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Capital Bikeshare bike pod
The enemy within.
D.C. enjoys the largest bike-sharing program in the world, Capital Bikeshare. The public-private partnership is wildly popular, expanding like crazy, and totalled more than 1 million trips in its first year of operation.

It's obviously healthy for riders, good for the environment and helps lower traffic. And there's nothing like a bike ride (except for walking) that better connects someone to their neighborhood. So, of course, wingnuts despise it.

Unlike Sarah Palin or Tina Fey, or whoever it was, I really can see Russia from my front porch. Or, at least, I can see broken-down socialism.

That is because across the street from my house on Capitol Hill is a loud, clanging “Capital Bikeshare” docking station. It is one of the locking ports for those fat, red communal bicycles you see peddled all over town by commune enthusiasts. (Say that fast, and it sounds like you are saying “commun-ists.”)

In case you are wondering why sharing bikes as opposed to sharing roads is communist, then read on!
The most obvious one is that you can check out a bike and pedal yourself anywhere your heart desires — so long as it happens to have a docking station for your bike. (The bikes don’t come with locks, and these geniuses haven’t yet eliminated bike theft — even of crappy, fat red ones.)
That's so fucking socialist! With cars, on the other hand, you can go anywhere your heart desires—so long as, uh, there are roads that go there.
This leads to another problem where all the bikes end up in a concentration of places. So at the end of the day, a belching environment-killing truck must come around and redistribute the bikes.
Only capitalists know that one belching environment-killing truck is A LOT WORSE for the environment than having 17,000 regular bike share riders drive cars!

But I'm confused. Since when do conservatives care about the environment? If bike sharing was really trashing the environment, they'd be celebrating it! But it's not, and they're not.

After early complaints about this problem, central planners did what central planners do. The program didn’t need to be eliminated. It needed to be — made bigger.
That was so communist of Walmart to expand to so many places because of demand. Apple stores, too.
So far, after the latest expansion, the whole scheme has cost taxpayers more than $8 million. Much of that comes from federal taxpayers, so you, too, can take pride in this.
Unlike roads. Which are free.
My personal pride in the program reached a new level last week after reading about a woman in my neighborhood who was talking on her cellular phone. A thug rode by on a bike, slapped her and swiped her phone.
Getaway cars? Capitalism! Getaway bikes? Communism.

So to recap, if people buy a service, but it's so popular that demand supply is scarce, so the service expands—that's just like Russia. But not the current oligarch Russia, which actually resembles Mitt Romney, but the old Russia that still haunts the dreams of dinosaur conservatives.

Next up? How Zipcars are worse than Hitler.

Originally posted to kos on Thu May 31, 2012 at 01:21 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, Velocipede Vanguard, and Daily Kos.

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