“Bike to Work Day…”

by on May 18, 2007

Paul,

As an ardent environmentalist, I’ve long advocated that private motor vehicles should not be allowed in urban areas. One current member of the Board of Supervisors even agreed with this (he’s the only one I to whom I proposed this idea). Subways should run under every major street, no farther than four blocks apart. Buses are only for traveling short distances, a mile at most. And public transportation should be free and funded by a gasoline tax. Side streets should be reserved for bikes.

In our modern, industrial society, we can’t expect most people to ride bicycles, but no one should be allowed to harm the planet by driving where it’s completely unnecessary and public transit is free and easy. Unfortunately, the oil, automotive, and tire companies destroyed a large portion of the public transit systems in the U.S. in the 1940s. When they were found guilty of conspiracy, they paid a whopping $5,000 fine. In a decent society, their assets would have been seized and used to rebuild the transit systems they destroyed, and all those responsible would have been imprisoned for life. But alas, we live in a country that selfishly worships the automobile, regardless of its harmful effects, and California is right out front in that worship (though we in the Bay Area aren’t quite as bad as those in L.A.). People in SF are supposedly very concerned about global warming, but I haven’t seen anyone giving up their cars to save our planet.

Jeff Hoffman
San Francisco
No Car

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