It's been so warm recently you would think it's spring. It's certainly been the warmest and mildest winter in Boston since... ever? Despite all this, we only needed a lousy 5 inches of snow just a week ago to see another episode of parking wars. Everyone knows that on-street parking in Boston is scarce, yet everyone tries to pack more and more cars there. This becomes a problem in winter when some of these spots get blocked by piles of snow plowed off the streets. What's Boston's solution? Remove all snow from city streets as soon as possible? Limit a number of parking permits available? No. Our solution is to temporarily legalize unloading random junk onto the parking spots to "save" them. This is usually done with cones, old chairs or other junk furniture. These space savers are our way to say "This is my spot. Don't you dare parking here". But, if it doesn't work, you can always shoot the intruder.
It looks like I may have awarded my Village Idiot Awards two weeks ago a bit too early. As of the last week, we have another candidate to receive this Anti-Transportation Oscar: Mike Verchio from South Dakota. In the past, Mr Verchio has been apparently "consistently voting against measures to improve road safety, such as restriction on mobile device use while driving, and voting in favor measures to decrease safety, such as higher speed limits". This time, he proposed a new bill, requiring all cyclists "under certain conditions to stop and allow faster vehicles to pass", which essentially means that if you try to ride your bike on a road you have to share with cars, you're screwed. According to the proposed solution you would need to dismount and let all those vehicles pass first before you can continue riding. Not hard to imagine this could make bicycles in South Dakota unusable. All this, plus other attempts like 15ft tall flag poles required on bicycles or Australian mandatory helmet and ID laws seem simply like a blatant attempt to get rid of all cyclists from the roads.
Ah, the beautiful South Dakota. Now, get off my f****** road! (Source: The Cavender Diary)
Let's go back to Boston now. The shocking yesterday's news was the horrific crash (notice how WBZ in the video called it a "horrific crash", not an accident) that happened in Boston's Chinatown. A Chinese-American female driver hit two pedestrians and dragged one of them under her vehicle for over 3 miles (traveling on highway) before realizing she was pulling a body through the city. Next, she simply got rid of the body and drove away. I don't know, maybe in China (I've never been there) they have different standards and such behavior is perfectly acceptable or maybe this woman found her driver's license in a box of Frosted Flakes. But how bad and negligent driver you have to be not to realize that you hit two (!) people and are dragging a person (!) for over 3 miles (!) only to dump the body (!) and drive away? What I do know is that she was released on a $5000 bail, which is simply laughable considering the situation. As someone pointed out on Twitter:
In other Boston news, our bike sharing program - Hubway, is expanding, adding new stations all over the city, which is great. Apparently, not for everyone. Local business owners complain that since Hubway stations had been installed in front of their shops "it cut the business almost in half". And that's something hard to believe as one single station takes space of 1-2 parking spots. Does it mean that they only had two parking spots in front of their shops and now are unable to serve more than 1 customer at a time? Something tells me bicycle sharing has little to do with the lost business opportunity. But it's easier to blame those damn cyclists than try to find the real problem.
Finally, the cycling racing world is buzzing now with the news that mechanical doping does exist, indeed. It's been discovered that one Belgian cheater, I mean... a cyclocross racer had been using a small electric motor and a battery kit hidden in the seat tube. To be honest, this doesn't surprise me at all. Whether it's blood doping or mechanical cheating, who cares? Pro cycling is such a dirty sport that it's been many, many years ago when I stopped believing anyone who is in the world's top 50 in their category is clean. In my opinion, all of them are cheaters. That's the prime reason why I completely lost interest in all competitive cycling. It just doesn't make sense to waste my time and watch a bunch of guys on drugs in Tour, Giro or Vuelta. Where's the future of this "sport"?