Saturday, May 15, 2021

Still Life with Robin: Bike Lanes? Them's Fightin' Words!

by Peggy Robin

It's been fairly quiet so far on the CP Listserv for the first half of May.

Occasionally, I look back over the monthly totals of message volume that you can see recorded on our group's home page at "Message History"  - the last section, titled "Message History" showing a grid with all the years of the Listserv's existence, and then the message totals for each month of each year.

You will notice that March and April of 2021 show extraordinarily high monthly message totals: 1,475 for March and 1,432 for April, matched only by June (1,457) and July (1,484 )2020 when the contentious subject was the worsening pandemic and how and when we should wear masks to protect ourselves and others.

So what was the subject matter that resulted in the second-highest message volume in the Listserv's 22-year history?

Bicycle lanes! (Including their impact on pedestrian safety/driver behavior/reversible lanes/parking on Connecticut Avenue.)

Here are some of the discussion thread counts by subject line (this is by no means an exhaustive list):

Options for Reconfiguring Connecticut Ave: 46 messages
Connecticut Avenue Reversible Lanes: 9 messages
Connecticut Avenue Reversible Lanes: 16 messages
Draft ANC 3C resolution on Option C: 27 messages
ANC 3F Resolution of Option C: 32 messages
ANC 3C Resolution on Option C: 16 messages

Also, keep in mind there's a remarkably high number of messages that did not make it on-list because of one or more of the following: personal attack, unwarranted assumption about what someone else meant in a previous message, or general nastiness that could have sidetracked or derailed the discussion.

If the good people of Cleveland Park ever stop posting their opinions on the CP Listserv and take to the streets to march for their cause, I think we will need to place a physical barrier between the two sides, so that they don't come to blows!

I was thinking this sort of divisiveness could be a feature of the 20008/20016 zip codes....and then a few days ago cartoonist Stephan Pastis of "Pearls Before Swine" made me realize this was a nationwide phenomenon. See the proof in his cartoon, below.

[If you can't view the image of the cartoon, you should be able to see the online version here: you should not have to sign up for a free trial subscription to do so (I hope!)]

Still Life with Robin is published on the Cleveland Park Listserv and on All Life Is Local on Saturdays.

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