Skip to comments.Pedal Pusher: Peduto sets Pittsburgh on down cycle
Posted on 06/08/2015 6:45:17 PM PDT by Daniel Clark
Pedal Pusher: Peduto sets Pittsburgh on down cycle
by Daniel Clark
It isnt the way it was in 1970, says Pittsburgh mayor Bill Peduto. Not everyones dream is to have their own car and use it to get to work. Actually, youd have to go back a lot farther than 45 years to find a time that having a car was everyones dream. The Model T had made that a reality half a century earlier. By 1970, it was just a normal facet of life in a civilized Western nation. Well, we cant have that, now, can we?
Peduto vowed last September that Pittsburgh will become a cycling Mecca, an ambition that was nowhere to be heard during the previous years mayoral campaign. He made this declaration while introducing his new bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, a title that suggests how little credit liberal politicians typically give their constituents, as if we required government supervision just to walk down the street.
The mayors plans have since started to take shape. Several major roads and bridges around town have been reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction, in order to make room for the suddenly ubiquitous bike lanes. Curbside bicycle rental stations have popped up throughout the downtown area, paid for partly with federal tax dollars, in an attempt to create a demand where none had existed before. An ironically titled project called Open Streets Pittsburgh closes off 25 downtown intersections from automobile traffic for one Sunday morning every month, so that city streets may be dedicated to cycling, healthy activities, and general snobbery.
Why does the mayor think its a good idea to hinder automobile traffic while encouraging a more primitive mode of transportation? Because they do it in Copenhagen. What better reason does a corksniffing elitist need? Since Peduto visited the Danish capital early last year, hes blathered about it in much the same way that Cliff Clavin bores his friends with trivial facts about Florida. Copenhagen has 500,000 bike commuters, he boasted, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Forty years ago, it was just like Pittsburgh, meaning that it was littered with those bourgeois motor vehicles. The assumption is that if a European city has become less like an American city, that cannot help but be progress.
So how is it that theyve become so much more sophisticated in Copenhagen than we are in Pittsburgh? As infrastructure was built, more people started to use bikes, and as more people used bikes, more infrastructure was built. In other words, the citizens had always wanted to reject the comfort, efficiency and advanced technology that automobiles have to offer, but needed their benevolent government to ease the transition for them. Unsurprisingly, theres a little more to it than that.
Lets say youre in the market for a new car, which in this country might cost you $20,000. In Denmark, theres a 105 percent sales tax on cars, until the price reaches a certain threshold, at which point it jumps all the way to 180 percent. As a result, that same car would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $50,000. Still interested? In addition, Danish car owners are assessed an annual green owners tax, which has a variable rate depending on the vehicles fuel efficiency. As if that werent enough, Danes pay among the highest gasoline prices in the world, thanks to taxes in excess of $3.50 per gallon.
Contrary to Pedutos explanation, people do not freely choose a lower standard of living just because infrastructure projects have made it more accessible. They do it because they are victims of government coercion. If the law punished people for using MP3 players and CDs, it would create a renewed demand for cassettes, but that wouldnt mean we preferred them.
Peduto surely understands this, because the measures hes taken, though less severe, are likewise designed to compel a change in behavior. If deliberately exacerbating traffic congestion and temporarily closing streets for its own sake doesnt get the intended results, he and his cycling czar are bound to think of something worse.
Liberal politicians view progress as anything that expands the power of authoritarian central planners like themselves. The people they supposedly serve, having diametrically opposed interests, must therefore be pushed backward. Thus, a society regresses just as its government becomes more progressive. Today, the people are pressured to trade their cars in for bicycles. Tomorrow, they may be told to turn off their air conditioners, take three-minute showers, and eat insects. Then, political leaders may approvingly declare, It isnt the way it was in 2015.
-- Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author and editor of a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, where he also publishes a seasonal sports digest as The College Football Czar.
How come you only post your own stuff.. as news.. and never comment?
Looks to me like you might be a scumbucket blogpimp.
I’m tired of paying for these FReeploaders.
I may sit out the next few fundraisers until these folks start paying the freight.
Or you could point out the dirtbags for all to see.
naaah..keep on paying...but threaten to hold your breath...Now that will get results!!..You’ll notice the results almost instantly...
of course hes pimping his blog...but u don't have to go there to read the whole story....what is it that's so offensive to u about that??
It’ll never work - there’s a lot of hills in Pittsburg.
So, just how did the a**wipe Pendejo get to Copenhagen, anyway? Did he bicycle there? I’ve spent a good deal of time in the ‘burgh-traffic is bad enough without this BS. There will be blood...
The hills are only part of the problem. I’m thinking of the street layouts which funnel traffic to a few key congestion points and our famous winters (albeit mercifully short) with lots of snow, ice pack, potholes and constant freeze, thaw, more snow patterns. I’m not sure how the bicycle gang will survive then.
And even in the rain. Not a lot of people like to bicycle in the rain.
I’ve done that and been told to shut he front door.
I have been to Copenhagen a couple of times and it is flat as a board, it is a great place for a bicycle.
Rahm’s been doing some of the same in Chicago - given the snow, seasonal potholes, ubiquitous construction, spotty road maintenance, bus traffic, and general congestion on the city streets, the proliferation of bike lanes has not led to any improvement in the quality of life that’s at all obvious.
Are you short of letters?
You seem to be missing quite a few in your post.
cute!....lol..but YOU didn’t answer the question....You seem to be missing more then letters...
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