Jim Bray's Car & Tech rants - publishing online exclusively since 1995
Some Oaf

Beware Governments help in regulating cars and traffic, part two

By Jim Bray
February 15, 2024

Do our governments work for us, or rule us?

Like "to be, or not to be," that is the question. Indeed, we're constantly told that our governments are there to serve us, to represent us – yet increasingly we're seeing governments who are clearly working to modify our behaviour in the service of their increasingly illogical and annoying ideology, often supposedly in service of the "green" agenda that posits we can stop the world from doing anything bad merely by sending them increasing amounts of our already overtaxed income and giving up more and more of the freedoms our ancestors fought to obtain and preserve.

I guess you can see where this is going!

I've been driving for a long time and have noticed that more and more governments are bringing in ludicrous rules for the road, rules that defy common sense and fly in the face of the "we're here to represent you" platitudes from a political class that doesn't seem to care a whit about the folks who put them in their positions of power and influence.

I see it every day when I drive.

Here's an example: left turn lanes that have an advanced green but which, once the advanced green is over, force you to sit at the intersection until the next cycle, even if there's no traffic coming the other way and it's perfectly safe to turn left. There are innumerable intersections like this here in Calgary – which is run currently by a cabal of commie kooks who think they know better than the great unwashed.

Meanwhile, these Klimate Kooks bemoan emissions from vehicles and tell us not to idle them excessively. Isn't that why they build bike lanes, so people can park those evil cars and – even worse – pickup trucks, and sweat their way across the city and then have to shower at their destination, thereby using up precious water?

I wonder what part of "excessively" doesn't apply to vehicles forced to spend time idling at intersections when they could be on their way – only emitting the "pollution" they do normally when moving (and, let's face it, today's cars drive very cleanly whether they're internal combustion, hybrid, diesel, or pure electric).

Oh, yeah, and how does sitting quietly at an empty intersection help improve an EV's range?

Now, in their wisdom, some politicians are talking about banning right turns on red lights. This is just as stupid. Even more so, really.

Here in Calgary, our oafish overlords have banned such right turns on reds but not most places, fortunately. Not yet, anyway. The move so far seems designed to prevent right turns where there are dual right turn lanes. This is stupid. They recently redesigned the intersection from eastbound Stoney Trail (our ring road) to southbound Shaganappi Trail in such a manner.

There used to be an intersection there that worked fine and didn't annoy drivers. Now, there's a mishmash of left and right turn lanes, designed so you can't really see which lane you want until you're right on top of them. And then, if you're turning right, you sit twiddling your thumbs until the light changes, even if there's no traffic coming the other way.

It's stupid, it's annoying – and it's increasingly typical. I'm sure our city parents (can't call 'em fathers any more, can we?) will say it's because the city is growing rapidly and they redesigned the roads there (not just the one intersection, but a whole section of it) to help traffic flow as it increases.

Except it doesn't. It chokes traffic. There's even a new intersection on that part of Shaganappi where they added a bus lane and special bus traffic light. Drivers who don't steer public transit around have to wait at the red light until the buses' advanced green light is over – even if there are no buses. It's stupid, it's annoying, and it's unnecessary. But it fits with the way our city treats private drivers.

Then there's "traffic calming". This is where they build chicanes onto roadsides at intersections (though not only at intersections) so two vehicles can barely fit side by side on what had previously been two clear lanes of traffic (or a lane of parked cars and a lane of traffic). There's one about a five-minute walk from Chateau Bray. When it first went up, it was a temporary "pilot project", my counsellor (one of the few sane ones in Calgary) told me when I complained.

Apparently, some little snowflake had walked across the intersection and been run down by one of those evil vehicles. Whether the kid was plugged into his/her/its smart phone at the time, or was just plain oblivious, I never learned.

And, as pilot projects are wont, it didn't take long for the city workers to come back and make it permanent. So now, instead of two lanes intersecting two lanes, you have two lanes intersecting what is essentially one lane. And to access that lane via a right turn, you have to turn very carefully, farther into the intersection than before, being careful not to hit any vehicles that may be waiting to turn left onto the street from which you're turning.

This is hardly calming. It's annoying and dangerous – and it gets worse. During the winter the main street of the two (the one that hasn't been narrowed as much) can be very slippery and since you're going downhill toward the "calmed" intersection, it's easy to slide and that could cause even more collision damage if you're sliding into a vehicle waiting to enter the intersection. Or it could cause a driver to slide into another damn oblivious pedestrian, where before there was a chance to avoid him/her/it because there was more roadway to use.

All because, apparently, some parents didn't teach their kid to look both ways before crossing the street.

Will be we required next to stop our vehicles if we see such a ragamuffin near the intersection so we can wipe his/her/its nose for him/her/it?

Where does parental responsibility to teach your kids "safe pedestrianing" end and why does it suddenly become some stranger in a car's job to babysit their kids?

Of course, this also applies to the fools of all ages who step obliviously into traffic, eyes down on their phones' screen.

I hate to be tough, but maybe if a couple more oblivious oafs got run over the message might get out that in a battle between a hundred-kilogram human and a two-tonne car, chances are the car will win - so maybe you should pay attention.

I got hit by a car once, when I was a preteen; it was my own fault, I wasn't hurt (thank goodness) but it sure had an effect on how I crossed streets after that!

To paraphrase Candace Owens, life is hard; get a helmet.

Now, governments want us all in electric vehicles and are willing to force us. Yet last month, here in Alberta, we had a cold spell during which our electrical infrastructure was "under threat." It was supposedly so bad that the government sent out emergency texts warning us to curtail our electrical use. The funniest part of the message was the sentence where it advised folks not to charge their electric vehicles during the "crisis".

And they want more electric cars on the road. But try to get a new electricity generating plant approved, and all Hell breaks out.

Are these people stupid, ignorant, or is there an agenda at work to ensure we can't go where we want when we want?  Might be helpful to ask George Soros, Klaus Schwab and/or their little friends.

We need fewer annoyances on our highways and byways, so drivers can drive while having time to look around to see what potential hazards there may be, and have the opportunity to react to them.

You can donate to my campaign for Emperor by contacting me through this publication.

Copyright 2024 Jim Bray

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