Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Byko vs. 'bikeheads:' New nuance

He's at it again: Philadelphia's self-appointed bike-culture critic Stu Bykofsky today ratchets up the volume in his cri de coeur against the two-wheeled onslaught. While he's crowing about a "Pushback against those who pedal," the latest installment shows signs of nuance that temper what was previously an ongoing broadside against no-good cyclists.

Byko vs. 'bikeheads:' New nuance

Stu Bykofsky bikes in the Berkshires this past summer. (Photo: Sonya Bykofsky)
Stu Bykofsky bikes in the Berkshires this past summer. (Photo: Sonya Bykofsky)

He's at it again: Philadelphia's self-appointed bike-culture critic Stu Bykofsky today ratchets up the volume in his cri de coeur against the two-wheeled onslaught. While he's crowing about a "Pushback against those who pedal," the latest installment shows signs of nuance that temper what was previously an ongoing broadside against no-good cyclists. Maybe his much heralded bike-riding photo-op earlier this summer has softened his heart?

Consider:


* Stu comes out in favor, more or less, of the "temporary" (like Stu, most of us don't buy that qualifier) removal of a lane along JFK Boulevard between 15th and 20th.

* Stu reiterates that most cyclists don't ride on sidewalks - a safety menace he railed about extensively in his pre-photo-op days - and that in fact, this ban only applies in business districts anyway.

* While proposing registration for bicycles, Stu admits that in the long run, the idea might not work, given other cities that have tried and abandoned it.

Lest you think Byko has turned into a kumbaya-chanting bike-friendly hippie, he does continue his habit of name-calling ("pedalphiles," har har; "bikeheads" "shriek"; "bikehead blowhards" are "yappy about rights," etc.) and still seems to inflate the potential menace of bicycle access far beyond what common sense might dictate.

Case in point: An argument for bike license plates is that they "would help cops find bicyclist hit-and-run artists." Excuse me? Is this a rampant problem that's been underreported? Certainly collissions do occasionally occur, but how many bike "hit and runs" have there been in Philly over the past few years?

And meanwhile, how many car accidents, threatening life and limb in a much more extreme way, have there been during that time that are directly ascribable to drivers breaking the law by talking on cell phones?

As usual, on this vehicular danger, Stu "we must enforce the law for public safety" Bykofsky remains as silent as ever, preferring to "pedal" the same old hobby horse he rode in on.

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Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here-and-now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. - stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.


Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever-growing e-mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.


Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco-conscious eating, public transportation and fuel-efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your 'green' news.


Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12-year-old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was...


Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green-related legislation or policy. And we'll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.


Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics - those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He'll spotlight green-conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.


Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic-wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.


In addition to these updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia's original "green" community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You'll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out.

  • Dispatch #1: Margaret Giancola's rugs from plastic bags
  • Dispatch #2: Dumpster Divers in City Hall (Art in City Hall series)
  • Dispatch #3: Wild wood, New Jersey
  • Dispatch #4: Dumpster Divers award winners announced
  • Dispatch #5: From sweaters to colorful cuddling
  • Dispatch #6: Green artists retake South Street Sunday
  • Dispatch #7: Isaiah Zagar: He's a Magic (Gardens) Man





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