One Size Fits Slow

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We’re told automated cars will make the roads “safer.”

Well, they just might – in the same way that filling in the deep end of every swimming pool in the country with concrete would reduce drowning deaths. Better to teach people to swim – and keep those who can’t out of the pool.

It’s not a very high standard.

Automated cars certainly won’t make driving safer for those who can.

What they will do, of course, is make the roads slower – and trips take longer.

For everyone.

Think of a Roomba plodding clumsily around your living room, cautiously probing before proceeding – and then proceeding very slowly – and just like every other Roomba.

Automated cars will work like the Roomba – a brainless robot that operates within the confines of its programming – with you along for the (long) ride.

To understand why the Great Slowdown is coming – if automated cars ever do – perform the following experiment: When you next drive to work, mindlessly obey every traffic law to the letter. Never exceed the posted speed limit – not even for the moment it takes to get up to speed.

Wait, robotically, until the coast is clear – for at least 100 yards in every direction – before cautiously entering the main road from a side street feeder. Then creep forward, very slowly – like a 3,500 lb. Roomba. Imagine every other car on the road doing exactly the same thing.

Voila. The Automated Car Future.

“Aggressive” acceleration is out for both politically correct as well as liability reasons. No more passing. There will just be getting in line. And what are lines for?

Ask anyone who lived in the old Soviet Union.

The lawyers will see to this.

In an autonomous car – one that is under your control – if you lose control, the fault is yours. And the damage your responsibility. The person you hurt can sue you.

If an automated car causes damage, the responsibility falls into the lap of whoever built – and programmed – the thing. Ergo, the lawyers for the companies that design and program automated cars will make sure these cars are programmed to drive at a pace that would make a snail flash its brights.

Anything faster will be characterized – by the counsel for the maimed – as “reckless” and “excessive.”

Speed limits won’t be increased even if automated cars become the only cars on the road because, after all, speed kills. Remember? It’s never been bad drivers that kill. Just speed.

Therefore, no more speeding.

Ever.

This will present problems for St. Elon the Electrified, of course – who touts the Ludicrous Speed of his cars.

Automated cars will not be programmed to bend the rules even just a little bit (even if they could be) because one size will fit all.

Autonomous drivers, on the other hand, are able to bend the rules almost every time they drive – because they can. All they have to do is push down on the right pedal – which won’t be there in an automated car. 

There is also another reason why they can.

Whatever the posted speed limit is, the actual speed limit – the one that AGWs enforce – is slightly higher.

Usually by 5-9 MPH.

Everyone knows this. AGWs sometimes admit this . . . off the record. Even as they say – for the record – that it’s never safe to drive faster than any posted speed limit.

Even though they themselves routinely do so.

But there can be no fudging of the law by automated cars, for reasons of programming uniformity – the Roomba Rule of Robotics, as it were – and because of the need to firewall against Shysterism. A car programmed to bend the rules would be grounds for one Mother of a civil litigation payday. Imagine it:

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we have established that the defendant willfully and knowingly enabled its vehicles to operate at speeds faster-than-legal, creating the unsafe conditions which led to the accident that resulted in the death of our client… 

Volkswagen was practically nailed to the cross for not-even-whole-numbers “cheating” on paperwork. Government emissions certification tests. A pedantic difference of point-o-something vs. point-o-something else that would never have been detected (and has never harmed anyone) had someone not gone to the nth degree to detect it.

Imagine what a slip n’ fall shyster could do to an automated car company that allowed its cars to do 74 in a 65 and then one of them encountered some fog and the sensors didn’t see the minivan full of kiddies up ahead and terminated them all.

Which is why it won’t be allowed. For the same reason you can’t connect a phone or iPod to a car’s infotainment system without stopping first.

Speaking of that.

The automated car will also stop  – completely – at every stop sign. At every red light, before making a right.

Then it will wait at least a one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand count before proceeding. If it ever does.

Better bring lunch.

Autonomous drivers are supposed to stop too, of course. But frequently don’t – for precisely the same reason they routinely exceed whatever the speed limit is. Because it’s perfectly reasonable sometimes to not to stop completely – much less sit there like a dope for the one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand count if it’s obvious there are no other cars in the vicinity.

