London traffic is among the worst in the world. Not so long ago, there was traffic, yes, but you could still get from one side of the city to the other safely and efficiently in one of London’s famed black cabs. No more. Now to get only a few blocks can take much longer than if you had just walked. Indeed, these days when I am there, I often opt for walking or end up abandoning the cab even if I did take one.
What is the reason for this congestion?
It is chiefly due to London’s “progressive” bike paths. Whole sections of roadways have been handed over to the environmentalists and their plan for the rest of us. Do not misunderstand. That I was once a committed cyclist is well documented. Even now, I mount-up and ride from time to time. But not in a suit. Not when I don’t want to get sweaty. Not when it is cold or raining. And not when I am not feeling up to it.
Now, Mayor de Blasio wants to do the same thing in New York City! He is dedicating $58.4 million to the “Green Wave Bicycle Plan.” The editors at the New York Post nailed it when they wrote this week:
“Ever since [NYC Mayor] Bloomberg, the line’s been that this is all about good government: attracting tech companies (who love the cyclist lifestyle), fighting climate change, etc.
Not so: It’s an ideology, pure and simple — a faith in the moral inferiority of the car and truck drivers, and in the moral virtue of cyclists. That ideology has conned too many of the city’s leaders into handing over vast swathes of the city’s precious public space to a tiny minority of citizens — albeit an organized, and economically privileged, minority.
What the city really needs are leaders with the guts to stand up to the zealots and support the common good.”
I am reminded of a quotation from C.S. Lewis’s God in the Dock:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
This is a neat summary of Huxley’s Brave New World. It is a neat summary of our world.
The judges at the Bull Evaluation Center say “that’s a load of bull!” to Mayor de Blasio and the green nazis.