Monday, January 18, 2016

And the Oscar goes to...

This year has just barely started and we can already name several new nominations to the Biggest Moron Award. Or the Village Idiot Prize. Whatever you call it, these people do their best to keep bicyclists off "their" streets (Only U.S. nominees are considered for this special prize):

5. Jon Cox, WY
You would think it should be safe to ride a bike or drive in the least populous U.S. state, but you would be wrong. Wyoming scores very high (#2) on the list of the most dangerous roads in America and state's Dept. of Transportation's chief Jon Cox makes sure his state will stay in top three for quite some time. Apparently, he believes that high collision rate on roads in Wyoming is not due to their poor design but drivers' and cyclists' irresponsibility. Even if he was partially right, he's not willing to fix the situation because... it's easier to blame others.

4. John Culberson, TX
If you have never heard about induced demand, go to Texas. John Culberson, the state representative who lives there, has never heard about it either. Maybe that's why he begged Congress for money to widen Katy Freeway in order to reduce congestion. The result? In 2011 during the rush hour it took about 47min to travel between downtown Houston and Pin Oak. After the highway widening, in 2014 you needed over 70min to cover the same distance. Good work Texas! Now not only you have the widest highway on Earth but you also spend much more time on this concrete desert. Not to mention that you didn't solve the traffic problem at all.
Cars, cars everywhere. The new Katy Freeway in Texas. (Found somewhere in the interwebs).
3. Jeff Jacoby, MA
Second runner up is our local road safety and traffic flow "specialist" - Jeff Jacoby from Boston Globe. He wrote so much nonsense in his newspaper that it could nearly instantly give him the first prize... if only there weren't bigger idiots than him (Hard to imagine but it happened!). Mr. Jacoby claims that bicycles should be banned from urban roads, cyclists pay no taxes (!) and should be licensed. But wait, there's more. Read it if you like. Meanwhile, I'm going to look who's in place #2.

2. Ed Orcutt, WA
State Rep. Ed Orcutt from Washington truly deserved his second place. Until just last week, he was the only serious candidate to the Biggest Moron Award. All that for one email where he described why bicyclists are big polluters and should likely be taxed more. That's because "a cyclist has an increased heart rate and respiration (and) that means the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider. Since CO2 is deemed to be a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclists are actually polluting when they ride." Right.

And the winner is...
1. Jay Houghton, MO
State Rep. Jay Houghton found a way to improve road safety in his district. He proposed a law, which would require every bicycle to be equipped with a fluorescent orange flag to make it better visible to drivers. Just this is seriously idiotic but once you realize that Mr. Houghton suggested the flag should be... 15 feet tall (over 4.5m), it's clear that he wins the competition. Congratulations Rep. Houghton for the most idiotic road safety law presented within the last year!
Hmm... I hope they don't have low bridges in Missouri.

No comments:

Post a Comment