Poor Arguments Abound in Bicycle Link Battle

The battle of the Puente Street bicycle path will intensify tonight at a special Parks and Rec commission meeting, giving us an opportunity to examine the silly exaggerations and misdirections shouted from both ends of the table. There are probably dozens of excellent arguments both for and against the 1/4 mile section of bike path that will connect Brea and Fullerton neighborhoods, but sometimes it’s more fun to point out the sillier arguments thrown between the NIMBY’s and the two-wheeled maniacs.

  1. In a (properly labeled) Observer editorial, Barbara Rothbart warns that bicycle users on the bridge will not be protected from flying golf balls while crossing the bridge, as if they were more dangerous than sending bicycle riders onto busy arterial streets.
  2. Heads up!
    Heads up!
  3. Members of the bicycle users subcommittee counter by claiming that there are 40,000+ bicycle riders in Fullerton. While there may be that many bikes stored in Fullerton garages, that number probably has no relation to the expected use of the proposed bridge.

    40,001 - every bike counts.
    40,001 - every bike counts.
  4. Local homeowners are suddenly afraid that we might slip and fall if the city were to pave the 17.7% grade, keenly ignoring the fact that this grade is already open to the public and covered in loose gravel.

    Bike riders, we care about you. We really do.
    Bike riders, we care about you. We really do.
  5. Vince Buck calls the pre-fabricated bridge a “local stimulus project”, though it is unlikely that the bridge will be pre-fabbed anywhere near Fullerton nor installed by Fullerton contractors.

    Not quite the pork we were hoping for
    Not quite the pork we were hoping for

We could go on and on, but you get the point.  Bike path debaters, please don’t marginalize the argument with this superfluous stuff. If you have a legitimate, sane comment about the proposed bike path, you may want to show up at tonight’s meeting.

15 Replies to “Poor Arguments Abound in Bicycle Link Battle”

  1. Cameron, according to NOCBAC, the path was approved by the Fullerton City Council as part of a proposed Master Plan of Bikeways in the early 1990’s and was added to the General Plan in 1996. Supposedly they never had the funding, which will now be covered mostly by the OCTA and CalTrans.

  2. Buena park high school is a school that serves the residents of west fullerton. this area’s sons and daughters must cross four lane magnolia avenue during rush hour traffic twice a day to reach Buena Park High. why isnt vince buck or other middle to upper middle class fullertonians who selfishly want safe, pretty bike paths for their leisurely pursuits worried about the safety of lower income students? Local stimulus projects should be based on need and not be influenced by a small vocal minority..

    1. NOCBAC is a fairly new group. The Puente link has been on the radar screen for a long time, so it got the immediate attention of the group. It isn’t a class thing. In fact, there have been several discussions in meetings about the fact that low wage earners are often the ones who have to ride bikes in dangerous places (whether they want to or not) to get to jobs far away.

      Are suggesting that there should be a bike path near Buena Park High School? Which area? Please email us from http://www.nocbac.org.

      (FYI, I had to cross four lane Magnolia in traffic twice a day to go to my high school to.)

  3. Van, “Local stimulus projects should be based on need and not be influenced by a small vocal minority” true statement, but in government, it’s all about the squeaky wheel.

    Need, truth, facts, reality, don’t mean a damn thing, and I agree with you, it’s all bs.

  4. fullerton needs to build a pedestrain overhead crosswalk connecting the east side of magnolia to the west side of it because it is only a matter of time before some poor teen ager gets squashed in the middle of this street. if the puente bike street path is built before this bridge then it is proof fullerton city council is unfit to receive federal stimulus money because they squander it on dumb projects.

  5. Although I have heard about the golf balls before, I didn’t hear many silly arguments on any side of the issue when it was (re) presented to the Parks and Rec. Commission last night. Most people cited the positive environmental, health and community benefits of the link, while others were concerned about money and safety. Different people from the Puente neighborhood spoke both for and against the bridge. Chris Norby spoke in support of the Puente Street link citing the public’s right to use the land we own.

  6. #7 Van,

    I have enjoyed your posts on this blog and agree with you virtually all the time, however, on this one we will have to disagree.

    You state “it is only a matter of time before some poor teen ager gets squashed in the middle of this street”. Uh, Van, how much time is “a matter”? I ask because last I checked buena Park High has been in the same place for 50 years give or take. Magnolia has been a busy street for at least 30 of those years so I am sure sooner or later there could be an accident. It could also be said that the fact there has not been some catastrophe may be an indication the threat is not as dire as you suggest.

    The bike path should be evaluated on its own merits. Buena Park High School crossings may be worthy of discussion but have nothing to do with the bike path.

  7. me too, I had to cross magnolia to get to my school a long time ago. I travel it at least once a week at the morning rush hour. I have seen way one too many near misses

  8. I have seen morning traffic near a point where students cross Magnolia on the east side of Buena Park High School. No argument from me that it is very busy in the mornings. Isn’t there a traffic light there for crossing? Or am I thinking of a different stretch of the street?

  9. Travis: excellent post!

    We should be encouraging intelligent public discourse; unfortunately so many public arguments are based on emotion, disingenuousness, and outright misrepresentation. And lots of times out politicians latch on to one of these bogus points to justify a stupid decision.

  10. I think the possiblity of being hit be a golf ball is very real. How do I know? I’m one of the lucky neighbors who gets to have this giant bridge put in right by my house to block my view (Of course not a concern for anyone else but me). I live right where the action is. Yes, the golf balls to hit all around here each day. I have a large collection of them that land in my yard. Hopefully no one will ever get hit. At any rate, it will be a very nice path for those who’ll use it.

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