John Nese, the owner of soda pop pantheon Galco’s, isn’t always bubbly and sweet. Sometimes the dude is full of spit and vinegar, as evidenced by his recent comments on Highland Park’s new bike lanes. Last week Nese told a local paper, “bike lanes are nice, but they’re not good for business. You’re not going to see anyone buying boxes of soda pop or anything sizable on a bicycle.” The man’s been here longer than the hipsters A through Z, and is due the reverence of a pop-artist-in-chief. But still, the neighborhood’s bike enthusiasts are pissed and firing back in their own editorial, pointing out that Neese “personally rejected the installation of free bike racks by the city. That’s right, someone requested bike racks in front of Galco’s- presumably because they shop there and arrive by bicycle.” The heated back and forth is sort of like Willard versus Barry, but with bubbles and bicycles in place of gun control and taxes.
Highland Park Patch reports that Neese later took to Galco’s own website to try a new tactic. “My overall issue with bikes is about safety,” he wrote. “I worry that cyclists will think that bike lane line means that they are magically safe from two-ton cars that swish by at top speeds.” Very Romney-esque, Mr. Nese, trying to convince the peddlers that your argument isn’t really about what your whole argument was about.
As you can imagine, the bikers fired back on this same point, accusing Neese of using false stats to back his anti-bike bias. “Based on his article, we feel he is using the argument of safety to justify anti-bike measures and biases he has against cyclists.” Either way, we’ll go back to Galco’s, despite the owner’s position.