His Royal Highness King Bloomberg has recently stated that people should drive less, enumerating the environmental benefits of this trend. I refer to him as such because he seems to want to dictate what we eat, and as many aspects of our lives as possible. Thank heavens he will leave us after 2013 or I shudder to think what other personal demands he would make of us.
While I can agree with some of what he says in accordance of my own opinion that personal conservation is one of the best current avenues to energy independence, Mayor Bloomberg fails to realize the policies in this city that often encourage people to use their cars rather than leave them home. Let’s look at some of what the mayor can do to encourage in a positive manner less use of our cars in this personal message to Mayor Bloomberg:
- Eliminate alternate side parking. Forget the tickets Mr. Mayor. The cost of the alternate side program exceeds anything you take in tickets. You’re a businessman sir, and you of course realize that spending less is often more effective than trying to make more. Countless people only use their cars because they are forced to move them or get a ticket. Countless more people needlessly start and move their cars simply to find a legal parking spot. Elimination of alternate side parking would go a long way towards less automobile usage and reduce pollution levels. By he way sir, the streets are really kept clean by the fine citizens and business people of this city who truly keep the streets clean.
- Rethink penalties on bicycles. Yes they should follow laws, but when faced with a $300.00 fine on a bicycle, many people will choose to simply drive. I realize that to a rich man like you that $300.00 is probably your daily coffee allowance, but the majority of your constituents are not rich. They are hard working people who are trying to make ends meet and are devastated by such fines. In addition, forcing a cyclist to wait for every green light is tiring, and they will ride less and drive more. Perhaps a philosophy closer to pedestrian law in some areas will encourage more bicycles while still ensuring the safety of all where required.
- Remember your own youth. As you and your friends finished college the primary first purchase for most of you young educated professionals was your first new car. Maybe not for you, Mr. Mayor, as you have proven to hate cars, but trust me on this one. Most of your college classmates thought of that first new car. If you continue to make this city unfriendly to car ownership, you will force out of this city a very desirable section of the population. Why pay $3.00 an hour to park in Manhattan when there are many similar attractions a short drive away with free parking?
You can’t force people not to drive. Mr. Mayor you must make it attractive to leave the car home, and this list of suggestions is a good place to start.
Please excuse me now Mr. Mayor. I feel like getting a Twinkie.