Oh, everybody knows that a frequent reader of the Letters to the Editor in any newspaper is likely to encounter brilliance, eloquence, confusion, and world-class idiocy.
Take today, for instance. The editorial page Editor here in little ole Gainesville, Fl, is one Ron Cunningham. For years, Ron has been calling for the city to make bicycle commuting more attractive — more bike lanes is a big part of it. And Ron has put his money (or his butt and feet) where his mouth is, not only advocating bike commuting but stubbornly riding to work, even in difficult conditions (no bike lanes, not enough good bike lanes). And he’s reported on his bicycle commuting efforts.
Today a letter noted that Ron must be contradicting himself — since he’s been regularly commuting by bike, then the city obviously doesn’t need any more bike lanes, doesn’t need to modify roads to add bike lanes (we’ve started calling roads with bike lanes “complete roads”). Yikes, even a cursory reader of Ron’s many columns on bicycle commuting should see that his main point is how difficult bike commuting is on the roads we have, that we need to change our transportation ideas to make Gainesville more bike-friendly.
But no, today’s letter writer seems to have entirely missed that. My friend Sam commented that you might as well write that, since our ancestors crossed the continent in covered wagons, there’s clearly no need for highways or super-highways.