Sunday, January 10, 2016

My 2016 resolutions... for our dearest governors

The new year is here, which means that gyms are packed now, at least for another week or so. Then, things will come back to normal when most of those who committed to work out more in 2016 drop out by February and only the regular gym-goers stay.

The truth about resolutions is - if you haven't done this already it won't happen this year either.

But if 2016 should bring some changes, here is my New Year's resolution all local politicians should adopt: make you city/town more livable. And by more livable I don't mean more free parking spaces. Sorry.

There's a bunch of politicians who should seriously rethink what livable means and why it doesn't involve catering to car drivers.

Let's start locally. Colleen Garry, our State Representative, seeks to increase fines for jaywalking. Apparently, she still lives in 1930's. Just like the politicians from Nova Scotia who recently increased fines for jaywalking to nearly $700, making them more expensive than the penalty for using a cell phone while driving! Looks like in Nova Scotia crossing an empty street is equally dangerous as driving distracted. The latter one may lead to killing someone. The former one - not so much, unless Nova Scotia governors believe their population is so stupid that people would run across the street in front of approaching vehicles.

Now let's jump across the ocean. Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Właszczykowski said recently that bicycling in cities is a "foreign culture" and doesn't fit in the traditional Polish lifestyle. I guess he was referring to this very traditional lifestyle when you get totally wasted after work, crawl onto your horse-drawn cart and ride back home in glory. He's right. I can't see a place for bicycles there.
Polish MFA thinks cyclists and vegetarians are a "foreign culture" and don't belong to XIX century Poland. (Source:
Meanwhile in Australia (Oh boy, we love Australia, don't we?), now all cyclists in New South Wales are required to carry an ID and will get penalized more for riding without a helmet ($319) or running a red light ($425). The new rules were announced by Duncan Gay, state's roads minister and my "favorite" Australian politician.

All this means that if you are a cyclist in NSW your life may be miserable but if you are only a person on a bicycle, who just rides to the grocery store 2 miles away, you're screwed. I repeat myself here and say that Australia should just ban cycling completely and be done with it. Why pretend to be a modern country when it's obvious that you're stuck in the 60's?

The list gets longer. In fact, I've just discovered that the Bicycling magazine made my life easier and published their list of "people who could use some bike love in 2016". Worth a look.

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