Loved this observation from Felix Salmon regarding New York’s new bike sharing program and the reaction from Sean Sweeny of Soho Alliance:
“DOT and Janette Sadik-Khan’s problem is they say,
‘Here’s what we’re doing, take it or leave it,'” said Sean Sweeney of
the Soho Alliance, a frequent DOT critic. “Instead, it should be,
‘Here’s 20 racks, where would you like them?'” He expressed concern
about whether the stations would be located on too-narrow sidewalks or
in valuable parking spaces or other inopportune locations.
Still, he said it would be nice if done right. “I walk a lot, I’ll
walk from 59th Street downtown,” Mr. Sweeney said. “Let’s say I don’t
want to walk or take the subway, then a bike sounds nice. But it’s still
a matter of giving over public space to a private company, so we have
to be careful.” He added that no stations should be place in Soho.
I love the way that Sweeney starts by implying that he would be happy
to place 20 racks around Soho, underscores that by saying that the
scheme “sounds nice” — and then, at the end, drops the bomb that he’s
already decided that the optimal number of racks in Soho is precisely
When I was a kid in New Jersey my brother once got a toy (long since forgotten) that enraged me to the point of public complaint. I made a sign and posted it for all the family to see. It read, more or less:
I HATE that [new toy]!
I HATE IT HATE IT HATE IT
I don’t EVER WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN!
P.S. You’d better let me use it!
Felix posits that Sweeney isn’t open to the idea. Quite the contrary: he’s actually jealous, to the point of distraction, and he can’t bring himself to admit it.
I wish I could remember what the toy was. I wonder if I wound up using it at all.