Drive Less, Save More
Posted by Joe Whalen (+619) 5 years ago
It was a fine Spring day so I ran an errand on the bicycle about 3 o'clock this afternoon. All was well until I reached Main St. near Strevell Ave. The parade of single-occupant vehicles rolled by for over five minutes before the light changed and it still caught several vehicles at the light in both directions on Main St. I'm fairly sure this episode is repeated multiple times a day. Is this a problem? Well, yeah, it is. It's a traffic problem that has less to do with infrastructure than it does urban planning and personal behavior.

Last week, residents received a mailed invitation to provide input on how Miles City should grow. One thing that I hope resonates with our planning staff is that the high concentration of businesses on S. Haynes Ave. is largely responsible for traffic congestion throughout the city because at least half the town now travels completely across town for essential services. A healthy Main St. business district, more retail on Valley Dr. East and a more fitness-oriented community will relieve the congestion, particularly during the warmer months.

At most, the city is three miles from end-to-end yet how many of us jump in the car alone, burn fuel, add to congestion and put unnecessary wear & tear on both vehicle and city streets just to drive a few blocks rather than carve a few extra minutes for a little fresh air and exercise. There are several times of the day when it's faster to walk or bike. You know, as much as I admire those regularly working out, I have to SMH when I notice all the cars parked outside the gyms. And for all of Miles City's sports prowess, there's far more enthusiasm for sitting around and larding up on beer than for being fit. Custer County's high ranking relative to other counties in Montana for Western diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, obesity and depression will bear this out.

So, it looks like our choice is wiser urban planning, fitness and local economy or wasteful congestion, poor health and sloth. I hope you'll join me weighing in for the former.

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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14231) 5 years ago
Joe makes a great point here. Bobby K is usually on scene before the MCFD or MCPD.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3146) 5 years ago
Joe, I am the choir, as you may be aware but let me have the pulpit for a moment. I couldn't agree with you more and what a wonderful city you are in, for walking and biking. For fifteen years I struggled with ways to get Milescitians out of the house. It can be frustrating. I recall smirking when Strevell was put through to Haynes because it would "cut down the commute." Seriously? The commute? From the heart of Main Street it is a stones throw in any direction to out of town.

It takes a conscious effort to bring about change. Yep, I promise that if you get out of the truck and on a bike you will notice things that you have never seen before, in your own City. It is even better on foot. To all my friends in Miles City, take a walk, ride a bike, read a good book, stay hydrated, get enough rest, play nice and keep the faith.

[Edited by Tucker Bolton (3/24/2015 8:44:41 AM)]
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 5 years ago
I'm curious Tucker. How much time did you spend "dragging Main" in your misspent (or well spent) youth?
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Posted by Bridgier (+8352) 5 years ago
tu quoque, -10 to slytherin.
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Posted by David Schott (+14981) 5 years ago
Tucker, practically every night I go to a bar and drink lots of beer in an effort to stay hydrated, but I have found that I consistently wake up feeling very thirsty. What am I doing wrong?
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 5 years ago
Might get you a point in a debate, but nobody cares.

In life, walk the walk.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3146) 5 years ago
Actually Oddjob, quite a bit. I drove a B/Fuel dragster and owned a C/Gasser in the sixties and early seventies. I am an former member of the SCCA and have driven my share of gymkhanas. I participated in cruise nights with my big block street rod until not to long before I moved to MC twenty years ago. I will also admit more than a few street races in those years.

All of the above mentioned are still a guilty pleasure for me and I have fond memories of racing, cruising and in general being a selfish ass. Waiting for a soapbox? I will not disappoint.

It is a waste of resources, bad for the environment and the only people who profit from it are the corporations that sponsor these events. No different from The NFL, NBA or ad nauseum. I don't embrace the belief that people can't change. I know they can. I needed to so I did. I do know that I can't change other people but I can still do what I can. My vasectomy is forty-five years old. I'm proud of that. I wish most of the people on the planet had one, most need one. I still miss cocaine after thirty-one years and cigarettes after twelve years. I'm not proud of that but they were harmful to me and the people around me. I don't drink enough good single malt scotch to hurt anyone so I'm OK with that.

In order, I walk when I can, Next, I ride my bike if I can get what I need in my backpack. If the weather is bad I take the light rail. I try to leave my truck parked as much as I can. It is a gas hog and I am actively trying to trade it for a more efficient vehicle. If I could afford it, I would buy a smart car. I garden, I'm a vegetarian, I recycle, I never forget my reusable grocery bags, hell, I even shave with a straight razor to keep plastic out of the landfills.

