Have you heard about the little plan to curtail automobile traffic in Oxford (UK)? In sum, motorists will be able to travel freely in a designated area closest to their home, but should they get itchy feet and would like to drive to an area yea-over, they need to apply for a special certificate.
A motorist is allowed to have 100 days a year where he or she can transcend the borders of their little neighborhood, but there will be paperwork. If one chooses to travel 101 days outside of one’s zone, there will be fines. Municipal cameras will kindly keep an eye on license plates to ensure compliance.
Now, the astute reader will notice the similarities this scheme has to a strategy put forth by the WEF: to end private car ownership completely. The reasoning is thus: climate change is poised to foment such dire consequences, drastic action must be taken.
Evidently it is much easier to monitor the comings and goings of common folk than to inquire into the costs of the privileges and benefits of the self-appointed ruling class has on the planet.
The plan in Oxford is likely to work. Oxford is a community with a large, transient student population. While students might have personal cars, in the day-to-day many likely find it easier to walk or bike or to take a bus rather than to deal with the hassle of finding parking (let alone affordable parking) at their destination. It is very likely that the student’s car, even if kept at home, is charged by some entity for parking.
Again, as a significant proportion of the population are students, it is unlikely that they will using their cars regularly to take them beyond the confines of the hamster wheel of their daily life, and certainly not for 100 days a year. In short, students will not be affected very much by the reduced-driving plan. After all, they are supposed to be going to classes and studying and preparing for their future.
Outside of London, even with the fabled British Rail criss-crossing the countryside, the preferred method of commute is by car. Unsurprisingly, there is resistance from the middle-class—the people who have to get up in the morning, get in a car, and drive to a place of employment that is likely not two skips down the street.
Keeping down the complaints might prove to be a little more difficult for the authorities, but as Mr. Trudeau has showed with the truck drivers, it can be done. It may be a little messy and painful, and a law may be broken here and there, but it can be done.
In theory, the idea of a car-free, nearly medieval city-center is very appealing. Who does not like the idea of sauntering down the cobbled streets and stopping to enjoy a coffee or another libation at an outdoor table, and not to have one’s view blotted by a line of parked cars, or by a line of cars creeping along?
Yes, this is a dream, but having cars is a reality. In Pontevedra, Spain, cars have been successfully taken out of the city center. Part of the plan was to provide underground parking for cars on the periphery of the city. But none of this has the “stick” provision of the UK plan. The mayor and city leaders strove to build a community where everyone valued the very pleasant outcome.
To keep people in “zones”—now, on a slightly voluntarily basis, but in the future, perhaps not so voluntarily—is akin to keeping them in prison. While the bars may not be visible, they exist. Controlling city traffic is a problem that can be tackled, but it can be done without punishing the citizens who choose to live and pay taxes in a specific area.
But if the problem is not city traffic, but if it is something as dubious as climate change, perhaps we all should be shunted back into caves—the sooner the better.
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