Or AGWs watching for totem-pole obedience to The Law.

Automated cars will be the totem pole – genuflection not optional.

If there are pedestrians anywhere in the vicinity of the automated car, it will stop no matter the right-of-way. If there is something in the way, don’t go around it. Stop behind it . . . and wait.

Liability.

If it rains, reduce speed half the limit – for the same reason. The car will judge whether it’s saaaaaaaaaaafe to proceed. According to a least-common-denominator standard of one-size-fits-all programming approved by the legal department of the corporation that built the thing and approved by Uncle – with you cut entirely out of the loop. Your role is to meatsack.

They might as well issue us all Party Overalls so we look the same, too.

Contrast this dismal picture with what we have – and which they want us to give up. Or rather, which they are determined to take away from us:

Autonomous cars under our control. We – as individuals – decide whether to obey totemic traffic laws. We can drive at a faster-than-least-common-denominator pace. Whether to pass.

Whether its saaaaaaaaaaaaaafe us to venture out – according to our judgment.

It’s why you’ll get there sooner rather than later – assuming you’re not a meatsacker – in a car that isn’t automated.

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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60 COMMENTS

  1. Speaking as someone whose drivers license had been clean for 15 years before it became a Commercial Drivers Licence in 1990, which has been equally clean since, what doesn’t lead to an accident is what is considered to be competent driving in the modern era.
    Two robotic vacuum cleaners colliding head on at full speed wouldn’t involve what doing the same thing in or on any motor vehicle would. The method used by a Roomba for learning its environment would never work for any motor vehicle in any situation but a demolition derby.
    All of this will be completely academic after the Great Correction hits the stock, bonds, security, and derivatives markets, and every that is printed on paper will be worth what it is.

  2. Hi Eric.

    On the bright side, this might at least put some of the king’s men out of work. At least for a little while, anyway. Until our betters figure out something else for them to do. They don’t call them “make-work” jobs for nothing, you know.

  3. Not even to mention the fact that you, and everybody in the meat-pod with you, will be under total and real time surveillance…everything recorded and monitored, voice and video.

    Oh, and to those short sighted folks that can’t wait for this so they can fall asleep or get fellated or drink or what have you: HA! think again.

    You will be required to maintain a posture of cat like readiness and be monitoring the automated systems at all times…which if you think interstate driving in traffic is boring now, just wait until you do THAT three or four hours a day.

    • Count on it:
      Shysters will figure out a way to assign liability to “operators” of motor vehicles, even if such vehicles are completely “autonomous.”*
      IOW, in case of “software malfunction,” you, the “operator” will be held liable, not the nerd(s) who wrote the defective software. Pretty good deal for them. Not so good for you.

      * I believe this is called “deeming,” a nice Republican word.
      You, the “operator,” will be “deemed” to be responsible for the behaviour of the auto, even if you are powerless to control said behaviour.
      Watch out for those incoming deems. They just might kill you…

  4. Looking for people like us to get in more accidents as we rear-end all those autonomous tin cans. It’s the difference in speed that kills.

  5. I like the idea of fully automated cars that will allow for sleeping on long trips. Being able to go to sleep and wake up at the destination will free more people to travel.
    For daily commuting, the only way for automated cars to work will involve auto-to-auto communications, transponders, that will allow for vehicles to time their approach at an intersection so that neither car has to completely stop. Which means that any non-automated car will be required to have a transponder.

    • fully automated cars that will allow for sleeping on long trips. Being able to go to sleep and wake up DEAD in a deadly crash. Fixed that for ya.
      Fully automated cars will never happen as long as there are liability lawyers / ambulance chasers who get 40-50% of the jury awards to ‘victims’.

    • Hi Jaime,

      I think that’s fine… So long as automated cars aren’t mandatory for those among us who prefer to be in control of our cars. My worry is that won’t be allowed; that it will be automated cars only. There’s no question this is what’d being pushed.

      Which indicates this isn’t about “mobility.” It is about . . . controlling it.

