Having been accosted by Critical Mass myself on the day of the "big ride," IÊfor one am happy to see that some of them were arrested ("Vicious Cycle," 9/12/2007). Even if they had "done nothing" at the time to provoke the arrests (which I'm sure is not the case), they had already broken many laws that should have gotten them tickets at the very least.
While we were in our car at the corner of Lyndale and Franklin, this mob of bicyclists (who were acting like just that, a mob) came riding down Franklin like a gang who owned the roads. They purposely rode through a red light, slowed down in the middle of the intersection to delay traffic even longer, and laughed at all the cars as they went. When we turned onto Franklin, we encountered even more of them—not riding to the right of the road as is the law, but taking up the entire street. Some of them even delighted in riding straight at the front of our car, laughing, as if daring us to hit them.
If you want to push for the rights of bicyclists, then perhaps you should learn the rules of riding first. You are the same as a car on the road. You are required to ride on the right side, traveling with traffic. You are required to stop at all traffic signals, whether they are stop signs or red lights, just as any car is—whether there is oncoming traffic from the other direction or not. I enjoy riding myself, but I do it according to the rules and have never felt endangered by vehicles. Perhaps you would feel the same if you rode correctly. Don't whine to me when you get hit after you've been riding the wrong way down the street, came out of somewhere that you should not be, and the driver didn't see you. Take a little responsibility for your own actions.
Julie NevillÊSt. Paul
Maced bikers got off easy
Although Maced, roughed up, and falsely arrested, the Critical Mass bicyclists got off light! If our finest had to chase them half a block, there would be murder charges for the several heart attacks.
I guess our boys in uniform found themselves at loose ends no longer guarding the secret bridge collapse from public glimpse.
Look, Chief Dolan, Field Marshall Stanek, we don't expect your men to solve crimes like on TV, that's just entertainment. But before resuming your functions in the theater of security you need to undertake a serious de-Baathification.
Just like Senator Coleman, I protested the Vietnam War but fully support our efforts in Iraq ("War Torn," 9/5/2007). I suspect that is because just like Coleman, I do not rely on City Pages for international news. That's what the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and the Washington Post are for.
Mark Tarnowski Minneapolis
A chance to reverse sprawl
I knew it would not be long before a story like this came up, about businesses around the freeway suffering from lack of traffic ("Economy in Freefall," 9/5/2007). But the reality is that freeway travelers do not frequent these destinations all that much. Freeway travelers use 35W as a passageway from their suburban homes to their city jobs. Most of them are only out of their cars from the parking ramp to the office desk, which often only consists of a short jaunt in the skyway system. If the Minneapolis businesses want to make money, they should not support the rebuilding of a bigger bridge, but rather they should support pulling out the 35W trench altogether, refilling the trench with more shops, houses, and restaurants, and trying to get business from city residents. I truly hope the new expanded bridge is not rebuilt. Our city would be better without it. The city of Minneapolis should be a destination, not a collection of parking lots and 10-lane highways.
Mikael Wood's review of Rush's mostly mediocre new CD, Snakes and Arrows, seems to imply that vocalist Geddy Lee wrote the lyrics. Of course drummer Neil Peart is the main lyricist, and most of the songs reflect his sentiments and experiences. This sort of apparent mistake would have been adorable in the days before Google.