Travels in Blue States

 By: George Noga – July 22, 2013
       Recently my wife and I took a vacation, driving from our home outside Orlando to Cape Cod and then back to the Washington, DC area from whence we took the auto train. We have driven extensively throughout the USA but not for decades in the deep dark blue northeastern states. Everything was copasetic while we drove from Florida through Virginia. Once we hit the blue states however, we began noticing abominations inflicted on motorists by government. Quickly sensing a pattern and understanding that these were not random atrocities, we began to make a list; this posting is the result.
“There was a pattern; these were not random acts of malevolence.”
     The most ubiquitious outrage was the doubling of fines for any reason and often for no apparent reason at all. In Florida speeding fines are doubled only when workers are present. Not so in blue states. All violations (not just speeding) are doubled whether or not workers are present – presumably even for non moving violations such as an expired tag. We encountered all the following signs. (1) “Intense enforcement zone – all fines doubled”; (2) “License suspended for two work area violations“; and (3) “Fines doubled when speed limit is 65 for speeding and other violations“. Fines were doubled for perhaps most of the miles we drove in blue states.
     The second most common ignominy pertained to rest stops, or the lack thereof – a matter of particular relevance to this septuagenarian. Blue state rest areas are few and far between and many (perhaps most) lack facilities. In Connecticut they (laudably) were renovating the rest areas; however, they closed consecutive ones instead of spacing them out. The real horror of the lack of public rest stops was having to exit the interstates to find commercial rest stops. This could require 30 minutes to get off and back on. Have I mentioned that blue state hospitality includes refusing rest rooms to those who don’t buy gas? Some blue states have designated certain rest areas only for vehicles over 5,000 pounds; I still haven’t figured that one out.
      Following are some of my other favorite blue state degradations.
  • You are forbidden to pump your own gas in New Jersey, Delaware and Oregon allegedly to create employment and for “safety“. I guess the other 47 states are dangerous.
  • In some places signs read “Up to $10,000 fine for littering“. Yes, folks, you read it right.
  • In many places there are street signs only for cross streets; good thing I had GPS.
  • There is a police presence in most work areas even for mowing alongside the highway.
  • In MA we encountered a 3-mile line behind a street sweeper, which (you guessed it) was escorted by a police cruiser. They were totally oblivious to the horror they had created.
  • Lanes were blocked off at rush hour for no apparent reason creating monstrous jams.
  • Exits are not numbered by mileage as in the rest of America.
  • Interstate 95 is a toll road in New Jersey.
  • There were numerous places where there was only 200 feet for double merges, i.e. for cars simultaneously entering and exiting limited access roads. This is uber dangerous.
      So, why this jeremiad about asinine blue state highway rules and practices? Granted, this subject is not on a par with the debt crisis or even documenting the similiarities between Barack Obama and King George III as in the last post. My reasons are straightforward.
“Government is a malevolent force in all matters both big and small.”
      This post illustrates the profound differences between red states and blue states even in relatively minor matters such as traffic rules. Second, it shows governments in blue states have run amok and are insensitive (one might say, hostile) to the comfort, safety and convenience of citizens. Finally, it proves yet again that government is fundamentally a malevolant force in all matters both big and small. The bigger the government, the more malevolent it becomes.