    • Well folks, there you are. People travel for mostly 2 reasons: Employment and Leisure/Recreaction.
      Lets start with the 2nd one, since long trips were specified. It was traditionally the trip itself, getting there, that was the adventure. Now, with most any form of travel being purposely made miserable by Uncle and the rest of the Safety/Anti-Terrorist Nazis, being unconscious is the preferred solution. Why even bother to “travel”, just have it all implanted in your memory while sleep?
      As to the first, driving to work has become nearly intolerable. Might as well just provide bunking quarters for all employees, permanently, it would “save the planet”, right? People already complain about getting “screwed” at work, well now you can live there, and get more than you would at home anyway.
      In another century, provided we exist that long, people will be just armless legless blobs hardwired into the World Wide Web, now why does that sound familiar?

      • Back when I had an Aspen address I lived in “employee housing.” The main reason was because I was hired quickly and figured until I got the lay of the land it was cheap and easy. But it was in an industrial park by the airport, not downtown with the elites. Personally I loved living next to the airport because of all the interesting private jets that would routinely land there (and it made it very cheap to fly since I literally just crossed the street to the terminal). But for sure I never felt like a resident of Aspen.

        The biggest downside to living there was that if you lost your job you had until the end of the month to vacate the unit, said so right in the lease. And a few times HR got involved in what should have been landlord issues. Quite the sword of Damocles hanging over your head, especially if you have a family.

    • We are no where close to automated vehickes. Nothing to fix Since I do not trust the current technology.
      Look at drone technology. Car navigation, on a 2D plane is much simpler except for obstructions on line of sight. That his why A2A will be implemented first with no automation, just warning and navigation aid.
      I have never been a “it is not the destination but the jiurney” person. If I plan to go somewhere, that is where I want spend my time.
      If my destination is the road, driving back country roads, then I am already at my destination.
      As to buses. The is no comparison with individualized transport. Think general versus commercial aviation.
      The day will come, in 50 or 100 years, when the technology will nature and then is when it will become a real battle.

        • This is actually the primary reason I choose to remain anonymous on this site.. I sometimes can’t spell or put a coherent sentence together. we need an “edit” feature! I don’t know if that is a subscriber’s privilege, but if it is, I’ll definitely $ub$cribe!

    • Jaime, you will NOT be allowed to sleep or do anything except keep your eyes on the road. There will be nanny buzzers and pokers that make sure you cannot sleep. Nor will you be allowed to read a book, surf on your mobile, or have sex with anyone in the car. Your role, should you accept the mission, will be to stay awake for the safety of the state.

  6. I saw a corporate-marked fleet vehicle last week with a yellow warning sticker on the trunk that said something to the effect of “THIS VEHICLE GPS CONTROLLED TO NOT EXCEED THE SPEED LIMIT.”

    I’m sure this is just the beginning…

    • If a fleet manager desires his drivers not exceed the speed limit and perhaps even monitor them 24/7 that is his choice. His drivers are free to not accept the job with those conditions. There’s probably a reason for it, too. Could be an agreed insurance premium reduction or slight bump in fuel mileage that could be of benefit to a business owner trying to eek out a profit.

  7. So, the other day I was coming home from a long road trip and man, did I have to pee…

    Will our Slave Pods come with a chamber pot?

    • Of course. It might not be labeled as such, but you’re just “ride sharing” right?

      Pro tip: Don’t plan on taking a trip on Sunday morning. These cars will look like the stairwell in a freshman dorm.

  8. Because of (the TV show L.A. Law’s) popularity… The number of applicants to law school rose because of how it glamorized the profession (including, as one law school dean stated, “the infinite possibilities for sex”)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L.A._Law#Reception

    The upside of the collapse of traditional media is that this sort of thing might be a little less likely to happen in the future. Although I’m sure there are plenty of people now in training for their future as a leather mug maker at the Renaissance Faire thanks to Game of Thrones. Huzzah!

