believed in, this outcome would be radically different, but I’m pretty sure this is still a cynical world, and this election is not going to be that change. This outcome has probably already been decided by everyone but me.

    Then again, I didn’t think I’d see the first black man or white woman running for President, and actually showing potential to win. Not this early in my life, anyway.

    So I’m still torn about which direction my ballot is headed. My cynical head, or my idealist heart. I’ve only got a couple more days to decide.