Monday, April 18, 2011

Misplaced Priorities: City to Spend $10 Million for 33 MIles of Bike Lanes

During the debate over the 50 year ACS parking meter contract last year, city officials said it was too risky to spend $8 million to buy the parking meters and keep all the revenue.  Instead they brought in ACS to buy the meters and keep hundreds of millions of dollars from Indianapolis residents during the next 50 years.

Of course, the $8 million estimate for new meters was back when we thought we were getting the entire meters, not just the credit card readers.

Today Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced the City would be spending $10 million to create 33 more additional miles of bike lanes. That's less than an investment in the parking meters would have cost us.

By my math, that's an astounding $303,030 to paint lines for each mile of bike lane.  How could it possibly cost that much?  Oh wait, I guess those contractors and lawyers contributing to the Ballard campaign need to get their money back.

$10 million...wasn't that the same as the shortfall for the library?

Unlike Mayor Ballard, I am a real bicycle commuter.  Most of those bike lanes end up making bicycling more dangerous, not less.  I've written on that topic numerous times and won't repeat those observations here.

I conclude though by noting that that governing is about setting priorities.  That in a nutshell is what's has been wrong with the Ballard administration.  Misplaced priorities.



Perhaps it would do the mayor well to commute via those bike lanes with his security detail.

I take the Monon and I worry about getting jacked. All I have for protection is prayer and mace.

Had Enough Indy? said...

But, this is the Mayor's personal hobby. No amount of money is too much to spend on his hobby. We are paying to renovate City Market for his hobby. I hear the Velodrome is being transferred to Marion College.

The idea that the City should buy its own parking meters was simply a matter of good public policy. But, since it didn't affect the Mayor's personal hobby, it could go to grease the palms of the well-connected instead.

Brizzonator said...

As always Paul I enjoy your perspective.We need a Mayor who knows how to govern and will focus on Essential Governmental Services like filling pot holes and properly paving streets without eing corrupted by the grafters that are like flies on shit. I guess he and his grafters have never been on Stop 11 Road from Meridian Street to Bluff Road where no sidewalks exist and the road has not been resurfaced or widen in 30 years. This road is a vital artery which runs along Perry Meridian Highschool and Perry Meridian Middle and the 6th Grade Academy. By the way a student was actually ran over and killed in the last 24 months when walking home from school. I am not interested in Bike Lanes just essential governmental services.

I am a Republican and I will do everything to see that bastard is beat in Perry Twp.

Paul K. Ogden said...

HEI, actually you hit the nail on the's a hobby to the Mayor and many of the people who go ga-ga over the bike lanes.

I talked to our postal carrier who has ridden across the country on a bike...quite the serious biker. You should have heard his opinion on the bike lanes...he shuns them as too dangerous.

I read a post on one of the recreational biking websites where the person talked about riding on the bike lanes and bragged how he averaged 5 miles per hour. 5 miles per hour!!! No serious bike commuter would average 5 mph on a'd never get where you're going. It's generally 15 mph at the bottom end, 20 plus when you pick up the pace. I aveeraged 20 mph from Greenwood to my home on my bike once...over 23 miles.

I can't see people biking downtown to take a shower in a public shower room. The average person is not going to do that. Besides, biking is not like have wind constanntly blowing on you when biking and it's not hard to stay cool even on the hottest days.