The Chainlink

Is it too much to ask for folks to use common sense and NOT ride their bikes on the platforms in downtown Metra stations?  Apparently someone thinks so (see letter - p.3).  I've seen it happen on occasion, but fortunately not often.

There are too many opportunities for collisions and not much maneuvering room on a station platform.  The last thing we need is to get bikes banned from Metra again by doing things on trains and in stations that get too much negative attention.  

Being able to take bikes on Metra has been huge progress for sustainable transportation and recreation throughout the area.  I really don't want to lose such an enormous piece of my overall transportation pie.

Yes, we CAN walk our bikes in and out of the station.  </rant>

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I agree, riding on the platforms could be an unsafe and/or rude thing to do in most circumstances.

But with some folks there is absolutely no pleasing them no matter HOW MUCH kissing up to them we do.   I suspect that this is the type of person we are dealing with here with "Bill."  If someone is horsing around on the platform with grandma's wheelchair I suppose this guy might get a stick up his and probably would want wheelchairs kept from the trains too.

I agree  with your statement that yes we CAN push our bikes through the stations -even when folks shoot us daggers or try and shove in front of us as we approach the stairs because they don't want to be "stuck" behind us as we carry our bikes down them from the platform.   And if someone wants to step on a pedal with their off-side foot and coast next to their bike for a hundred feet as long as nobody is near them and it isn't a safety issue for anyone else that isn't going to bother me either, which is what I suspect this person probably really saw. 

Damn! I really thought you had one there Anne.

I don't know the guy who wrote the letter.  I wasn't there seeing what he saw, but I can assure you this isn't a made-up issue fabricated by anti-bike people.  

I can tell you that I have seen people riding on platforms at a few different stations, not just stepping on a pedal and coasting.  They've done it when there were people walking on the platform and there wasn't a lot of free space.  That kind of thing could jeopardize our future ability to take bikes on Metra.

Would you be surprised if I told you the typical offender is a teenage boy?  Most of the people I've seen doing it were teenage boys.

Not in the least bit.  90% of what is done wrong by idiots in the civilian populations is perpetrated by teenage through 30-something male children. 

Anne Alt said:


Would you be surprised if I told you the typical offender is a teenage boy?  Most of the people I've seen doing it were teenage boys.

*scratches head*

James, you must be reading a different letter than me.  Where exactly are wheelchairs mentioned?  Furthermore, how is horsing around with a wheelchair anywhere close to riding a bicycle on the train platform?  (And where have you seen someone horsing around with a wheelchair?  I doubt the wheelchair user would tolerate that.)  Last I checked, wheelchair users couldn't fall over if both wheels were on a level surface unlike a bike rider who can fall over -  level surface or not. 

Secondly, if they banned wheelchairs (which is completely out of the scope of complaint in the letter), the ADA (American Disabilities Act, just so you don't get confused) would be so up in arms there's no way it would gain any ground.

So what exactly are you crying bloody murder about here?

ames BlackHeron said:

I agree, riding on the platforms could be an unsafe and/or rude thing to do in most circumstances.

But with some folks there is absolutely no pleasing them no matter HOW MUCH kissing up to them we do.   I suspect that this is the type of person we are dealing with here with "Bill."  If someone is horsing around on the platform with grandma's wheelchair I suppose this guy might get a stick up his and probably would want wheelchairs kept from the trains too.

I agree  with your statement that yes we CAN push our bikes through the stations -even when folks shoot us daggers or try and shove in front of us as we approach the stairs because they don't want to be "stuck" behind us as we carry our bikes down them from the platform.   And if someone wants to step on a pedal with their off-side foot and coast next to their bike for a hundred feet as long as nobody is near them and it isn't a safety issue for anyone else that isn't going to bother me either, which is what I suspect this person probably really saw. 

The "civilian population" is outside of the scope of the letter cited and completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

James BlackHeron said:

Not in the least bit.  90% of what is done wrong by idiots in the civilian populations is perpetrated by teenage through 30-something male children. 

Anne Alt said:


Would you be surprised if I told you the typical offender is a teenage boy?  Most of the people I've seen doing it were teenage boys.

I wouldn't say I agree with James on this one as I've seen more of what Anne's describing than I care to think about, but I don't see anything unreasonable or irrelevant about what he wrote.

Sorry to go against the cool kids here, but the recent popularity of bullying James is pathetic, and watching people join the dogpack just because they think it will elevate them in the eyes of the bullies is even more pathetic.

I saw an interesting documentary on Gorrilas that showed how adolescent males seemed compelled to challenge the band leadership to the point of being cast out and ultimately having to take up with another band at the bottom of the ladder . . . this was presented as a way to keep the gene pool diversified.

There's also some recent research showing likelihood of risk-taking by age, and there seems to be something that drives us to do so, with a spike around 14 years of age (as I recall.)

Helps one to understand teens....

James BlackHeron said:

Not in the least bit.  90% of what is done wrong by idiots in the civilian populations is perpetrated by teenage through 30-something male children. 

Anne Alt said:


Would you be surprised if I told you the typical offender is a teenage boy?  Most of the people I've seen doing it were teenage boys.

My guess is that the rider was on a vacant platform on the south terminal leading to Madison. If this was the case I don't think it an especially egregious violation. However, we don't need to give the anti bike crowd any ammunition, especially when dealing with Metra.

And thus we "cover" for the more embarrassing members of our extended bike family . . .

Martin Hazard said:

My guess is that the rider was on a vacant platform on the south terminal leading to Madison. If this was the case I don't think it an especially egregious violation. However, we don't need to give the anti bike crowd any ammunition, especially when dealing with Metra.

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