Saturday, February 18, 2012

Transportation choice is like salt

Politicians are not valuing transportation choice. This has to change. Salt is a substance which is not valued very much... you can buy a lot of it for little money. But if you OMIT THE SALT from the $100 a plate gourmet meal, the meal is wrecked. We're in the same situation in HGAC... many of us perceive that our lives are "missing the salt", but the politicians don't get it.

It's highly instructive that people pushing for transportation choices often have lived in places in the past where there was transportation choice. People who have never left the sunbelt are less likely to be aware of the advantages.

Our aging population

Elderly people shouldn't have to leave their homes because they can't drive any longer.

Harris County hasn't bought in yet

People who live in Unincorporated Harris County really get nothing in the way of services that could be called "sustainable" by anyone. The County has built a basic network of cars-only roads. There are very poor sidewalks. Bike accommodations on the County roads? Zero.

METRO happily takes our tax dollars but we get no local service; not even demand-response METROLift for the handicapped.

Walking is a human right

This idea is tailor-made for our region, which is very politically conservative place. It's based on the US Constitution, and the original intent of the Founding Fathers.
2nd Amendment - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Therefore, if the Government constructs obstacles to you owning a gun or ammunition, your civil rights are being violated. The US Supreme Court has recently been overturning gun laws in Washington DC and Chicago based exactly on this principle. 

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

If the Government establishes obstacles to you possessing the holy scripture of your choice, or to you building a church, they are violating your rights. If the Government establishes obstacles to you owning a printing press, they are violating your rights.

Now let's look at "the right of the people peaceably to assemble".

What if the government establishes obstacles to you "assembling" with other citizens in your community? Remember, the technology of the 18th century for "assembling" was WALKING. Could it be construed that the Government is violating this basic human right of yours?

I claim that the ability to walk in your community and to assemble peaceably with other citizens is a basic human right, and I claim that our local Governments are in some sense violating this right. At least they not are allowing it to be expressed fully.