Comments about ‘Letter: Ban horseless carriages’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 13 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

Ironically, the horseless carriage was considered an environmental improvement a century ago. Streets were full of horse droppings that piled high and attracted rodents and fostered disease.

Was just reading that bicycles outsell cars in most European countries, and why this works is that communities are more tightly developed, people live closer to their jobs, driving is expensive and a hassle (parking is challenging, unsubsidized gasoline), and public transit convenient and cost-effective (subsidized by the government).

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Banning them is such a draconian measure. But it seems to make some very vocal and narrow people happy... so it's probably going to happen.

The letter has a good point though... why aren't the people who wail about our air quality riding horses on bad air days?

I know horses pollute the air a little, but I'll bet all the horses downtown don't pollute the air as much as one car.

Bikes are another good option, but in the winter (when most inversions occur) not a real option. Bikes in the snow and slush with heavy traffic are not a good combination.

Bountiful, UT

It's interesting to note that SLC was one of the first cities to have traffic lights, but it was a controversial development at the time - some considered them to be an infringement upon their personal freedom and refused to abide by the red lights.

Of course, today, that notion seems silly, but America has always had a strong vein of thought toward liberty - with a few notable exceptions... slavery, cough, cough - which is a good thing, but we should probably periodically question some of our assumptions to make sure we're not straying into a mass insanity situation.

On the issue of horses & horseless carriages, I'll gladly give the right of way to anyone riding a Bison!

USS Enterprise, UT

To "Baron Scarpia" I don't think you understand Europe verry well.

The governments in Europe have made it so expensive to live in the coutryside that people are forced into high density housing. The streets were laid out hundreds of years ago with the idea of horses or people walking the streets. The areas were never designed for cars. So, as people were jammed in together, a car became less than useful because the local governments made it so difficult to own one.

As for the cost of gasoline in Europe, the high price in comparison to the US isn't due to subsides in the US. It is because Europe has huge taxes on gasoline.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Re "Utahs saw traffic lights as an infringement upon their personal freedom and refused to abide by the red lights"...

I suppose it was also only "Conservatives" who saw traffic lights as an infringement on their personal freedom...

Can you give us the factual info you base that comment on? I suspect it is just made up (as usual). The imaginations of a frenzied mind that wants to blame everything on Conservatives.

Bountiful, UT

2 Bits:

Google it. Mystery of Utah History blog. SLC got the first traffic lights in 1912, invented by a SLC policeman named Lester Wire, to relieve traffic congestion at 200 S. Main. The patent went to somebody else.

According to "historical reports", visitors from larger cities appreciated the traffic light, while Utahns frequently ignored it, thought it was a nuisance. It's not a giant leap to envision people being off-put by the new device and ignoring it, based on concepts of freedom.

No where did I assign any behavior to liberals or conservatives - you added that part. But I think in general the reaction against traffic lights is not so unusual, as the first child abuse cases were tried using animal cruelty laws, as it was previously felt that the government had no business interfering with the internal affairs of a family. (This is a fairly well known fact, part of the history of sociology.)

It's not so hard to imagine people feeling traffic lights were not just a nuisance, but an affront to individuals' right of way.

Bountiful, UT

2 bits:

I just found the info on a blog about Utah history. The inventor was a SLC policeman trying to relieve congestion on 200 S Main St, and the article mentioned that while visitors from larger cities were impressed, local Salt Lakers saw it as a nuisance and some refused to pay attention to the new gadget. This was in 1912, but the patent went to a person who implemented traffic lights back east.

I read somewhere else some of the objectors were claiming it interfered with their freedom, which is not so surprising. I didn't mention conservative or liberal, for all I know it was primarily gentile progressives who disliked the traffic light.

Murray, UT

If animals don't pollute, why was the government considering a pollution tax on every cow? Horses eat about the same stuff, so I would think that the emissions would be pretty similar. That steam that comes off horse's biscuits in cold weather isn't just water, you know.

But all in all, a very amusing article!

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I know about Lester Wire. Wasn't questioning that. I was questioning your assertion that Utahns saw it as a violation of their freedom.

I googled "Lester Wire" and "The Mystery of Utah History"... and nowhere did I see a report that Utahns OR Conservatives saw the newly invented traffic light as a violation of their freedom.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Should we just "Ban" everything the left doesn't like? Wouldn't that be nice?

I wonder if they would be so happy if we "banned" everything the "religious right" didn't like? Wouldn't that be nice?

Banning things is not the answer. Educating people is the answer.

Salt Lake City, UT

Red lights, when they do nothing, are a pain. Just sitting at an intersection, waiting for nobody. It does happen. AARGHH!

Bountiful, UT

Horses enjoy working if their working conditions are humane. Regulation needs to ensure that it is.

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