Guest columnist Andy Morris-Friedman: Time to wake up and smell the fumes

  • mactrunk mactrunk

Published: 9/9/2023 7:00:07 AM

I have been reading with both shock and horror (mostly horror) about the new so-called redesign of Main Street Northampton. The truth is that they’re turning the Musante Mile into a major mess. I live in Hadley and perhaps it’s not my place to comment on what the neighboring nabobs of Noho have in their noggins. It’s not like anyone from there ever complained about our Route 9. But what the heck.

In my opinion they need to make downtown more car accepting, not less. Most Americans drive cars, we are the majority, we rule. Yet pedestrians get to cross our streets, but we can’t drive on their sidewalks. That’s reverse discrimination!

If you want to ride your bike in safety, move to Holland. We’re not going to let some lycra lunatics drive us out of our precious parking spaces and make us walk all the way from the parking garage to our favorite store. In Northampton that’s uphill! Pedestrians will not replace us. Cyclists and walkers don’t mind walking because they’re in such good physical shape to begin with. Drivers, on the other hand, can’t be expected walk places.

Do you want to waste even more money lining the sidewalks of Northampton with oxygen tanks and defibrillators? The truth is that sidewalks are really just the first step in a communist conspiracy to bring car culture to a crashing halt. First they’ll want sidewalks on cross streets, then crosswalks on side streets. Where will the sidewalks end? We need to curb the expansion of sidewalks, then remove them so there’s more places to park.

Better yet, with no sidewalks all stores could have curbside pickup and then we’d never have to get out of our cars to shop.

Why line the walkways with trees? If you want trees, go to the park. Did you know the Northampton farmers market has a program that gives bikers $2.50 vouchers every time they ride their bike there? Patriotic Americans like me who drive cars have to pay to park, but radical cycling extremists get paid. How is that fair to me? Instead, the city government should be paying us $3 to park there. That way we get more than the bikers do. That’s called the free market.

Forty-two thousand, nine hundred and fifteen people died in car accidents in the U.S. in 2021 and nobody cares. Yet they say I should be subjected to the inconvenience of a downtown redesign to improve safety for others, when it’s already perfectly safe for drivers. No driver in Northampton has ever been killed in a collision with a bicycle. That’s called “survival of the fittest.” Oh, that’s right, I forgot that I don’t believe in evolution.

The the truth is we should be making Northampton better for cars and not for people. Some people think that bringing more cars into downtown is a bad thing. But like all complicated social, economic and environmental problems, this has a simple solution, which is wrong. Build an underground highway into Northampton with plenty of free parking that would double the number of drivers.

And then, above the ground, we could build a third highway that went right through the middle of town, tripling the traffic. Imagine three times the amount of traffic in downtown Northampton as there is now. That, America, is our past, present and our future.

Time to wake up and smell the fumes. It’s what they did in Boston, the South Bronx, Detroit, Tulsa and hundreds of cities across America, and nobody’s complained, until recently.

Andy Morris-Friedman lives in Hadley.


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