Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I got the tiniest violin in the world...

...and it's playing just for this woman.

I laughed my way through this entire article.  I think coffee came out of my nose I was laughing so hard.  The road this person is whining about has a wide bike lane on each side.  How wide is the bike lane?  In most places two bicycles can ride side by side and there's still enough room left over for a third bicyclist to pass.

But wait!  There's more!  For those too timid to handle life in a bicycle lane alongside the big admittedly ugly-ass automobiles and trucks and general wankers on this road there is yet another option, a multi-use path that runs parallel for almost the entire length of her three mile commute.

“It is currently taking me at least 30-40 minutes in the evening to drive up Sand Hill Road if I leave any time between 5-7 p.m.,” Stevens said, describing the voyage she makes upon leaving her office in the Stanford Medical Center.

Voyage.  A voyage of three miles?  No wonder the SUV makers sell so many cars.  Newsflash:  no one makes three mile voyages unless they are an insect or rodent.  

“The journey is three miles, which should take five minutes with no traffic, and sometimes I wonder if it would be quicker if I walked,” she said.
Here.  Let me fix that for you:  

"The journey is three miles, which would take a mere five minutes if the rest of you selfish haters would commit suicide so that there was more room for me."

Don't you love people in traffic complaining about people in traffic?  


  1. AND, she lives in Palo Alto which has optimal commuting weather 350 days a year.

    AND, I'm willing to bet a modest sum that her employer, being a hospital, provides ample bicycle parking amenities. Maybe even showers and such if she should get super sweaty on that crazy 3 mile ride. Sorry "Voyage"

    1. You can imagine how those of us who manage to commute pretty much 365 days a year in London (barring only days when there's an unacceptable amount of untreated black ice on the roads) feel about the rigours facing people in California's rainy season and winter.

      Let's face it - people just make excuses. And they don't realise that the roads are full because other people are making precisely the same decisions that they are.

      I'm also loving the idea that, because the houses are expensive, her workplace isn't allowed to expand.

      This human irrationality about road use is, as I've mentioned on here before, the Great Theme of my own blog, Invisible Visible Man: People really don't think this stuff through.


    2. I think it's rained twice in the last six months? And there were those two days where it was a little chilly out and I wore gloves. (eyeroll)

      Part of the ludicrousness of her complaint is that it is *her* employer that is doing the expanding, she works for Stanford Medical Center. It's Stanford Hospital that is growing.

      Anyways. On the bright side we can get on with our lives and she can continue to wonder why she's stuck in traffic twice a day.

  2. Why did this just irritate me so much? Some people are just so lazy! I'd have just walked even if i didn't cycle, it surely has to be better than sitting in a box in congestion......particularly when the weather is good.

    I shall stop for fear of over ranting.......


    1. I see tons of people just like this woman twice a day five days a week. Stuck in traffic. Watching the light ahead turn green and then red again while I pedal up my bike lane. She experiences her own punishment every day which makes me smile smile smile because I'm mean that way.

      The sad part is that she is pointlessly using up an important resource, petroleum, and while she sits in traffic fuming her car is...fuming.

    2. I suppose as she is self suffering that makes me feel that bit better!

  3. I wonder why it's so difficult and revolutionary to get out of a car and walk/bike? Biking was always an easy choice for me... but I don't work in a particularly lucrative field, so the possibility of saving money on parking permits and vehicle cost was significant, probably more so for me (percentage wise) than for this particular character and many others like her with the benefit of a short commute in an affluent area.

    Once you make the statement "faster to walk than drive" (like she did) it seems like a really simple decision to actually try it to see if you were right...

    1. I don't know why it's difficult. I know someone who lives *even closer* than 3 miles who will not bicycle because "it's too dangerous." I'm sacred of cars, sure, but this really is a very tame bike-friendly piece of road. She lives in Sand Hill Circle which is condo-land, she's not poverty stricken but she is probably pretty middle-class.

      That she does not acknowledge any alternative than wanting there to be fewer drivers is why it is so funny, really. Many people live in this area exactly because the biking is so good and we have such a nice ride to work.

  4. What's more criminal is that the writer of this article perpetuates the myth that the only way a "reasonable" person gets to their destination is by car. If she had only also done a little more work and found someone who had switched mode share and was enjoying the change, the tone of the article would be considerably more about the positives (growth and jobs = good) and less about the negatives (congestion and traffic = bad).

    Now people in the community are going to demand some kind of expensive remediation from the medical center when the cheap and easy could have been attained with some positive reinforcement of alternatives to single person auto trips. Sigh. What a crazy culture we live in.

    1. It saddens me that if I suggest "you could bicycle!" to a non-bicyclist that they act as if I am suggesting something punishing and cruel. The Contraption Captain is a devoted environmentalist but he once confided in me that he'd bicycle even if it didn't make sense for the environment, because bicycling is so much fun. If I were to talk to this woman I'd say "Why don't you stop hitting yourself??" because that is what she is doing with her commute.