“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:
Room 12 West
P.O. Box 8953
Madison, WI 53708
N8330 Jackson Road
Whitewater, WI 53190
(608) 266-5715 Or (888) 529-0031
District Telephone (262) 495-3424
Fax (608) 282-3631
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 email@example.com.
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?