What Would Freedom Mean Without the Freedom of the Road?
As we pause from our labors this week to celebrate another Independence Day, it’s a good time to reflect a little on the question of whether the liberties our Founders cherished and fought for are flourishing or diminishing, expanding or contracting, here in “the land of the free.”
But how do we measure freedom’s ebb and flow?
Some might ask whether our courts are protecting or undermining the Bill of Rights; whether lawmakers and regulators are imposing rules that increase or decrease our personal freedom; whether the spirit of independence and self-reliance that fueled the American Revolution is still burning brightly or seems totally burnt out.
Or think for a minute about the fundamental personal freedoms that we too often take for granted, like the unfettered autonomy and mobility we enjoy as motorists and road-users. What would the American dream be without that? Many Americans think of the “freedom of the road” as a birthright -- as something as quintessentially American as baseball or apple pie -- but new roadblocks to that freedom are being erected or proposed nearly every day.
Road-users suddenly seem unwelcome on the pavement we pay for, as lanes meant for cars and trucks are taken away and “repurposed” for the uses of buses, bicyclists and car-poolers. The gas taxes we already pay aren’t high enough for politicians, so they angle for new ways to extract revenues, like exorbitant “fees” and unjustified new toll lanes.
We’re lectured and hectored by politicians about what vehicles to choose and what form of transportation to use. “Road rationing” is in fashion, not road expansion or modernization. Our horizons as drivers are narrowing, not widening. And one key to living the American dream as we see it -- our freedom to drive -- seems in danger of being snatched away.
The Freedom to Drive Coalition provides a unified voice for Colorado’s undervalued, forgotten, disrespected road-users. We advocate for individuals, commuters, recreationists, families, farmers and ranchers, businesses and organizations from all corners of Colorado, urban and rural, who are prepared to defend their interests and rights as road-users and motorists.
Here are some of the issues we’re involved in.
We support the freedom of citizens to travel Colorado in the vehicle of their choice, on properly maintained and modernized roads, without improper political or bureaucratic interference.
We’ll fight to preserve the ability of drivers to choose their own vehicle, in response to the unique personal or professional circumstances they face, and we’ll support “Colorado solutions” crafted by and for Coloradans. That means we reject the puzzling push to put an unelected board of California bureaucrats in charge of Colorado’s cleaner car efforts and to shift the costs onto working families, small businesses, and rural residents. This isn’t just reckless and costly; it also represents an unprecedented surrender of state sovereignty and end-run of the democratic process.
We oppose municipal “traffic calming” or “road rationing” measures aimed at creating congestion by repurposing vehicle lanes for bicycles, scooters and buses. And we’ll combat the rapid disappearance of parking spaces, and the substitution of space maximums for parking space minimums on new construction projects.
We’ll demand adequate transportation funding from state and federal funds, and oppose regulatory rules that complicate and drive-up the costs of federally-funded projects.
We don’t believe politicians or regulators are equipped or authorized to pick “winners” and “losers” in the vehicle market, or to dole-out tax subsidies or other “incentives” and preferences to a privileged subset of vehicle-buyers or vehicle-makers.
We’ll fight punitive taxation and variable tolling of traditional motor vehicles as a means to increase the presence of state-favored vehicles; and
We’ll challenge any other unreasonable measure that restricts a motorist’s ability to travel the state at the time and in the manner they deem necessary for their personal or professional lives.
The 4th of July is an ideal opportunity to declare our independence as American road-users and vehicle consumers from overzealous political meddling, market manipulations, the diversion and misuse of tax dollars that rightfully should fund modernized roads, and the punitive, patronizing, anti-motorist attitudes we unfortunately see on the rise in the “land of the free.”
We’re done being disrespected, ignored, taken for granted, lectured-to and lorded-over by anti-road politicians and special interest groups. Please sign the petition below if you endorse this Road-Users Declaration of Independence and will support the work the Freedom to Drive Coalition is doing. Sign up today by clicking on JOIN US now.