“Hauling a Bad Reputation Through the Park on Three Wheels”

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2009 at 8:28 pm

The longer I stay in college the more I feel like a stereotype. I like bikes because I think they’re cool. Yeah, I like to ride mine, but really, I think I just like to feel like sometimes it looks cool. First step, admit you have a problem.

Anyway, in keeping with my bike-based preference, I watched a documentary called Red Light Go about bike messengers and alley cat races in New York City. It was awesome.

Today, I read about pedicabbies and their love-hate relationships. Interestingly enough, the writer brings up that pedicabs were actually meant to be a low cost alternative to taxis which had never crossed most people’s minds because New Yorkers view them as tourist attractions.

She also brings up safety issues which seem to revolve around pedicabbies getting into fistfights with taxicabbies and not really anything to do with traffic issues as I had expected.

And of course, she also brings up the low-emission factor which is always breathed in the same sentence of anything bicycle-related these days. But she also brings up a detractor who says that pedicabs actually increase emissions because they get in the way and cause traffic to idle for longer periods of time.

This was great because I had been researching environmental journalism and found a video about environmental education. NYU presents a six-minute video detailing all of the projects that middle-schoolers did to document how much pollution is expelled into the air. The crux of this program was the campaign “Don’t Idle.”

Now, I’m all for reduced emissions, but I’m confused. How do you prevent idling if you’re in a car? Do you turn off the engine? And you could use public transit but these kids are telling me the most bad stuff comes out of trucks and vans. Obviously these people are moving and delivering shit. Wouldn’t it be just as bad as idling to continually turn your engine on and off?

These kids should be making hybrid trucks, not promoting a campaign that’s impossible.

Also, I’d like to know how much money was spent on this program, including how much money these grad students are paying NYU to teach them to tell kids who don’t even have cars to “Stop Idling.”


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