If you keep voting for the people who do this to you, you will keep getting it done to you.
In the past, it was other people’s governments that would seek to make your life more difficult. But increasingly in California, the most effective war being waged is one the state has aimed at ourselves.
The Jerry Brown administration’s obsession with becoming a global model for reducing greenhouse gases is leading to an unprecedented drive to completely reshape how Californians live. Rather than focus on more pragmatic, affordable steps to reduce greenhouse gases – more efficient cars, rooftop solar systems and promoting home-based work – the goal increasingly seems like social engineering designed to force Californians to adopt the high-density, transit-oriented future preferred by Brown’s green priesthood.
The newest outrage comes from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research in the form of a proposed “road diet.” This would essentially halt attempts to expand or improve our roads, even when improvements have been approved by voters. This strategy can only make life worse for most Californians, since nearly 85 percent of us use a car to get to work. This in a state that already has among the worst-maintained roads in the country, with two-thirds of them in poor or mediocre condition.
The OPR move reflects the increasingly self-righteous extremism animating the former Jesuit’s underlings. Ironically, the governor’s proposals to impose this road diet rest partly on expanding the California Environmental Quality Act, which Brown, in a more insightful moment, described as a “vampire” that needs a “stake through the heart.” Now, instead, the inquisitors seize on vague legislative language and push it to what the Southern California Leadership Council has dubbed “an undesirable and unmanageable extreme.”
In essence, the notion animating the “road diet” is to make congestion so terrible that people will be forced out of their cars and onto transit. It’s not planning for how to make the ways people live today more sustainable. It has, in fact, more in common with Soviet-style social engineering, which was based similarly on a particular notion of “science” and progressive values.
Frustrated West Roxbury residents and business owners are pushing back against City Hall’s relentless bike lane agenda, saying the “road diet” that is chopping car lanes out of Centre Street will starve neighborhood businesses.
“It really comes to a matter of survival for businesses in West Roxbury,” said Jim Hennigan of James W. Hennigan Insurance Agency in the neighborhood’s business district. “This just comes down to common sense — people like to shop locally in West Roxbury, but if you can’t get into it, people are going to go somewhere else.”
Why, that’s crazy talk right there — at least to the ears of the Bike Path Left.