Why do liberals hate highways?
The website Vox.com portrays itself as the "howstuffworks" of the political world. It takes a political question, and then, step by step, uses facts to answer it. Vox is like a brilliant supercomputer programmed to answer any question, but...with the caveat that the only information it has in its database is Democratic Party talking points. In other words, a genius brain that has only the experience of a five-year-old with a box of crayons.
It was in that light I saw an article titled "The Case for Tearing Down Urban Highways," which talked about the problem of rebuilding a highway in Seattle and suggested a "novel" solution: have no highway at all!
Because they believe in imaginary man-made global warming, liberals believe that the Earth is so fragile that we have to use as little technology as possible, for fear of destroying the planet. They believe that our existence on the Earth is like a perilous trip in a spaceship, where every ounce of fuel, every scrap of food and water, every watt of electricity must be draconianly conserved, or else we will all die horribly. Liberals hate highways because they are largely used by individuals, each driving individual cars. When they see a person getting into a car with four empty seats, liberals imagine they can hear the Earth scream as it is raped another inch every time the driver steps on the gas. They project these fears onto others, believing that the only way the Earth can be saved is to pack as many of us as possible into mass transit to conserve power, so maybe, just maybe, mankind can survive on the earth for another year.
Of course, Vox doesn't exactly say this in its article. Like a crazy man who is still sane enough to realize that what he says is crazy talk, Vox covers up for it by making up other reasons for its conclusions.
Now back to Seattle. Evidently Seattle is experiencing a lot of problems rebuilding a highway that goes through the western edge of the city. Vox acts like it's very concerned about cost overruns on the highway, but liberals never seem to express concerns about cost overruns on any other kind of government program. The Vox solution to the problem? Don't rebuild the highway; just replace it with city streets!
When a city tears down an urban freeway, some cars will be diverted to other roads. But many other drivers will respond to the lower capacity in other ways. Some will shift to taking transit to work. Others will shift their commutes earlier or later in the day to avoid periods of peak congestion. Still others will move closer to downtown, or take jobs that are closer to where they work. So taking out an urban freeway won't generate as much traffic on other roads as naive projections might suggest.
So a highway isn't really needed. Or is it? Cars diverted to other streets will only create worse traffic problems on other streets. People shifting their commute times? Many workers don't have that option. Other workers will move closer to their jobs? That's not too probable, as the city has a finite space for residences. That's why people moved to the suburbs in the first place. So for all these spurious reasons, traffic won't be a problem!
Liberals who call for the demise of highways also call for more spending on bike paths and "light rail." Bicycle paths are useless, of course, for people who have to go more than a few miles, and unusable even for that for the old and the handicapped. As for "light rail," I'm not sure why it's called that, because "light rail" can weigh almost 50 tons, and be very expensive to maintain compared to much cheaper bus service. (I think they like the word "light" because it sounds like you're traveling on a diet.)
The fact remains that cars are the greatest liberating technology in the field of transportation, and we should support highways.
Pedro Gonzales is the editor of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.