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April 20, 2009

Bureauweenies on Three Wheels

Crushing our economy, setting the stage for astronomically high energy prices, and regulating everything down to how much water our toilets can hold isn't enough for environazis. They won't be satisfied until we have submitted to abject humiliation. Here's one leading the way by example:


From WaPo:

The newest way for Arlington County [Virginia] employees to get around has three wheels, a bell and an orange safety flag. … Arlington officials think the "trike pool" is the way to go.
"I know it sounds nutty,'' said Mary Curtius, a county spokeswoman, but it's part of the eco-friendly county's efforts to lower health-care costs and help the environment.

Guess who paid for these ridiculous toys, which cost $500 apiece (not counting the regulation helmets)? You guessed it: taxpayers. But that's okay, we've got plenty of money.

Hat tip: Dan Cleary.

Posted by Van Helsing at April 20, 2009 8:34 AM


Here I am next door in Fairfax County, where it's drizzling rain and 45 degrees outside. Wonder how the trikes are working for 'em today?

Posted by: Gregory of Yardale at April 20, 2009 8:42 AM

Two words:
Squidward Tentacles

Posted by: Viking04 at April 20, 2009 8:53 AM

Welcome all who have come to this meeting. Its a beautiful sunny day, and we have a lot of things to table. however, let me first apologize for now smelling like a unbathed wild animal, as its 4pm, and i have had to travel to 6 of thse today.

on another note.

average speeds.

walking, 3 miles an hour
Bike, 10 miles an hour
car, 60 miles an hour.

it will take them 6-7 hours to travel to a meeting 1 hour away by car. no one will be able to do any work in the car during that time, and making phone calls are now prohibited.

there is an alternative to the smelly speaker story... and thats the sodden speaker whose electronic equipment and records totaling more than 20 or 30 thousand dollars in material and data is now a door stop thanks to the weatehr.

Posted by: Artfldgr at April 20, 2009 9:12 AM

Arlington County is Northern Virgina's equivalent to Berkely, CA.

Posted by: bemused at April 20, 2009 9:25 AM

My Grandma used to have one of those big tricycles back in the '70's.

We rode all over town as kids, hanging out of the baskets on the back, flailing about with NO helmets, ever.

Wouldn't be caught dead riding on one now.

Posted by: Parley at April 20, 2009 9:32 AM

Hey Artfldgr, The bikes aren't replacing the cars, its just a supplement. I don't think anyone here is stupid enough to believe that county officials would be taking the bike more than a mile anywhere.

Most county, city and federal buildings are all located close together in a city, wherever that may be. They'll still have cars, don't you worry. I know its un-American to not always want to burn some gasoline. You can help make up for their savings by burning some in your back yard if it makes you feel better.

Why is it bad to save gas? Why is is bad to spend $500 on a bike instead of thousands on a car? Get off your butt and take a bike once in a while. You might actually shed some of those unwanted pounds.

Posted by: Moon Bat at April 20, 2009 9:46 AM

Scott Adams couldn't make up something as goofy as this. On the plus side, these Arlington county VA employees may find other places to work. On the minus side, the ones that remain to run the county will be the more thorough committed.

Posted by: James McEnanly at April 20, 2009 9:56 AM

Moon bat you need to organize your thoughts before you type them up. Let's review.

"The bikes aren't replacing the cars, its just a supplement."

"They'll still have cars, don't you worry."

"Why is is bad to spend $500 on a bike instead of thousands on a car?" (emphasis added)

The rest of your silly diatribe consists of ignorant strawman arguments and isn't worth addressing, although I have no idea where you pulled the one mile limit for travel from. Despite your errant belief, most cities have municipal buildings that are several miles apart, essentially making these bikes worthless if they were to impose your restrictions.

I, for one, would prefer that people who are being paid with my tax dollars get to wherever they're going faster than this silly idea would allow. Of course, I'm not a taxpayer in Arlington Country, so my opinion is moot for that purpose.

Posted by: cowlove at April 20, 2009 10:00 AM

I have no problem with them riding their bike/trike to work as long as they (the employees) buy them and they put in a full day's work.

