Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I Have Met the Enemy...

Okay, I've always wondered if there were people who actually think that the current state of affairs, transportation-wise, is a good thing. I mean, I see people driving Escalades and Hummers, but I give them the benefit of the doubt and just assume that they are ignorant and accidently supporting the status quo.

Now, however, I know that such people exist. The letter below was cut and pasted from here:

I have added some italics in order to emphasize some of his statements, and my comments are in bold.

To The Editor:

I urge you to print this candidate's pledge and encourage every candidate to sign it. All your readers drive; it is in their interest to know about the war on the automobile, and what can be done as a counter attack. This pledge is one small step toward retaining the freedom of mobility we all take for granted, and that has given us choices and prosperity unknown in human history.
Apparently no car-free people or minors under the driving age read the "Valley Independent News". And, I like how he equates trying to cut down on automobile use and its associated ills with "war", and condones "counter attack". It is just this kind of aggressive, violent mindset which makes me fear for my life when riding along the public roads on a bike.

Thank you.

If elected I pledge to:

1. Promote individual mobility and the free flow of traffic by: spending highway tax revenue on new road construction and road maintenance only, not on expensive, unused transit, bike paths, or any other project; ending tolls of any kind; begin the private contracting of Department of Transportation services.
Yeah, there's no one using all of those empty bike trails or commuter trains. And, by the way, fewer (or no) toll roads means higher taxes to maintain existing roads, not to mention funding his precious "new road construction".

2. Prevent cities from creating "disincentives" to driving' by putting barriers in roads, narrowing lanes, limiting parking, or other steps to slow or reduce roadway capacities.
Yes, by all means, let's continue cramming more and more private automobiles into the same, limited, space in our cities. Only good can come from that!

3. Stop the use of traffic enforcement for profit: no red light ticket cameras; no photo radar; no under posted speed limits; no fine doubling; no "Safety Corridors." These schemes make revenue only, they do not contribute to highway safety and are simply a tax on motorists.
I actually agree with this, but I doubt that he would like my solution: Use enforcement for enforcement. Drop the current speeding violations, and just charge speeders $1.00/mile over the posted speed, add one point to their license for every dollar fined, and take the license away at 20 points (lifetime accumulation). Then, saturate the streets with patrol cars and start pulling people over. Might make the average driver pay a little more attention to keeping his car within the posted limit; huh?

4. Put an end to CAFE; this costly regulation has killed over 30,000 people since its inception.
I would like to hear how the Corporate Average Fuel Economy legislation, which was pretty much gutted by the Reagan Administration 20 years ago, has killed anyone, much less 30,000 people in 30 years. BTW, automobile accidents kill about 43,000 people PER YEAR, here in the U.S.

5. Keep Big-Brother out of my car; no seat belt laws, no cell phone bans, no GPS monitoring; give ownership of EDR information solely to the owner of the car.
I'm no fan of Big Brother, myself, but I think certain laws such as those governing use of child seats have their place.

6. Give highway safety decisions back to professional engineers; the current practice of letting special interests, politicians, and faceless bureaucrats set highway safety policy continues to erode one of our basic freedoms: the freedom of mobility.
I must have missed this one in Civics Class. Which Amendment to the Constitution is that?
As far as I know, driving is a privilege granted by the State. This is why you must earn and pay for a "Driver's License" in all fifty states, and why the police are allowed to tell you how to drive. And, yes, bicycle riders are subject to the driving laws (even though we don't purchase a license in most places, but that's another rant for another time), and can be banned from the public roads when deemed unsafe.

Tom McCarey Berwyn, Pa.
So, thank you Tom, for letting me see that there are actually people out there willfully attempting to keep America behind the rest of the world in responsible transportation and intelligent use of finite natural resources. I feel a little less like I'm just paranoid...but no safer on the road.

I could have written this letter for Tom, and used a lot fewer words:

To The World,

I am selfish and want to continue my selfish ways, regardless of how it affects my neighbors, my environment or the future of my children and future generations.

Selfishly clinging to the past,

Tom McCarey Berwyn, Pa.



At 12:17 PM , Blogger katina said...

ah yes, the stupid people...I think the guy is really from Texas and is just pretending to be from Pennsylvania.

And, while I didn't use subways or elevated trains or anything while I was in Pennsylvania, I can tell you that I used the good old fashioned Train. and it was packed. so one point for public transportation.

And I think that the child safety seat laws should be more restrictive...right now the NHSA has the standard that in a 30 mph car accident, a child in a child seat should move no more than a foot. Honestly i'm surprised more little kids DON'T die in car accidents.

And!!! PEs are the ones that determine (or at least recommend) the speed limit on roads--they take all sorts of stuff into account--visibility, road obstructions, size of road shoulder, size of lanes among other things. And then, after finding what the maximum speed limit is, they usually knock off approx 10mph because everyone speeds.

I shall have to write a blog about this and break out my transportation book.

At 5:19 PM , Blogger Jon said...

Amen, Sister! Bring out the Good (Transportation) Book and lay down the gospel!

At 7:48 PM , Blogger Core said...

As I sat here reading the letter, I was composing my altogether too-verbose diatribe/reply against Driver Tom. Your perfectly succinct summation at the end made me freaking LAUGH and pump my fist in a "Victory/Arsenio" fashion. Thank you.


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