Some things are just not acceptable behavior for me, any longer. That being said, I think I will enjoy a Deschutes Chainbreaker IPA and ponder where I will go if that tit Ted Cruz gets elected President.

BTW, shaving with a straight razor is a challenging proposition but very satisfying to master. Peace
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Posted by Joe Whalen (+619) 5 years ago
FWIW, Tucker, you rarely disappoint. I regret not having a moment today to view the clip you posted earlier, although it's hard to imagine how it could have bested the example of your thoughts above. Thank you, my friend. Here's to helplessly hoping that we'll each find our way with plenty of time to spare.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8352) 5 years ago
Actually, oddy, I think people care more than you'd think. You were making an attempt to discredit Tucker's opinion because, once upon a time, Tucker liked cars with uhm, big displacements. Perhaps this is fundemental to your thinking - that once a sinner, always a sinner, and no matter if Tucker walks thirty miles a day in penance, so what - he'll always be a gas-guzzling hypocrite to you.

Tucker has consistently responded to you with far more grace than I could muster, and certainly more than you deserve.
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 5 years ago
Tucker

Great post as usual. I respect your beliefs and I'm sure they are good for you. My only concessions to ceding guilty pleasures was giving up the illegal substance. Everything else remains pretty much intact.

The "dragging Main comment was tongue-in-cheek and nothing more. We all did it. Some of us do things differently now. Some of us can't let go and don't care to. I'm a short-timer here now anyway, and not about to change.

For instance, I have never gotten over my years spent in Montana with virtually no daytime speed limit. I drive a gas-guzzling Escalade and have considered posted highway speed limits as a "suggestion" for the last +50 years. As long as I have $4.00 in my pocket for another gallon of gas and my radar detector, I will continue to do so. I drive on average 25K - 30K miles/yr and some years considerably more. Since collecting a jockey-box full of $5.00 "fuel-waster assessments", I have had exactly 3 speeding tickets in the last 30 years. Hardly a deterrent. I stop at stop signs, drive 15mph in school zones and frequently get honked at, for waiting for some dumb-ass to get in the crosswalk.

I spent most of my career constructing very large holes in Mother Earth and I am proud of the fact that I participated in the generation of new wealth and the jobs that it created. My life has been the environmentalists worst nightmare and I have lost not one minute of sleep over it in 35 years.

I haven't been on a bicycle since I had a paper route, but if you want to ride one, that's fine with me. My only suggestion would be to anticipate considerable traffic on the road if you ride when school is letting out.

And yes, those plastic bags are fine for my groceries. Maybe I will re-purpose them. Aluminum cans go in the trash because they stink up the garage, nobody (except California) gives squat for them and bauxite miners have to eat, too.

Finally, I want another lecture on how I should run my life as much as I want to sit next to the guy with the "Lets talk about Jesus" t-shirt on. I don't see much difference between the purveyors of either.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3146) 5 years ago
I can add just one more thing re biking in general, we can all agree on.

JUST SAY NO TO SPANDEX
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+14321) 5 years ago
Are you heading over to Africa to go elephant hunting this year, Oddjob?
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Posted by UM Griz (+162) 5 years ago
Oddjob, the problem with people like you is you're too procreateing old to care about people like me. You're probably going to die any day so why recycle or reduce your carbon footprint? Please continue to do whatever it takes to expedite the process and get off this planet so rational people can try to fix the problems caused by your generation.

http://www.washingtonpost...andom_1_na

http://www.bbc.com/news/s...t-26023166

http://www.nytimes.com/20...-Soon.html

[Edited by UM Griz (3/25/2015 11:24:15 PM)]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14231) 5 years ago
Wow... That was a tad harsh...


meanwhile back the ranch the lone ranger gave Silver the day off and was zooming along on his 10 speed toward town...

Miles City is incredibly pedestrian friendly. I have lived in 7 of other communities both larger or smaller and is by far the easiest to walk or bike. If your not in the habit of riding "Shanks mare", it's easy to miss this as a great feature or asset of a the community.
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 5 years ago
HaHaHa!

That's the solution to the problem, isn't it Griz? "If these old bastards would just die off, I'll be able to: (pick one) get a job...get their money...live in a socialist paradise and dance with unicorns".

Don't get your hopes up Griz. The outlook for the future is not that bleak yet. Perhaps while I'm still taking air and sustenance, you can expound on what it is that you contribute to society? That is, other than hand-wringing over what the global fear-mongers feed you.