My job doesn't lend itself to this although I love bicycling for fun and shopping regularly (on a bike I purchased).

It would make more sense to spend money on bike paths that everyone could use rather than trikes for employees. Even then, it will not be a significant energy savings, but it would definitely be a health benefit.

Posted by: JustAl at April 20, 2009 10:18 AM

Not worth addressing, or you can't address them. Its all the same on this site. You quote what I say, but don't address it. The only thing you refute is that you claim municipal buildings are not located close together. They are.

I've lived, and visited all over the US, and yes municipal buildings all tend to be quite close together. In many cities they actually have bridges and or tunnels connecting the buildings for employees to use.

That's the only part you address. Got anything else?

Posted by: Anonymous at April 20, 2009 10:21 AM

Not worth addressing, or you can't address them. Its all the same on this site.

Not worth addressing, obviously. You extrapolate ideas that simply aren't there. We want to waste gas. We're fat. We hate bicycles. Not wanting to burn gasoline is un-American. Do you really feel those "arguments" are worth addressing?

For someone who complains about Van not "sticking to the subject," you do a piss-poor job of following your own advice.

That's the only part you address.

That's clearly not the case, as I continued to elaborate on why I felt this was a waste of taxpayer money. I even admitted that my opinion was moot on that point, because I'm not actually a taxpayer in Arlington County.

Of course, you wouldn't dare acknowledge that, because that would mean you'd actually have to engage in a discussion.

I've lived, and visited all over the US, and yes municipal buildings all tend to be quite close together.

Heh, and I've done the same, and noticed the opposite. That's not to say that every single municipal building is at least one mile away from every other municipal building, but to say they're mostly grouped within one mile of each other is simply not true. I suppose if you'd like to continue saying they are, you could offer some sort of evidence, or something.

Posted by: cowlove at April 20, 2009 10:31 AM

Why don't we go the next step and save time? We can have ox carts with wooden wheels and streets and roads covered with bovine shit. It will work as long as we give the oxen antibiotics so they don't produce as much methane. The whole country can be slip sliding away.

Posted by: SnowSnake at April 20, 2009 10:33 AM

MB, with all respect, I seriously doubt that any bureaucrat is going to be riding a trike anywhere. It's a straight-up PR gesture, methinks, and more than a little lame.

Posted by: Jay Guevara at April 20, 2009 10:45 AM

How long before all these bikes are stolen and relocated to other cities?

They tried this in the 60's in The Netherlands, and within a month almost all the bicycles were stolen or wound up in the canals. Tax money down the drain.

They tried this in the 90's in Cambridge UK, and almost all the bicycles were stolen, killing the entire program. Tax money down the drain.

There have been many of these programs over the years, all over the world. Overwhelmingly, they fail due to theft, or high costs associated with preventing the thefts.

Posted by: Henry at April 20, 2009 10:56 AM

I wonder who this "moon bat" doofus is working for. Is it an ACORN afiliate or directly for the f├╝hrers administration?

I wonder if his IP is from DC.

Posted by: FREE at April 20, 2009 11:14 AM

With that stupid EARTH DAY comming up you,ll be seeing a lot of these green moonbats running around on their stupid bicycles getting in your way till your ready to make roadkill out of them

Posted by: SPURWING PLOVER at April 20, 2009 11:29 AM

My God. Why in the world are moonbats so against anything sexy? That photo looks so damn dorky. Same as that stupid PUMA.

Posted by: Karin at April 20, 2009 12:03 PM

"Free" -- making it personal again. I work for myself and own my own business. I'm no politician, just looking around on the internet.

I'll have to admit I love the "It looks dorky argument" from Karin. Now that's funny.

And Jay always has something good to say. This very likely could be that someone in the county admin office said "Hey, that whole 'green idea' is so popular these days, let's do that!"

Spurwing, I would expect no less than your violent comment. I don't want to take away anybody's guns, but I'll admit it scares me a little knowing you own one.

