We're here to help you!

I found the following signs posted in a Daily Mail article about so-called "viral emails":



I'm skeptical about the first one, which strikes me as a deliberate parody of inane legal antics, and not a sign anyone would actually post.

But the second one strikes me as downright possible.

That's because an ever-growing number of activist bureaucrats believe that the remedy for traffic congestion is to actually encourage congestion, as a disincentive to drive at all:

...increased traffic capacity causes people to drive more--a lot more--such that half of any driving-time savings generated by new roadways are lost in the short run.
Lest anyone think I am making this up, it started in Berkeley, and is now spreading like a virus -- even infecting red states like North Carolina:
Traffic calming advocates intend only to use these measures in a manner destructive to automobiles. This is because of the "Living Streets" philosophy which believes that automobiles violate the streets, owned exclusively by pedestrians. A similar philosophy is based on the book "Livable Streets" written by Donald Appleyard (1928-1982), a professor of urban planning at the University of California-Berkeley. Appleyard's plan called for recruiting activists named stakeholders to sell traffic calming to unsuspecting neighbors on "streets where residents requested help to reduce speeding and accidents" (2). After the neighborhood streets are calmed, the techniques are applied to busy corridor streets, leading to traffic congestion madness and eventually the ultimate goal of calmers: create cities completely free of automobiles, leaving walking, cycling, and government-controlled mass transit as the only means of transportation.
The resultant economic chaos will undoubtedly create millions more jobs for the bureaucracy, because government-created problems demand government-created solutions. Because bureaucratic "solutions" can be depended on to make bureaucratically-created problems worse, it is always in the interest of bureaucracies to create problems. But only in the name of solving them.

With any luck, no one will suspect that a slogan like "traffic calming" is actually as much of an oxymoron as "Consumer Advocate."

(I'm sure the latter can be depended on to advocate relentlessly on behalf of the former. If you don't like it, pray.)

posted by Eric on 09.22.06 at 11:38 AM


Is there any chance they've openend that lane to traffic going the other way?

If not... 'tard.

Harkonnendo   ·  September 22, 2006 6:44 PM


Write me; I was an intern at Penn and now am an ophthalmologist. I spent 2 months with your Dad in1965, and was out to your house in ?ardmore? for the annual party several years and watched you swim in your pool.

What are you doing now?

Frank Grady MD PHD
Lake Jackson, Texas

frank grady   ·  September 23, 2006 1:29 AM

Frank, welcome! That goes a long way back, as my dad sold the house in the early 1970s and moved downtown, and I don't remember 1965 specifically. But I fondly remember the parties. Thanks for visiting. (I'll send you an email.)

Eric Scheie   ·  September 23, 2006 7:40 PM

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