Nope, Gunnar. Never got any pleasure from hunting. And, I don't think I need any holier-than-thou from a Tech Grad.....
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Posted by Bridgier (+8352) 5 years ago
Goddamn you Tucker, I just dropped a pretty penny on a pair of new SPANDEX bibs, and they are VERY COMFORTABLE, thank you very much...

And yes, the boomers have pretty much procreateed things for the millenials. Nursing homes are probably too good for them, but in another 20 years it won't be an issue.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3146) 5 years ago
"hand-wringing over what the global fear-mongers feed you"


We all know that hand ringing is not actively participating in a solution. I think that preconceived notions are born out of conversations like this. That and only listening to one side of any conversation.

ie, If you spend the day, in your vehicle, listening to conservative talk radio then go home, switch on the blue glow and watch Fox News and only hang out with those that agree with you, well, you might be a linear thinker.

The same is true if you only hangout with your drum circle, bitch about "the man" and call everyone that is different a redneck.

Hoping that the old guard will die off or that the young smart asses would just pull up their pants, straighten their hats, get a job or go away will not change the world. Much of the world is OK, without our input especially those places that have done just fine without our interference. Nothing is made better by insults, name calling and blame. Before you start copying links to my old posts, I know I am guilty.

I will believe in unicorns when one gallops past me on the bike path. I don't dream of a socialist paradise. I actively embrace socialism. I believe that nothing changes if nothing changes and that Oddjobs demise will have no effect on the betterment of the planet. There are way too many people, having way too many babies to worry about that.

It's all part of the rich tapestry, blah, blah, blah.
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 5 years ago
Gunnar Emilsson wrote:


Oh my, aren't we clean and green.

If they taught you that society will continue to function if we could only turn all the tails piles in to golf courses, you better ask for a refund. Some of us actually understood the concept of resource supply and demand.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+14321) 5 years ago
Woke up on the obtuse side of the bed this morning, didn't we?
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Posted by Joe R. Whalen (+227) 5 years ago
That "concept" you claim to understand so well is rooted in privatizing profits and socializing costs and belongs nowhere near the word "function".

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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 5 years ago
Gunnar Emilsson wrote:
Woke up on the obtuse side of the bed this morning, didn't we?


Yeah.

Been doing my taxes which always turns me into a bigger a**hole than usual.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr. (+14231) 5 years ago
Oddjob may have the personality of the Romneytron 2000, but wishing that his vaccum tubes would give up the ghost, is over the top.
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Posted by Steve Sullivan (+968) 5 years ago
I live in a city of over 50,000 people and I'm proud to say I rode my bicycle almost 1,000 miles MORE than I drove my car in 2014.

Miles City, by comparison, was even more easy to get around and cars were only 1 to 5 minutes faster than bicycle from one end of town to the other when I rode my bike there, and that was before I got fast.

Doing more bike travel in MC could be a good thing if it was supported and actually practiced. I'd be really proud if the town took this approach.
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 5 years ago
Joe Whalen wrote:

"That "concept" you claim to understand so well is rooted in privatizing profits and socializing costs and belongs nowhere near the word "function"."

I know this is hard, Joe, but pay attention here for a second.....

"Profit" is the only thing that incentivizes production of the goods and services that enable a society to "function". A fact of life that produced countless millions of dead Russians and Chinese who starved to death in the 20th Century.

As far as "socializing costs"; is there not a shared benefit in the availability of all goods and services (i.e., food, low cost energy, or any energy at all for that matter)? If there is a shared benefit, there is also a shared risk in it's production.

"Society" demands it and wants it cheap(benefit). "Society" shares the consequences(risk) when s**t goes south.

It's called reality, Joe.

The same reality that exists in the fact that the materials in the bike you are riding, came out of a hole in the ground somewhere.

Why is it so hard for some people to grasp the concept of a personal involvement in resource production/consumption, demonstrated by the very fact that they exist on the grass side? YOU are the enabler of the greedy corporations you hate so much, and you are living under a rock or dead without them.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3146) 5 years ago
My hole in the ground is exponentially smaller then yours. It is not a waste of time. It is important for people to be aware of. My hole in the ground has not become a concrete box that imprisons my mind.

My only regret, I wasn't aware earlier.
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 5 years ago
Tucker Bolton wrote:
My hole in the ground is exponentially smaller then yours. It is not a waste of time. It is important for people to be aware of. My hole in the ground has not become a concrete box that imprisons my mind.

My only regret, I wasn't aware earlier.


Tucker:

I respectfully disagree that your hole in the ground is "exponentially" smaller than any other person who exists in the "First World". Because of personal choices, you nibble around the edges, but overall, you are a net consumer of goods and services provided by the ones who get their hands dirty, developing natural resources.