    Back when lawyers were scarce and business was face to face, problems were “settled” between two people. When Amalgamated ConHugeCo got Uncle to allow their monopolization of everything (and monopsonization of the workforce) it became impossible for worker drones to negotiate anything. Hence we all had to lawyer up and everything went to mutually assured destruction. But unlike MAD the thermonuclear lawyer bomb appears to be one sided. So like Bastiat’s broken window, we’ll never know what might have been had we not taken the litigious route. I’m certain there are plenty of very smart people who could make driver assist devices that would not just take over from a driver, but enhance our ability to drive, safely, at much higher speeds than what autonomous vehicles can do today. Even somewhat aggressive driving doesn’t really stress the mechanicals of the modern automobile. Imagine what could happen if you could get an overlay of the best line for a curve? Or tell the car in front of you that you wish to pass and watch as it yields well before you have to slow down? Or even that you’re going to take the next exit and other vehicles let you in without you having to get aggressive? Sure all these things should happen today, it’s just known as courteous driving, but it seems like we don’t want that anymore.

    The real problem is that we’re all headed to an air traffic control system for highways.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx6keHpeYak
    Note the “tower” controller in the Nazi outfit! And the lack of any traffic. Our future…

      • So let me get this straight, Denver bicyclists are now expected to move at uphill speeds everywhere? Dang, it’s like they want them to be bletcherous mobile chicanes. Also:

        “‘We try to suggest to people to get a speedometer, this way you know how fast you’re going. There are a lot of apps that you can download for free or you can go buy one, all tools to make sure you are recreating safely in the park,’ says Denver Park Ranger, Jodie Ehrich.”

        RETCH

        • Hi Chuck,

          This is an example of the iron law of coercive law enforcement:

          Maximize revenue, minimize risk.

          Safety has nothing to do with it.

          Jeremy

          • I’m sure of that, but I’m also sure there are plenty of true believers boosting it along because “we want our parks to be saaaaaaaaafe for eeeeeeveryone”. These people ruin literally everything they touch and are the bane of all existence. The “grabbers” might ease up once they’re no longer in danger of having to cut spending, but all the people who unironically think we need bicycle speed limits (applied on the road too, because apparently we want to give drivers another reason to go postal) will be much harder to deal with.

      • No. But I’ve seen 8mph speed limit signs on various trails. The problem is there is no such thing as a bicycle trail. They call things that but they are filled with walkers, dogs, randomly darting children, and so on. These people then complain about bicyclists going fast on the bicycle trail and…. then absurd speed limits are imposed.

        If I roll on the grade of one such trail, not even under power, I exceed 8mph.

        • I have one problem with that comment which is that it is literally my exact complaint about bicycles on the road. However I agree that bicycle speed limits are a retarded bucket of dumb. Just bring every frickin’ thing down to the lowest common denominator, why not I guess.

          Speaking of dogs, not all that long ago I almost crashed trying to avoid someone’s stupid little purse mutt that got loose and ran out in front of me. Glad there was no one coming the other way because I didn’t even have time to look. I hope the lady knows how close she came to causing a rippingly violent accident that evening.

          People and their dogs, man.

          • Except the road is for general traffic. A bicycle trail is supposed to be for bicycles. The automotive analogy to a bike a trail is a limited access highway. You don’t see bicycles allowed on limited access highways except in very rare circumstances where the interstate is the only road between a and b and then only the shoulder.

            • Hey Brent,

              There is a path, specifically designated as a bike path, that I can access 1/4 mile from my house and which leads directly to my favorite brewery. It is common that groups of 3 or 4 people will walk side by side, completely blocking the path to anyone behind them. I slow down and politely alert them to my presence and still some freak out a little and jump out of the way, even though I’m nowhere near them. They’re not intentionally malicious, just clueless. To date, I have never seen a group of cyclists block the path in this manner.

              Cheers,
              Jeremy

            • “Except the road is for general traffic.”

              Pretty convenient, huh? You get to have special trails AND the road too, then claim the moral high ground when drivers complain about you the same way you complain about pedestrians.

              “The automotive analogy to a bike a trail is a limited access highway. You don’t see bicycles allowed on limited access highways except in very rare circumstances where the interstate is the only road between a and b and then only the shoulder.”

              Four things about that.

              First, around here there are sectors where the freeway is the only way to reach a certain place from another.

              Second, just because non-drivers aren’t allowed on the freeway doesn’t mean idiots don’t not-drive there anyway, against traffic, in the dark, in places where there are other ways around.

              Third, keeping non-drivers off the freeway does nothing to protect the mountain passes.

