Wednesday, May 25, 2005

ODOT: Social engineering at it's finest

The Oregon Transportation Plan calls for doubling the number of bicycling and walking trips over the next 20 years.

Increases in recycling and seat belt use have resulted from successful campaigns aimed at changing behavior. Similar efforts could be applied to encourage increased bicycling and walking. Successful campaigns portray a positive image of walkers and bicyclists, emphasize the benefits of bicycling and walking, and inform the public of the drawbacks associated with over-reliance on the automobile.
The brainwashing, I mean, behavioral correction, starts with psychological tactics. Essentially, they will train us the same way you would train your dog: If you walk/ride you are "good" but if you drive you are "bad." Bikes = Good, Cars = Bad

The experience of campaigns to promote alternate modes indicates that increasing the attractiveness of these modes is often insufficient to make substantial changes in travel behavior. When driving is inexpensive and convenient, other modes such as walking, bicycling and mass transit cannot compete effectively.

Reducing the attractiveness of driving alone can help make other means of transportation relatively more attractive. Observations of travel patterns in other developed nations indicate a correlation between the relative ease of driving and the use of other modes.

Some factors that decrease the attractiveness of driving alone are high gasoline prices, vehicle registration fees and parking rates; low availability of parking; and restricted driving privileges in downtown and other high pedestrian use areas.
Since ODOT can't convince you that the "alternative" to driving is a better choice our government is actively "campaigning" to make your car "unattractive." Not just psychologically either, they will make it impractical. By making car ownership more difficult they can change the current "path of least resistance" for some people. Unfortunately this means that more poor people will have fewer transportation choices and be forced to take the bus in the rain. Less "choice" and punishing "the poor," welcome to the real Democrat's ideas!

Zoning for high densities of employment, housing and mixed-use development places origin and destination points closer together, creating a more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly environment. This can be done more easily in new developments, but can be retrofitted into established areas with neighborhood commerce zoning.
This is coming from the same people who say that a drivers license "should not be an immigration document." Was zoning ever intended to be used as a device to get people out of their cars?


Anonymous said...

More walking and biking is good for people (obesity problem) and good for the environment. It should be encouraged.

VR said...

Seattle just reduced the number of parking spaces a developer must provide for new housing units in some crowded inner-city neighborhoods. They intentionally set the available parking far below the projected demand to virtually force the apartment dwellers not to drive. Typical. City officials know what's best for you so be a good little citizen - get on the bus and give up your money to build light rail (which will only be used because they made driving so expensive and inconvenient).
Officials used to have to hide this social engineering but now they admit to it outright... and liberals buy into it (note anonymous above). The left really are the ones that are anti-choice.

Daniel said...

They are against consumer choice. To borrow a line from them "this disproportionately affects the poor" as well since making car ownership slightly more expensive, while not good for anyone, hits poor people the hardest.

I agree that walking and biking is great exercise, I enjoy both of those activities. But government should start doing forced marches.

Anonymous said...

>Unfortunately this means that more poor people will have fewer transportation choices and be forced to take the bus in the rain.

It's laughable to think that you care what happens to the poor. In case you haven't noticed, owning a car is quite expensive once you actually buy the car, keep it running, and pay insurance.

Because of the car culture that the governemnt promoted by building roads at the taxpayer's expense, everyone is forced into a system where expensive to own and maintain vehicles are virtually a neccessatiy, particularly in suburban areas. Back in the day when all of these decisions were being made, it was the auto industry that was pushing hard for these subsidies. Look it up.

How does this help and not hurt the poor?

I will galdly support your position if you agree to end all govenrment welfare to the auto industry, however somehow, I don't think that's what you had in mind.

Daniel said...

It's laughable to think that you care what happens to the poor.

It's laughable to think that you know what I care about. I don't like government subsidies at all, for any industry. But it is government's job to maintain roads. Very few people would disagree.