I assume you: live in some sort of structure, you eat, you excrete waste products, you require clothing and choose an assortment of creature comforts (computer, etc.). You are a consumer of electricity, natural gas, petroleum products and a user of the infrastructure that has been created around you, including public transportation, sidewalks, roads, etc, etc, etc,..

This s**t does not just materialize and you (and the rest of us) are in serious s**t if it disappears.

Like the bumper sticker says "If it can't be grown, it has to be mined". That "hole in the ground" is the only reason your standard of living exists. Because you choose to ride a bicycle, walk or make you own beer may make you a bit less of a sinner, but it sure as hell doesn't make you a saint.
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Posted by Joe Whalen (+619) 5 years ago
No worries. I've been paying attention and watching you tie yourself up in rhetorical knots for some time.

You're a soldier for capitalism right up to the point that capitalism demands an honest accounting from profiteers of all costs bundled into goods & services (climate chaos, war & terrorism, dead zones, famine, dust bowls, mass shootings and western diseases, just to name a few), at which point, you rapidly convert to socialism.

You're a sworn enemy of socialism until you recognize that the redistribution of liability to the public sector becomes a convenient way for profiteers to write off the mountains of private debt prescribed by capitalism and then your Bircher propaganda is lost to the breeze.

You can hiss and use that forked tongue all you want but the risk of wrapping yourself up in your own coils is that you're more likely to bite yourself when provoked. It might be safer to crawl back into one of those holes you talk so much about.
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 5 years ago
Well...That made absolutely no sense, Joe.

You're trying to channel Ship???........Is that it???
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Posted by Bridgier (+8352) 5 years ago
The words and punctuation all appeared to be in the proper order, and they all seemed to be used correctly to convey and support joe's thesis, which also seemed to be rather straighforward, so I'm not sure where the confusion comes from.

Personally, I'd blame the kuru.
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 5 years ago
MC.commies can't stand having it pointed out that they are part of the problem.

After all, it does make a mockery of your Liberal stereotyping and scapegoating.
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Posted by Bridgier (+8352) 5 years ago
So binary in your thinking. As I re-read this thread, I see numerous examples of filthy liberals acknowledging their part in the problem. I'm certainly aware that bikes piggy-back on automobiles to create the infrastructure that I enjoy, for example.

Joe's point is that, industries, particularly EXTRACTIVE industries, aren't paying the fully-loaded cost of their activities, and are happy to dump those costs onto the tax-paying public.
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Posted by Oddjob (+184) 5 years ago
No, Joe's point is that corporate "greed" is responsible for all the social ills, wars and natural disasters on the planet, which is ridiculous.

The "fair share" debate is a waste of breath on blind zealots who desire a capitalist-free world, so rather than that, perhaps you can expound on how government central planning will keep everybody fed and relieve the taxpayer of their burden?
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Posted by Bridgier (+8352) 5 years ago
again with the binary thinking. If it's not 100% capitalist, then it's a socialist hellhole.
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Posted by Elizabeth Emilsson (+792) 5 years ago
Odd job, is it your purpose to disrupt any meaningful conversation in this forum? Joe's premise of encouraging people to get out and walk instead of hopping in the car is really valuable. I wish I had heeded such advice when I was younger. At the age of seventy-eight, I belatedly added more walking, movement and drinking clean water which would have prevented a multitude problems. Since I started more movement and exercise my diabetes is under control. You can save yourself a lot of grief in later years by changing you life style as a young person. Joe and Tucker both practice what they preach. That's why they cut such handsome figures.

Odd Job, has any one told you lately they like the cut of your jib?
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3146) 5 years ago
I love you, Betty. Not because you flatter me but just because you are lovable.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+14321) 5 years ago
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Posted by Ken Minow (+382) 5 years ago
Wow Tucker I'm jealous.Drivin' a B/dragster and a C/gasser had to be a blast.The closest to that kind of racecar I got was pitting for Dr. Fred Anderson and his A/Altered.[8.15 1/4 mile ET]. I did however own numerous big block Chevelles and spent countless hours draggin main with an occasional trip up to the Kinsey road or the Fort Keough road for some illegal competition.I don't feel a damn bit guilty for any of it.Gasoline was plentiful and cheap - smog was a big problem in the big cities.Times were different-I drove back from Billings a few weeks ago,arriving in Miles at about 9:30 pm on a Saturday night.I drove the entire length of Main Street from the swimming lake to the underpass and saw one car.The times,they are achangin'.
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