              Fourth and most importantly, when I was suggesting that some roads be made car-only, you had a fit and said it would be immoral to force non-drivers off publicly-funded roads. Meanwhile, your only complaint about bicycle-only infrastructure is that it’s not good enough due to not serving enough destinations or getting clogged up with non-bicyclists. You’re OK with bicyclists having a place of their own, but infuriated by the idea of drivers having a place of their own, unless it’s a stupid racetrack that’s open only a few specific days a year and at great cost too.

              So I guess what it comes down to, is it or is it not acceptable to restrict which vehicle types can use a piece of publicly-funded infrastructure? If it IS, then you really don’t have much of a leg to stand on when you’re claiming that everyone except drivers must, by their sacred rights, get first pick of road space. If it ISN’T, then stop complaining about non-bicyclists clogging up your trails.

              You can’t claim to believe in principle, and then try to have it both ways like that. Either any mode of transportation can have its own place on the public dime, or none of them can.

              • “You’re OK with bicyclists having a place of their own, but infuriated by the idea of drivers having a place of their own, ”

                That’s argument assigning out of the book of Clover. Bicyclist DO NOT HAVE A PLACE OF THEIR OWN. That’s a fact. It is also a fact that motorists DO have a place of their own. That’s all I stated. You don’t get to make up positions for me. I’m fine with limited access highways. I use them regularly. I’m fine with bikeways too, they simply don’t exist. I advocate for wide curb lanes and nothing more extensive than that.

                For all your dancing and struggling there remains roads for motorized vehicles only and no such thing for bicycles. As I have told you multiple times previously, bicycle trails are in practice not even primarily for bicycles. It’s a political naming, it has no bearing on reality.

                Roads remain for general traffic except for limited access highways. Tough shit that you don’t like it. I only bring up the fact that bicycle trails are not for bicycles when discussing the speed limits upon them and when people like you moan that they exist or someone you think should be using them isn’t.

                “You can’t claim to believe in principle, and then try to have it both ways like that.”

                Take your manufactured BS and shove up where the sun doesn’t shine. You get to shove words in my mouth. You’re getting to the point where you’re more sickening than Clover.

                • “That’s argument assigning out of the book of Clover. Bicyclist DO NOT HAVE A PLACE OF THEIR OWN.”

                  Are you serious right now? An earlier post of yours said this:

                  “No. But I’ve seen 8mph speed limit signs on various trails. The problem is there is no such thing as a bicycle trail. They call things that but they are filled with walkers, dogs, randomly darting children, and so on. These people then complain about bicyclists going fast on the bicycle trail and…. then absurd speed limits are imposed. ”

                  Then later on:

                  “Except the road is for general traffic. A bicycle trail is supposed to be for bicycles. The automotive analogy to a bike a trail is a limited access highway. You don’t see bicycles allowed on limited access highways except in very rare circumstances where the interstate is the only road between a and b and then only the shoulder.”

                  So, are bicycle trails nonexistent or misused? They can’t be both.

                  “It is also a fact that motorists DO have a place of their own. That’s all I stated.”

                  Technically true, but I still think you should come to Alaska, and try driving from Anchorage to Wasilla some sunny day. You will see people walking and riding on the freeway, and not only in the sections where there is no other choice. Sometimes they’re hitchhiking, sometimes they just don’t care or don’t want to bother using the path or multiple side streets. So in light of everything you’ve said, how does that work? Do limited-access highways not really exist because people use them in ways they aren’t supposed to?

                  “You don’t get to make up positions for me.”

                  If you’d like, I can go find some of our old arguments, because I’m pretty sure you (and the rest of the bicyclists on this site) flipped out when I started complaining about bicyclists. Banning non-drivers would be an immoral use of force, or something like that. And after that, asking bicyclists to voluntarily avoid roads that were fun to drive on was also fascism in its truest form.

                  So then, can you give me at least one reason why booting bicyclists off a freeway would be different, in principle, from booting them off any other specific road?

                  “I’m fine with limited access highways.”

                  That is genuinely news to me, not even joking.

                  “I use them regularly.”

                  Never doubted this.

                  “I’m fine with bikeways too, they simply don’t exist.”

