Sunday, August 28, 2016

"The only people who might be smugger than cyclists are vegans,” asserts O’Toole.

“Planners and anti-automobile people believe that automobiles are bad because they pollute, have deadly crashes, and use energy. So they think that any alternative is better because it’s assumed that it doesn’t have those drawbacks. Actually, cycling, although it doesn’t pollute or use energy, is more dangerous than driving. Transit uses a lot more energy per passenger-mile than driving, yet they still put transit above automobiles. And light rail is actually more dangerous than automobiles per passenger-mile. So the ‘moral superiority’ argument fails when you look at the actual numbers.”

Governmental disfavor for the auto is inextricably intertwined with the new urbanism movement. As city planners revisit notions of density, one sees governmental favoritism for cyclists and pedestrians over motorists. O’Toole states, “You can actually see that preference in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ‘transportation pyramid.’ It puts pedestrians and bikes on top, public transit below, multi-occupant vehicles below that, and at the very bottom, single-occupancy vehicles.

If you’ve ever been downtown in your car, sitting at a light and waiting for a mostly empty, honking trolley to get out of the way as the surly conductor glares at you, it’s part of a plan, says O’Toole. He maintains that, in addition to ladling out fat subsidies, municipalities have implemented other measures to disincentivize auto travel.

Randall O’Toole of Bandon, Oregon. He’s a think-tank guy, a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute

1 comment:

  1. If the government can control people's freedom to move about (ie. go where they want when they want) then they have control of the people.