Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ragged Mountain and Main Street

You know, places you can ride your bike.

A wee bit of linkage first:

The Ragged Mountain Public Hearing is tonight, 3.22.  I'm told the first one was sparsely attended.  But this is our chance, as a community, to make our collective voice heard - that our greatest in-town singletrack future is strong enough to support bikes.  And dogs.  And running.  And fun in general.  Indeed, if you believe that more than one bizarre, misguided, remarkably slow and plodding user group deserves access to our public lands, then show up and make your voice heard.

Similarly, City Council is now accepting your input on the design of West Main Street.  Same deal: residents on bikes should be able to ride down West Main without being run the fuck over by trucks.  You can read more, ponder, and support that kind of outlandish, radical thought here: http://gowestmain.com

This stuff is easy for me.  I know where I stand on these subjects, and I don't even have to attend.  No, indeed, my wife is plugged in, and since she's more beautiful, better spoken, cooler under pressure, smarter, calmer, less likely to cry in public, faster, and generally a better representation of the kind of quality person who'd like access to these kinds of bike infrastructure; it's just better for everyone involved that she attend and speak her mind vs me showing up with a rogue hoe and a muddy "fuck you" t-shirt.  So she attends, I stay home, and everybody wins.

But this sign...
Every time I see this sign, it absolutely murders me.  You read that right: no beer, no dogs, no running ("NO RUNNING!") no bikes, no "collecting."  Basically, no anything.  You can walk there, as long as you don't pick anything up.  Not much else at Ragged Mountain is legal.  We, the taxpayer, actually pay a significant amount of money to keep ourselves the fuck out of there.  Animal control is out there a few times/month to ticket, arrest, and persecute people who have the audacity to walk their dogs.  And NO RUNNING!  That always makes me smile a little.  Is there a lifeguard there who will blow the whistle and scream at you if they perceive you moving too fast? Are we five years old and at the pool?  And, for that matter, running is a little tough to define...what about just a really fast walk?  A shuffle?  Are there judges there who - like in the powerwalking championships of the World will disqualify any walker that they can closely inspect and perceive to be, in fact, running?

It's a slippery slope, this whole "No Running" business.  Lucky for us, our tax dollars can support the infrastructure to prevent running, that being a chubby little fellow in a white hat with exceptional judgement, character, and a startling level of passion, capable of tossing even the great walking champion, Jane Saville, from the women's 20K walk at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  Let's just say this: HE will not be persuaded.

But maybe the people who actually matter can be.  So get out there and help mold the future of how bikes, runners, dogs, and pretty much the remaining 95% of us will access our public places in the very near future.

Because it still holds true - even amid the internet of all things: the world is still run by the people who actually show up, up, up.

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