                  Or they exist, but get clogged up with people who shouldn’t be there. Which is it?

                  “I advocate for wide curb lanes and nothing more extensive than that.”

                  From a car enthusiast’s perspective, that might be the worst possible solution.

                  “For all your dancing and struggling there remains roads for motorized vehicles only and no such thing for bicycles. As I have told you multiple times previously, bicycle trails are in practice not even primarily for bicycles.”

                  “In practice”, just from what I see around, I’d guess that at least 99% of non-urban road use is motorized, maybe more. But if I say anything like that, suddenly “popularity doesn’t determine anything.”

                  “It’s a political naming, it has no bearing on reality.”

                  Kind of like those “bicycles and pedestrians prohibited” signs on freeway ramps which are ignored with impunity by people who want someone to give them a ride or just don’t want to bother using any of the alternative routes?

                  “Roads remain for general traffic except for limited access highways. Tough shit that you don’t like it. I only bring up the fact that bicycle trails are not for bicycles when discussing the speed limits upon them and when people like you moan that they exist or someone you think should be using them isn’t. ”

                  If bicycle trails don’t exist, then why complain about pedestrians clogging them up? “A bicycle trail is supposed to be for bicycles.” That sounds pretty clear to me, and I agree with it.

                  On top of which, “except for limited access highways?” Says who? Who decides what the exceptions should be, and how do they decide that? How are their decisions not just as much an infringement on your rights as anything I’ve ever said? This is a serious question, and I want a serious answer.

                  “Take your manufactured BS and shove up where the sun doesn’t shine. You get to shove words in my mouth. You’re getting to the point where you’re more sickening than Clover.”

                  Sorry, but you really do seem to want it both ways.

                  Bikeways are ruined by pedestrians, but when I point out that this is exactly the same as my saying that roads are ruined by bicycles, suddenly bikeways don’t exist because of the pedestrians who ruined them.

                  Misuse nullifies the validity of bikeways, but not of limited-access highways.

                  When I wanted non-drivers off the mountain passes, you insisted angrily that you had the right to ride your bicycle on any public road at any time because your taxes paid for them too, but now you’re fine with some OTHER public roads being for cars only, based entirely on some frequently-disregarded signage – and I thought the entire thrust of libertarianism was that such arbitrary distinctions were immoral and illegitimate.

                  So you’re fine with the idea of bikeways, and you’re even fine with limited-access highways, but any road that’s even slightly interesting to drive on must be open to nonmotorized use 24/7/365 unless privately owned, because anything else is statism. But in principle, what’s the difference? If some kingly regulator somewhere can declare that only drivers should be allowed on the freeway, then why can’t they do the same to an old mountain backroad? What makes one totalitarian and the other perfectly fine?

                  In the end, it doesn’t matter if bicyclists actually have a place to themselves or not. My entire point is, if they do/did have one, you don’t/wouldn’t have a problem with it. But for drivers to have a place of their own is selfish fascism… unless it’s a boring freeway, then you’re fine with it for reasons I legitimately don’t understand.

                  • Automobile manufacturers lobbied to get jaywalking laws passed in the 1920s.

                    “The very word jaywalk is an interesting—and not historically neutral—one. Originally an insult against bumptious “jays” from the country who ineptly gamboled on city sidewalks, it was taken up by a coalition of pro-automobile interests in the 1920s, notes historian Peter D. Norton in his book Fighting Traffic. “Before the American city could be physically reconstructed to accommodate automobiles, its streets had to be socially reconstructed as places where cars belong,” he writes. “Until then, streets were regarded as public spaces, where practices that endangered or obstructed others (including pedestrians) were disreputable. Motorists’ claim to street space was therefore fragile, subject to restrictions that threatened to negate the advantages of car ownership.” And so, where newspapers like the New York Times once condemned the “slaughter of pedestrians” by cars and defended the right to midblock crossings—and where cities like Cincinnati weighed imposing speed “governors” for cars—after a few decades, the focus of attention had shifted from marauding motorists onto the reckless “jaywalker.”

                    https://slate.com/human-interest/2009/11/a-defense-of-jaywalking.html

                  • Another long tortured post of yours that is nothing but an attempt to insult me because I won’t stop bicycling on roads.

