‘Editorial: Ban cars in Boulder’

Copied from the Daily Camera:

Boulder cyclists wouldn’t be caught in traffic like this if we banned cars from the city.

Boulder cyclists wouldn’t be caught in traffic like this if we banned cars from the city. (Paul Aiken / Staff Photographer)

We have emerged from our Go Boulder re-education camp refreshed, thoroughly modern, and armed with a brand-new proposal for city transport:

Ban cars.

You heard us.

We’re calling this program “right-riding” because we’re right and you know it.

Don’t act as if you’re surprised. We’ve been headed this way a long time. Our sisters on the county commission quit maintaining subdivision roads years ago. We call the potholes “auto bombs” and they’ve been very effective. Within the city, we’ve built so many speed bumps and flashing crosswalks that most of the advantages of cars have long since disappeared. Trust us, you won’t miss them after a while.

We have tasked Go Boulder with developing a plan to accomplish this ambitious, progressive agenda. We feel Boulder should be the first in the nation on this. We do not want some arrogant berg like Cambridge or Berkeley beating us to it.

Our plan relies upon parking garages on the edges of the city buried deep underground so as not to mar the beautiful vistas. These underground bunkers should include carbon-absorbing cement and airlocks between the auto parks and bicycle storage areas to create carbon-free bike zones (CFBZs). In these CFBZs, humans will be required to exhale into biodegradable bags. We will provide the biodegradable bags.

We will also provide free bicycles at these locations for commuters. We will need a credit-card number in case they go missing. We’re not just giving away bikes to out-of-towners. If commuters are carrying too much stuff to take on a bike, they’ll just have to leave it in their cars. Stuff is highly overrated.

We have calculated the extra time it will take commuters to reach their destinations within the city by hybrid-electric bus, bike, skateboard or on foot. Our sophisticated computer modeling reveals it will be an average of only 12 seconds. We think that is a small price to pay for the safety and reduced carbon footprint we will achieve, to say nothing of the cordiality and communal spirit bikes bring out in people. Well, most people.

We are aware that certain, less-desirable portions of our population cannot ride bicycles for one self-absorbed reason or another. For these people, we propose a city subsidy to underwrite a major expansion of the pedicab and nascent pedisled industries. We will encourage Internet entrepreneurs to develop Uber-like apps to provide pedicabs and pedisleds wherever and whenever they are needed. (Pedisleds will be awesome!) The jobs pedaling these vehicles will pay enough to provide student employment but not enough to encourage more in-commuters.

This will be a fairly expensive proposition. We propose to pay for it with a substantial head tax on employment, a time-tested approach in other cities to require that commercial concerns and outsiders pay for infrastructure improvements provided for their benefit. Frankly, we have too much employment in Boulder. It’s causing all these traffic and development headaches in the first place. Everybody knows this but most people are too afraid to say it out loud.

We hope to schedule a public hearing on this proposal in the near future. We urge all bike riders to attend. We urge everybody else to stay home or, better yet, attend Go Boulder’s re-education camp, which is really fun.

We know a few reactionary elements will show up anyway. Don’t worry about them. Just between us, city council is in the bag.

— Dave Krieger, for the editorial board. Email: kriegerd@dailycamera.com. Twitter: @DaveKrieger

My comment? A lot of Boulderites will take this brilliant piece of satire seriously, and support a ban on cars . . . For them, the following suggestion:

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