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May 28th, 2017

Insight

War on Cars

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published Nov. 27, 2015

We've had the war on poverty, the war on drugs, and the war on women. Politicians and their marketing consultants for purely selfish political interests have invented every single one of these "wars." None of these so-called "wars" can ever be won because they are bogus. The poverty and drug "wars" have had billions in federal funds poured into slogans, ad campaigns, and bureaucratic committees and programs for decades. The "war on women" is totally made up, invented by the Democrats as a way of rallying their base by vilifying Republicans as the party who hate women and want to keep them down.

But we have a new political "war" quietly going on across our country and this one is for real. I call it the "war on cars." This war is being waged by a coalition of liberal opportunistic politicians and radical environmentalists. To borrow the Obama phrase, they want to "fundamentally transform the United States" from a car-centric nation to a country dependent on public transportation, bicycles, and walking. The difference between those other bogus political wars and this one is, this is one they are winning.

After having returned from a 3-week road trip all over California I can honestly say that our highways and streets are being taken over by bicyclists (not sweet little families happily jingling their bicycle bells as they peddle their Schwinn's around the Leave to Beaver neighborhood, I'm talking nasty, radical bike Nazis). These bicyclists with major attitudes and an elite sense of entitlement purposely ride two and three abreast and do anything they can to frustrate motorists, like riding in the middle of a lane on a mountain road where there's no place to go around them.

Everywhere we drove we encountered these selfish bicycle jackasses in their spandex outfits and European-style alien helmets. They look like giant skinny mantis insects on wheels. We drove on all kinds of roads and it seemed no matter where we went, we would run into (not literally, but sometimes it came close) them. They were on country roads, narrow high mountain roads, city streets, and get this --- ON STATE HIGHWAYS. That's right; California Highway 101 is now open to bicyclists.

I'm not taking about some quiet parts of sleepy little coast Highway 1 along the beach, (although the bike people are there too) no, I'm referring to a major four-lane each way, eighty mile an hour, truck route freeway. Highway 101 is a major congested freeway and now the idiots that run the state of California are allowing bicycles on it. They are not simply "letting" this happen, they ENCOURAGE it.

The official road signs are posted all along our highways and city streets now, "SHARE THE ROAD." Some have images of bicycles and pedestrians on them. Other signs demand that autos "SHARE THE LANE" because now bike riders have as much right to use ALL LANES in the streets as do the cars and trucks.

The California Bicycle Coalition website says: "Bicyclists can ride wherever they want if they're traveling at the speed of traffic. If traveling slower than the speed of traffic, they can still position themselves wherever in the lane is necessary for safety. The law says that people who ride bikes must ride as close to the right side of the road as safely practicable except under the following conditions: when passing, preparing for a left turn, avoiding hazards, if the lane is too narrow to share, or if approaching a place where a right turn is authorized."

You can see there is lots of wiggle room for the bike riders. While it is true that the California law states "bicycles may not be ridden on freeways and expressways," they've added a loophole. The law goes on to state, " where doing so is prohibited by the California Department of Transportation and local authorities." So when the state has posted signs that say, "SHARE THE ROAD" on these busy highways, it sends the message that it's okay for bikes to use them.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. He's also a Southern California-based freelance writer.

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