                    “So, are bicycle trails nonexistent or misused? They can’t be both.”

                    I’ll explain it to you slower this time. Bicycle trails are _ADVERTISED_ to be like bicycle expressways. The political reality is that they are not. And if bicyclists were to try and get the dog walkers, roller bladers, joggers, and more off the bicycle trails the only ones who end up banned would be bicyclists. That’s why there are trails with 8mph or 15mph speed limits. Because there is no place for bicyclists to have for themselves. Do you understand the difference between what something is advertised to be and what it really is? That’s the case. It’s not misuse, it is the desired political use.

                    “but I still think you should come to Alaska, and try driving from Anchorage to Wasilla some sunny day. You will see people walking and riding on the freeway”

                    It’s your choice to live out on the frontier. If you want a road system with a grid I would suggest Chicago and its southern suburbs. Nice grid with lots of A to B options.

                    “If you’d like, I can go find”

                    Go for it. Find where I made any argument remotely like the ones you assigned me here. You won’t because I have never advocated removing automobiles from the roads or for anything more than wide curb lanes or carving out bike routes on grid system side streets instead of taking away space from general traffic on the arterial roads.

                    “That is genuinely news to me, not even joking.”

                    Then you have problems reading and comprehending.

                    “Or they exist, but get clogged up with people who shouldn’t be there. Which is it?”

                    They don’t exist. The name ‘bike trail’, ‘bike lane’, and so on are like ‘patriot act’.

                    “From a car enthusiast’s perspective, that might be the worst possible solution.”

                    The public way is not your racetrack. It is the public way. The wide curb lane is best to accommodate the widest variety of road traffic.

                    “Kind of like those “bicycles and pedestrians prohibited” signs on freeway ramps which are ignored with impunity”

                    I’ve seen one guy bicycling on the shoulder of an interstate in my entire life. ONE. I live in a metro area of several million people and I’ve seen it once. Clearly they are not ignored with impunity.

                    “A bicycle trail is supposed to be for bicycles.” That sounds pretty clear to me, and I agree with it.

                    What you are failing to grasp is that it’s not. It’s a political name. All bicycle facilities get filled with other users. Chicago just deployed these stupid motorized scooters. Guess where they told people to ride them? In the bike lanes. They aren’t supposed to be on the trails. No motorized vehicles allowed. Guess where they are used too? On the trails.

                    Things are created as dedicated bicycle spaces and then everyone decides to use them for other things. From parking cars to electric scooters. This is one of my arguments for wide curb lanes. Wide curb lanes are for general traffic and thus the idiocy is kept at a minimum.

                    “Bikeways are ruined by pedestrians”

                    You don’t get it. Bikeways are FOR pedestrians. That’s why they get speed limits. There’s no need for a speed limit on an actual bikeway because the limit of how fast a bicycle can go is good enough.

                    “Misuse nullifies the validity of bikeways, but not of limited-access highways.”

                    Again, one guy on a bicycle in my life I’ve seen on limited access highway. ONE. Care to guess how many pedestrians I’ve encountered on bike trails? tens maybe hundreds of thousands.

                    Just that time I tried to ride the lakefront bike trail before the grateful dead concert in the 1990s….

                    “but now you’re fine with some OTHER public roads being for cars only”

                    Are you dumb or dishonest Clover? Limited access highways are paid for through fuel taxes alone. Surface streets are paid for through a mix of fuel, property, and general fund taxes. If there were no automobiles there would still need to be roads. That portion of the taxation more than covers bicyclists.

                    “So you’re fine with the idea of bikeways”

                    The idea, but that’s all they are, an idea in 21st century USA. Don’t you want bicyclists off “your” roads?

                    “but any road that’s even slightly interesting to drive on must be open to nonmotorized use 24/7/365″

                    Again, the public way is not your racecourse. You must deal with the fact other traffic will be there. What do you not understand about the purpose of the public way? It’s for general traffic. That’s what it is for. Enjoyment is a part of general traffic but like any of the other users its tempered with the fact there are other users.

                    ” But for drivers to have a place of their own is selfish fascism”

                    Oh for f’s sake. The public way has existed for thousands of years. You don’t have a got damn’d right to reserve it for yourself.

