Saturday, September 23, 2006

Motorcycle Incentives

As someone who splits his time driving through open territory and overcrowded cities, I often find myself complaining about congestion. I know, I know... EVERYONE in overcrowded cities complains about traffic, but they're in the unique position of being forced to deal with it and, as such, are victims of a certain level of "institutionalization" to bad traffic. I, on the hand, usually only drive through shitty traffic when I feel like it. Since I love Los Angeles and San Diego, I usually feel like it quite often, but...


So one day on the I-405, and everybody goes through this, I notice a couple of motorcycles weaving their way through traffic, doing at least 35 MPH while everyone else was stagnating at 15 or less (in California, motorcycles are still allowed to drive between lanes and between cars). And it occurred to me, why doesn't the government offer mondo incentives for people to drive motorcycles all of the time?

Think about it. Four motorcycles can fit in the amount of roadway that a single normal-sized car requires. Should everyone drive a motorcycle, it would theoretically increase the amount of available road by a multiple of four. An eight-lane freeway would suddenly become a 32-lane freeway. A 50-space parking garage would suddenly become a 200-space parking garage.

And, shit, everyone would use less gasoline. Whats the average for motorcycles these days? 40 MPG? 50?

Now, before you think you're clever because you're figuring out why this won't work, let me beat your ignorant ass to the punch. There are, quite obviously, several issues with this idea. Let's go through some of them one at a time...

1) People are still going to need their station wagons, their trucks, their sedans, their vans, etc. Duh. I know this, everyone knows this. Moms have to take their children to school. Neighbors have to help other neighbors pick up large furniture. Smugglers still have to hide a dozen illegal aliens in the back of their beat-up 70s Chevy van with a Led Zeppelin tape stuck in the cassette player. A motorcycle can not possibly replace larger vehicles 100%. But... all of those people who are simply driving to work? Or simply driving themselves to college classes? Or a movie? Or even a date? Shit... drive a damn motorcycle.

2) The weather doesn't always allow for motorcycles. Really? I thought precipitation and wind were just figments of my imagination. Wow... you are SO smart for figuring that out. Yes... cities like Chicago, Denver, New York, will have HUGE problems instituting a seasonal motorcycle schedule. In fact, I'm not even suggesting that they even try. However, cities like Los Angeles, Anaheim, Las Vegas, San Diego? Their weather is riding weather damn near every day. There's no reason they shouldn't do it.

3) Not everyone can ride a motorcycle. Hello??? This is an "incentive" program. Free lessons for people who buy motorcycles. Duh. We certainly don't want any more Roethlisberger incidents.

And there you have it. There are other benefits, as well. My rare idyllic side has visions of people actually conversing while stopped at traffic lights because, well, you're only a foot from the guy next to you. Who knows? Maybe motorcycles will help add to the human element of a big city.

On second thought...


Anonymous said...

"Moms have to take their children to school."

The kids can be drug on the back of the motorcycle, like that dog in National Lampoon's Vacation. Except that we felt sorry for the dog.... :)

"Smugglers still have to hide a dozen illegal aliens in the back of their beat-up 70s Chevy van."

Bah, why bother with the van? If the border guards try to stop you, just sue them for excessive force and send them to seems to work like that already.

Are you sure you want to converse with the person next to you? Have you seen some of these drivers? :)

Posted by Geoffry on September 23, 2006 - Saturday - 2:07 PM

Anonymous said...

More silly than, say, a small California town mandating the use of golf carts within city limits?

Posted by JeffScape on September 23, 2006 - Saturday - 5:26 PM

Anonymous said...

what about the people who tint their windows almost complete black and smoke up at red lights?

what about those dates for high schoolers where they can't go to each other's houses so they find a place behind a store and fuck in the back seats?

what about those dumb obese fucks who sued the big chain fast food places? you know they didn't wait till they got home to swallow their big macs whole cause jerry springer was on and they didn't want to miss rednecks tearing each other's clothes off.

what about farting and forcing your friends to smell the gas on your way to class?

and dear, oh dear, our television obsessed society, there's not a lot of places to put lcd screens on a motercycle cause god knows little jimmy can't be left unentertained driving down the street to get a happy meal.

and of course, the greatest of road experiences - road head. yes yes, how the hell is my g/f gonna do that to me without that seat next to mine? please, enlighten me on that one.

Posted by josh on September 23, 2006 - Saturday - 11:44 PM

Anonymous said...

You'll shoot your eye out kid.

Posted by Johnny O™ on March 24, 2007 - Saturday - 4:36 PM

PattiKen said...

Hey, I'm all for that government incentive. Soon enough, they'll all be knocked off, thus reducing traffic congestion even more, help with population explosion, and fund the organ banks, and all in one fell swoop (so to speak).

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