Tony Gehrig: My Position On Bike Lanes Has Been Misrepresented

The InForum opinion piece “Say ‘no’ to more liberal bike lanes” was a well placed caricature of my position, and they know it. It is their modus operandi to do thing like this.
It is easier to debate a punching bag than it is to address the real and logical concerns I have.
Shame on the Forum editorial board. You of all people know I have spoken cogently about this issue for over 4 years now and have never made it a partisan issue.
Since it was published, I have received a bunch of messages and postings demonizing “my position.” I guess I must respond to their obvious attempt to distract from the real issues.
I am happy folks enjoy riding bike in their community. My wife, son, and I also enjoy biking. There are many trails around our south Fargo home…which I support.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]My position on the bike lanes in downtown, on university, and 10th has been taken over and morphed into something other than it is, so that some can have a scapegoat.[/mks_pullquote]
My position on the bike lanes in downtown, on university, and 10th has been taken over and morphed into something other than it is, so that some can have a scapegoat. I do not oppose bikes, riders, or anything like it. That would be absurd. I oppose taking away lanes of traffic which will slow commutes, add costs, and simply don’t make sense because so few people use them. Of note, I have never spoken out against bike lanes downtown that are on the street and don’t remove lanes of traffic.
The editorial board knows that.
We can all have our opinions without demonizing others. At a minimum I would assume people would be happy that elected leaders are honest about their positions, and so willing to speak about that as I am.
I will add as a final thought, I did not author the opinion piece in the news paper. I have my own opinions which I have been consistent on since day one. I have worked hard to be transparent, honest, and logical. This article is a thinly veiled attempt to subvert that effort.
I have never said nor would I say that bike lanes are a partisan issue. They are not. Therefore both left, right, and other should be able to objectively agree that the lanes do reduce traffic flow, do cost money, often pose safety concerns, and do not get used as much as they should given those downsides.
Again, anyone is free to disagree but I wish folks would at least look at MY position, which I have spoken and written about extensively, and use my own words before they jump to conclusions. That is only fair.
Enjoy the ride, Fargo! I know my family and I will.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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