Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fremont Butterflies & That's Funny But Of Course It Isn't! & An Idea

This past "super moon" weekend was filled with events and activities, including the so-called "Rock & Roll" marathon and the now somewhat famous Fremont neighborhood  "Summer Solstice" parade which is drawing an audience of over 100,000.  Now that Seattle has a population of just over 600,000 that translates into one/sixth of the city coming out to view naked, painted parade participants plus a few butterflies.  I know this fact personally because I drove mother and daughter butterflies to the parade route where they were scheduled to be on the "volcano" float.  The daughter was cute in her translucent wings, making the crude adults look like the ______they unfortunately are.  As I keep saying, I would pay big money to keep people from taking off their clothes. The child was wonderful, and her mother was great too!  Hurrah for ersatz insects!

The marathon created some of the worst traffic imaginable, cutting the city literally in half.  One bad example was the very nice family I took from West Seattle to Pier 91, the current cruise ship terminal.  With Highway 99 north-bound closed and both the east-bound West Seattle bridge and north-bound I-5 simply impassable I had to detour east to Beacon Hill and finally heading west on a clearing Denny Way.  They remained cheerful all of the way, ending up paying me $67.00 with tip.  As I warned them in the beginning, we were about to share an adventure.  What bothers me is why did the City government allow the city to become non-functional for nearly eight hours on a busy Saturday? They must have gotten a big monetary payoff to justify the inconvenience. Or what I really believe is that they never considered the consequences.  From my personal experience on the taxi commission, I know this to be true.


I could have told him but who am I?  No one is asking me anything.  I say this in response to an article featured tonight in the on-line edition of The Seattle Times.  A Rutgers University professor and bicycle transportation expect, John Pucher, has been riding his bike around Seattle the past couple of days and is much shocked by the conditions he faced.  "I was nearly killed 5 or 6 times!" he is quoted after he braved a ride down Second Avenue from Queen Anne to Pioneer Square.  He found the drivers comparable to or even worse than Manhattan.  He was also quoted as finding "bad pavement as anything in New Jersey."  Does that even include economically ravished Newark? 

If I had been given the opportunity I would have warned that he was taking his "life into his hands."  The drivers in Seattle are complete idiots.  I believe the statistic is one car to bicycle collision daily.  One Fremont Fair vendor I delivered to her booth from West Seattle had been hit by a car in May while riding her bicycle.  Her doctor still won't allow her to ride, having to wait a few more weeks. The driver turned right into her.  What else is new?

As I have been telling everyone in hearing distance, Seattle has become nonsensical.  And the reason no one is listening is because they too are nonsensical.  If you think I am making this up, I end with the comment from a woman passenger Saturday from that "giant" Eastern Washington metropolis of Ellensburg, who couldn't get over how many pedestrians she saw proceed recklessly into busy intersections giving no heed to obvious hazards. Yes, I agreed, it is simply suicidal, making no sense whatsoever. 

Yes, Professor Pucher, welcome to Seattle.  Make sure your health insurance is current!   Seattle will definitely bite you, especially when the moon is about to collide with our dear planet.  Better start pedalling before you are overtaken  because the average Seattlite is really out to get you.  No foolin'!

An Idea

During the last couple of  weeks the Seattle Times published one opinion piece and two articles concerning the new app-based car services represented by Uber X and others. What is clear is that the Seattle City Council views this as a transportation issue and not solely one of a legitimate, regulated taxi industry versus the illegal interlopers.  Sally Clark, the current City Council President has made it totally clear that we, the taxi owners and taxi lease drivers of Seattle and King County are NOT her priority.  Given that reality, I am making this suggestion and plan on doing all I can to implement it.

Though a small demonstration of about 20 cabs occurred last week while a petition was being delivered to the City Council, I know we need a much larger showing to gain their attention.  Imagine 200-300 taxis honking and circling City Hall for an entire hour, with another 100 plus drivers walking around the building carrying signs.  A show of force is all they understand and we will provide it.

We also need to consider suing the City and King County.  I am not surprised that the group issuing their "Intent to Sue" backed down.  I understood who they were and will leave it at that.

The time for action is NOW!  Will you join me?  We will need everyone to make this effort successful.  We are currently being stepped upon.  It is time to tell the City and County to STOP! and STOP NOW!  I don't see that we have an alternative.  In August,
after the Cooper/Mundy demand audit is released, all these illegal operators will be legitimised.  The writing is on the wall.  Unless we respond positively we are about to be run over by the "well meaning" bureaucrats. Stay tuned!


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