Urban Velo

Chicago Bike Lane Tolls Satire or Rant

Is it bad satire, or a ranting call for tolls for cyclists from Chicago Tribune writer John Kass? Even after reading it twice I can’t figure it out, though it is clear that this “plan” is anything but based in reality.

Here’s what could be coming for the bike-to-work crowd:

•City bike tolls and city bike vehicle stickers, which could bring in millions upon millions of much-needed revenue to City Hall, allowing the cash-strapped government to add new police to its woefully undermanned force.

•City stop-sign cameras to automatically ticket bicyclists who cruise past the signs without stopping, infuriating those of us in cars.

•Hefty city bike parking fees, like the city parking meter fees, easily enforced as bikers “park” in city bike racks. No sticker = big tickets. And if you don’t pay, there’s always the bike boot.

•And my personal favorite: the Rahm-PASS. Fixed to the bike’s handlebars, the Rahm-PASS transponder would be like the I-PASS for cars on state tollways. Cyclists would cruise underneath strategically situated girders over street corners with heavy bike traffic, and they would bypass (or Rahm-PASS) the bike tollbooths run by grumpy political workers.

Read more at Chicago Tribune.


  1. Michael La PorteSeptember 13, 2012 at 6:40 am

    It a caustic rant posing as satire. If you read Kass’s follow ups, including responding to responses, its clear that he’s a sad, bitter man.

  2. Mad Jack McMadSeptember 13, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Isn’t the Trib bankrupt yet?

  3. bergerandfriesSeptember 13, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Well, it’s classic backlash. Once something gets popular, those who don’t like change come out violently in protest…

  4. ericSeptember 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    if a cop booted my bike id chop the boot off and leave the remnants in front of the police dpt

  5. robbiefeldSeptember 14, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I puked in my mouth a little bit while reading the full article. His answer to battle the unemployment in ward 8 is to hire more cops to stop gang wars? What the hell is that? Bike lanes should be created SPECIFICALLY in Ward 8 so that the people who live there would be given the ability to transport themselves around the city, which would give them opportunities for jobs that are otherwise inaccessible to them. It worked in Bogata under Enrique Penalosa, which can be viewed by watching the Urban Planning documentary Urbanized (available on Netflix).

    Biking is an alternative means of transportation for many who may not be able to afford a car, and he want to tax them? It blows my mind how he thinks this is an option. I guess it would make sense in a Romney economy, God forbid.

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