My Core Values Test: Bicycle Lanes = Taking My Car Away = Death of Independence and Liberty

by Erick J. Aune, AICP, Sante Fe, New Mexico

My job requires the careful planning and implementation of bicycle lanes for a County. In fact several plans, including the Sustainable Growth Management Plan and Bicycle Master Plan, clearly identify the need and means by which lanes shall be created. As I have been made very aware, being falsely accused as an agent of the United Nations and all, that carrying out such policies is a clear directive through governance to eliminate my choice to drive an automobile. Such infringement is reminiscent of the tyranny of the King of Britain so eloquently and brutally outlined in the Declaration of Independence: “A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” However, an objective and practical review of such policies reveals an advancement of choice and options for the “free people” and not a limitation imposed upon them.

By empathetically recognizing perceived “limitations” on the blessings of liberty itself, - “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”

I can first honor the absolute power and importance of liberty and simultaneously I enjoy a direct and clear correlation as to the advancement of liberty via the allowance of choices for free people to choose the car, the bicycle, or a horse and buggy, and assemble at town halls and strike down tyrannical bicycle policies.

With unabashed irony, I love my job and honestly believe the advancement of liberty, independence, and security can be found at the core of most policies striving for sustainability.

Erick J. Aune, AICP, has over 18 years of community development experience in the Southwest. He currently serves Santa Fe County, NM as the Senior Transportation Planner.

Published in the December 2013/January 2014 Issue

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