      • Cycling traffic in Denver is just as bad as I-25. Constant traffic jam. In fact it might be worse just because of the mixed use and many riders’ lack of ability.

        When I first moved back out here I wanted to ride in Boulder to see what a “bike friendly” city was like. It was literally stop and go traffic on the bike paths. That was 15 years ago, I’d hate to see what it is like today.

        If someone actually tried to go 15 MPH on the bike paths in Denver they probably would be a safety problem. But that’s not what the cops will do. They won’t try to enforce the speed limit in congested areas, only out where the trails open up.

        • Hey RK,

          I visit a buddy of mine in Denver a few times a year and I always bring my bikes. I have found that when you ride matters quite a lot. When I visit, I have the luxury of not being on a schedule, thus I ride at times when the trails are pretty sparsely populated.

          Cheers,
          Jeremy

          • Sure, but it was never that way on the Denver trails, except near confluence park and out by Chatfield. One could pretty much ride with plenty of space any time with occasional pockets of congestion. Last year I rode the Platte River trial into town it was pretty bad the whole way. Granted it was a weekend, but still. Even the next day I rode the Cherry Creek trail at 08:00 on Sunday and it was very busy (and not just hardcore riders).

            The other thing that I noticed was a massive increase in shirtless old men jogging. Looked like a Joe Biden look-alike convention was in town…

            • Hey RK,

              “The other thing that I noticed was a massive increase in shirtless old men jogging. Looked like a Joe Biden look-alike convention was in town…”

              Ughh, that’s an awful mental image.

              Cheers,
              Jeremy

      • Hi Jeremy this is great. Bike riders subject to the same harassment as motorists. Then they may come out on our side. Evens everything out between the 2 wheelers and more than 2 wheelers.

  9. Taking an hour or longer to go to your slave yob,,, return home,,, when it used to take 15-20 minutes…. And a question Eric…. Will the AGW’s be forced to have these or, since they’re trained, will they still have their autonomous 700 hp Chargers? I’ll guess the latter.

  10. I think I’ve already told Eric, but I have had to endure this garbage myself, already. The newest cars come with radar-active cruise, no option to deselect it’s function, other than to not use cruise. It will, without warning begin to slow to the speed of the traffic you are approaching, regardless of the fact that you are in the left lane, and none of them are. Regardless of their speed, it will not pass the pack running in the lane to either side., even if your lane is empty, and clearly unobstructed. Having done so without warning, as was my 1st experience, it then makes YOU the obstacle in the fast lane, an an additional hindrance to others, even you you merely wish to maintain the legal posted speed limit, and move on your way past the zombiefied conga line on your right. It WILL sit and tag along behind the rest, which almost invariably some others are already doing. If you wish to get anywhere independent of the “line leader”, you must disengage cruise entirely, and drive without it’s “assistance”, aka autonomously, under the true meaning of the word, not the twistedly perverse inversion of the term as used by Uncle and his worshipers.
    The bottom line is, as Eric has been trying to get across to people, this “safety tech” does NOT function in the manner you would believe it to do, nor as it is presented to you by the “salesmen”. And folks, once your stuck with it, good luck trying to send it back! You’ve all heard the joke about “unscrewing a lightbulb”, yes? The same applies here, and you won’t like what is being “birthed”, but you’ll be stuck with it a lot longer!
    And in that spirit, I give you this to enjoy:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqesEYUXr78

  11. Eric,

    Come on man!

    It’s going to be Valhalla and you know it.

    Eat, work, sleep, shit, rinse and repeat. Who could ask for anything more?

    • Hi T,

      Do you remember that old ’60s BBC series, The Prisoner? It was a sneak peak into our future. Soon, we will all live in the Village.

  12. Though you’re likely right, self-driving cars COULD exceed the speed limit. Hell, they have a race series for self driving cars now! It’s called Roborace.

      • I get that, and that’s why I don’t like self-driving cars. My only point was that they COULD be made to go faster, though they won’t thanks to the legal issues you brought up.

        • Legal issues are the reason why Japan’s and China’s high speed trains routinely go 200 to 300 mph faster than America’s?

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