Bad Choices, Part One

I always pick the best days to bike. Here’s the transcript of my IM with a cow orker this morning:
mdahmus: so today’s trip in was hellacious. first it starts drizzling hard RIGHT AFTER JEANNE LEAVES WITH MY CAR.
mdahmus: then I get to north loop and lamar and the bike won’t go.
mdahmus: I pull over and fuck with the brakes and make them very loose; still no go.
mdahmus: then I realized the back wheel had gone out of alignment and was rubbing on the bar.
mdahmus: so I try to fix the brakes back up and realize I can’t do it without pliers (can’t hold on to the little fuckity fuck fuck wire because too wet and greasy)
mdahmus: so I rode the rest of the way in with no back brakes; making the trip down far west JUST FANTABULOUS!
mdahmus: actually got passed by Guy on 2222 at 360; longest trip in ever. fuckin’ old brakes. AND YOU WONDER WHY MORE PEOPLE DON’T BIKE, MISTER SMARMY BIKE SHOP FUCKWAD.
mdahmus: that’s me angry.
The “smarmy bike shop fuckwad” refers to the helpful people at my no longer favorite bike shop (one I haven’t gone to in quite a while now) who failed to do anything about the “I can’t maintain my fuckin’ brakes because they’re such a pain in the ass; even though I’m already carrying around a wrench for the few brake things I can maintain” situation the last time I had the bike in because they couldn’t get the right parts, but “don’t worry, dude, they’re fine”.
How well do you think a car would sell if every time it got a flat tire and you put the doughnut on, you had to redo your brakes? NOT VERY FUCKING WELL I THINK!

Bad Neighborhoods, Part One

Austin’s neighborhood Nazis are at it again. In an article about the current activities of the Envision Central Texas project, a inoffensively driven planning exercise which seeks to lay out in broad brushes whether people all over the place are really against sprawl or not; the Statesman wrote:

Austin neighborhood leaders also are worried the scenarios could hurt the character of their neighborhoods. Bryan King, president of the Austin Council of Neighborhoods, said the type of density envisioned for neighborhoods in Scenario D could be disastrous. “Any scenario that is chosen must respond to neighborhood plans,” King said. “The neighborhood plans come first. Envision Central Texas comes second.”

Back when I worked on the Old West Austin neighborhood plan; it was understood that this exercise was fundamentally a way for central-city neighborhoods to show where additional density should occur; not whether it should occur. And we took that responsibility seriously; advocating additional development (both commercial and residential) on the edges and in a few places in the interior of the neighborhood. Since then, every neighborhood of note in the city, including my new neighborhood in North University, has used this process to try to push all densification out to commercial arterials; and even there in absurdly limited terms. The same people who fought the Villas, a reasonable apartment complex right next to Guadalupe Street within walking distance of UT, are fighting future similarly smart infill projects throughout Austin’s central city. And all of these wankers drive cars with SoS stickers on them. Oh, the irony.