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Location: California, United States

I am a neolibertarian minded individual who feels that freedom and individual rights take precedence over the wants of government. I believe government exists to serve the people and not to protect us from ourselves. I am an advocate for private firearms ownership, smaller government, reduced taxes and freedom to live your life however you choose, providing you do not directly hurt others.

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A Feast For Crows
This latest installment of Gearge R. R. Martin's "A Song of Fire and Ice" series isn't quite as gripping as the previous books but is still a pretty good read.

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

LA Creates Traffic Nightmare to Honor Rosa Parks

According to KFI, a major Los Angeles radio station (AM 640), today the westbound Santa Monica Freeway (a.k.a. Interstate 10), was partially closed for roughly 20 minutes in the middle of rush hour so that a memorial service could be held to honor Rosa Parks. KFI news announcer Terri-Rae Elmer and traffic reporter Mike Nolan indicated that the two right-most lanes of the freeway were closed for about a mile, along with several on-ramps. This small portion of the freeway is named for the recently deceased Rosa Parks.

This is outrageous! How dare these idiots delay what probably amounted to over 100,000 commuters by closing a freeway without warning? According to KFI, this event was announced to traffic reporters mere minutes before it took place, leaving no time for the public to consider alternate routes or allow extra time to reach their destinations. How does creating a traffic disaster in Southern California help honor a woman who's fame came from refusing to give up her bus seat to a white person in 1955 Alabama?

I realize that Parks' actions were praiseworthy and that she has been credited as the catalyst that started the modern Civil Rights movement in America. Nevertheless, it is inexcusable that the California Highway Patrol and CalTrans would allow such a major traffic disruption when there are lots of other ways they could have held a memorial service for Parks. For those of you don't yet understand my ire, take a look at the following images. They are snapshots taken from during the time that this event took place.

This one was taken at 4:43PM, near the beginning of the event. Look for the section of the 10 freeway with a cluster of red dots (indicating stopped traffic) right below the "d" in "Hollywood".
This one was taken at 5:04PM, near the end of the event. Note the flashing red light at this location, indicating a "Sig Alert", a type of unplanned lane closure. Also, notice how the red dots now extend further west, as well as north and south of the original location. At this point, traffic is backed up for many miles in all directions.

This one was taken at 5:22PM, after the event was reported to have ended. Note how the traffic is still backed up for miles.

Public freeways should NEVER be blocked for a celebration, memorial service or other voluntary event. Even if you accept (which I don't) that closing freeway lanes somehow is a fitting tribute for Rosa Parks, why do it in the middle of rush hour? Apparently, the CHP felt either guilty or embarrassed for their part in this event as KFI's Terry-Rae Elmer reported that a CHP spokesperson called the radio station and denied closing these lanes. They claimed that they only closed a short connector and didn't really harm the flow of traffic. Keep in mind that Mike Nolan, KFI's "Eye in the Sky" was flying over the area and watching CHP assist with the lane closures and noting the horrific impact this event was having on traffic conditions.

Feel free to use these links to contact the California Highway Patrol and Caltrans and tell them what you think of their actions today.



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