Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's a good idea until you think about it.

Who's against walking and biking right? Oh sure, building roads that are designed for cars, bikes and pedestrians sounds like a good idea on it's face, and why SHOULDN'T TxDOT be required to build roads of this type?

There's no reason that I can see......Except one.

That's right, the one that makes you wonder if some elected officials think that all road construction is identical, and that all roads are the same. Except of course they're not, and pressing a bill to make "smart roads"* the norm in Texas has "Frogger" written all over it.

Bikes on Kriby? Brilliant.

Bikes on the 610 Loop? Bicycle blini's anyone?

To make this sporting there'd have to be a point system.

10 pts for a Huffy
20 pts for a Trek
Bonus pts if the bike rider is wearing the kit of a professional cycling team.

100 pts if they're wearing a yellow jersey replica.

Any program of this sort would require a large, unwieldy, inefficient government program to set and establish daily bag limits. You know, to keep the denizens of College Station from running away and hiding with a huge lead. This program would have to be promised as "revenue neutral" to be funded through application fees for bike and pedestrian hunting. It wouldn't be (of course) after the same people who sponsored the bills suddenly decided that expensive new trauma centers are needed to handle all of the new injured bikers and pedestrians these new roads would create. To fund these trauma centers 10% of licencing fees would be siphoned off and fed to these units, leading the elected officials responsible for this mess to suddenly claim there's a hole in the budget that can only be filled by a monster tax increase or thousands of injured bicyclists and walkers will be forced to use the normal emergency centers (which, as we all know, are the sole medical domain of the poor and migrant, if you listen to the doom-sayers).

As with any poorly thought-out piece of legislation trotted out more with the idea of garnering votes than passing good policy, the danger is in the (lack of) details.

*As we all know, if you want to guarantee something will be dumb, have some new urban think-tank put the word "smart" in front of it.

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