Posted by: Moon bat at April 20, 2009 1:45 PM

That moonbat dork is wearing a helmet as well as having that flag. The flag I can understand, but doesn't a helmet imply a reasonable expectation of falling off? How much of a loser would you have to be to fall off a tricycle?

Posted by: Mr Evilwrench at April 20, 2009 3:06 PM

Moonybat, If they want to bike to work that's fine but just don't do it on the taxpayer's dime. Is that easy enough for you to understand?

Posted by: Farmer Ted at April 20, 2009 6:00 PM

Hey Farmer Ted (are you really a farmer? That's cool!)

Yes, that is easy to understand. If you're a farmer, and haven't had to deal much with parking in the city, then I can see how it might seem silly to ride a bike. Obviously they're not good for everything, and I wouldn't dream of arguing that bikes can replace cars. No way. And as cowlove points out, I'm sure there are many cities that it wouldn't work well in.

But I bet in a lot of places the bike thing could save some gas, save some car maintenance, and therefore, save some taxpayer dollars for those things. Not today but over the next couple of years.

Doesn't that also make some sense?

Posted by: Anonymous at April 20, 2009 6:47 PM

I have no problem with conservation. I just believe that if a government employee or boss wants to save gas then don't do it at the expense of the taxpayer.Cities are taxing the crap out of the citizens and personally I would be pissed as hell if my local tax dollars went to but those trikes. Yes it does make sense to save in a municipalitity but what are the savings to the taxpayer when you factor in the cost of those trikes? My guess would be alot of years bike riding. Also remember unless the municipality is in a temparate zone the bikes won't be used year-round.

Posted by: Farmer Ted at April 20, 2009 7:07 PM

Anon: If city employees want to save money on gas, look like dorks, and feel good about the environment, they can do it on their own dime like everyone else.

I never understood the excesses of some of these places. I used to work for the parks in a city near here and their lounge was disgusting. Nowhere else I've worked has said anything like, "We need a $5000 big screen in the lunch room so the employees can see half an hour of American Idol in high def once a day."

Posted by: dimes at April 20, 2009 8:16 PM

Was that Janeane Garafolo on that tricycle?

Posted by: OMB at April 20, 2009 9:36 PM

Don't we just say "Stop!" at some point?

When does the water become so hot we decide to jump out?

We are smarter than frogs, right?

Posted by: Evil Monk at April 20, 2009 10:06 PM

The width of the 3 wheeler makes it much more dangerous to the rider in our society.

Already, many people on pedal power feel empowered to act just like a motor vehicle in situations that put them at a very dangerous risk. Most often, the only reason they survive the near miss with a 2 - 20 thousand pound motor vehicle is because a two wheel pedel powered person is thin. Close call, saved by inches.

The gurth of these trikes will kill the same idiots trying the same tricks that they survived on a two wheeled 'thin' profile bike.

(hey, where is our Squawker?)

Posted by: Oiao at April 21, 2009 1:13 AM

What happened to the plan for the solar-powered Segways with the big speakers so they could jam out to some NPR?

Posted by: Pharos at April 21, 2009 4:06 AM

Looking at that pic I just had to stop and think, how perfectly appropriate. Childish little lefty children riding around on their trikes - with a flag. The only thing missing was the "My Little Pony" emblem on the flag.

Posted by: TED at April 21, 2009 6:42 AM

The squawker is Spurwing.

The bikes are dangerous! That's a great argument coming from you Oiao! I though you didn't care what was dangerous for people. We shouldn't get in the way of people doing whatever endangers just them.

I'll use your argument against you then. "If you think its dangerous, don't ride one!"

Posted by: Moon bat at April 21, 2009 8:48 AM

Liberals are dangerous and take alook at the loose nut on the wheel HYUK,HYUK HYUK SQUAWK SQUAWK SQUAWK

Posted by: Flu-Bird at April 21, 2009 11:44 AM

Dont go ruffling my feathers moon bat i have the tendency to get violent SQUAWK SQUWK SQUAWK

Posted by: SPURWING PLOVER at April 21, 2009 11:47 AM