Friday, September 14, 2012

TheWashCycle on the Milloy's column on DC speed cameras

You may have read the Post's Courtland Milloy's column Speed cameras: Traffic enforcement or highway robbery? The first sentence gives you a flavor of the rest of the column: "I confess, I enjoy driving fast." He thinks speed cameras "kill that feeling" of being alive, as expressed in a Mercedes commercial. Later Milloy quotes AAA's John Townsend who berates the city for promoting cycling and walking.

The title of  TheWashCycle response says it all: I'd rather kill the feeling of aliveness that speeding creates, than kill a mother of three. Courtland Milloy feels differently. The post corrects many of the factual errors in the column. I suggest taking the time to read the it. Here's a brief excerpt:
But unlike scofflaw cyclists, who break the law sometimes for safety or need, and sometimes out of expediency, drivers - it appears - break the law for the sheer joy of it.
I enjoy driving fast. Not reckless driving, just cruising at speeds more appropriate for road conditions than the posted speed limit sometimes permits.
OK, so you like breaking the law. How adorable.
Lately, though, some jurisdictions have ramped up efforts to kill that feeling — to actually steal the joy of driving altogether — by “getting people out of their cars,” as D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray (D) likes to say.
Why, drivers just want to enjoy the fun of breaking the law and here come the mean old cyclists who want to take that away just because they selfishly want to make it home without having their pelvises crushed. If "killing the feeling" is what it takes to avoid killing our neighbors, that seems like a fair trade to me. His claim that the "joy of driving" is being stolen is also pretty over the top. Cry me a river. What exactly is it about promoting roadway safety for vulnerable users does Milloy find objectionable?

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Walking and bicycling are a great way to combat obesity, and a money-saver since AAA says the average annual cost of a car is almost $9K.

Cameras are a great way to make walking and bicycling safer. Lots of people are discouraged from these activities because of dangerous drivers.

Milloy's support of dangerous driving is a change for him. He previously expressed strong support for Michelle Obama's anti-obesity efforts, criticizing detractors.

Surely, the improving the health and welfare of DC residents is more important than feeling good when speeding, right?

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