Danger: Journalist With Windshield Perspective Ahead

Today’s featured post from the Streetsblog Network comes from member blog Greater Greater Washington. David Alpert has identified an all-too-common strain of a problem familiar to our readers, Entitled Driver Syndrome. A particularly dangerous variant of this common affliction, writes Alpert, is Entitled Driving Journalist Syndrome, or EDJS:

231502.jpgPhoto by PDXdj.

This week, epidemiologists discovered a particularly virulent case
of EDJS in WTOP’s Adam Tuss, who penned a series of columns which hit
the double whammy of capitalizing on motorist frustration and financial
insecurity at the same time. Each starts out by saying, "Money is
something everyone is trying to hold onto right now, so why does it
seem like local governments are trying to pick your pocket? This week
WTOP takes a look at some of the tricky ways drivers are falling victim
to revenue generators around the region."

These poor victimized drivers have to contend with such "tricky" things as being ticketed for parking illegally or paying something slightly closer to a market rate for parking.
The parking meter column, for example, exposes the absolute outrage
that, as DC raises parking meter fares, some of the blocks still have
the old rate, and sometimes the rates on a block change from the old
rate to the new in a single day when DDOT gets the chance to update
them. What a travesty. Government can’t move fast enough, so they’re
moving too fast.

So far, none of Tuss’s columns have cited "swiping your
SmarTrip on the Metro" as one of the ways government "picks your
pocket." One of the symptoms of EDJS is "transit blindness": the
afflicted individual seems to see anything that hinders the
unrestricted, cost-free movement of automobiles (tolls, gas taxes,
parking fees, buildings that are in the way of more lanes, sidewalks,
rivers, etc.) as an unwarranted government intrusion, but that costs
such as transit fares are just "paying your share."

Got any examples of EDJS you’d like to alert us to? Hit us in the comments.

Other stories from around the network: Sustainable Savannah wonders why bicyclists and pedestrians have to advocate for infrastructure while motorists can just sit back and enjoy the ride; WorldChanging examines a plan to revitalize Toronto’s modernist highrises; and Trains for America has a video on how high-speed rail could rejuvenate the country’s economy.

  • gecko

    There are considerable asymmetries in perceptions of “serious” transport in terms of size, power, expense, complexity, etc. even in the recent, very important, and highly laudable New York City report on public bicycle systems: “Bike-Share Opportunities in New York City, 2009”, since scale and technology development (none) recommendations fall significantly below what a “serious” cost-benefit analysis could potentially indicate good economic sense.

  • Here’s another one from CNN’s Drew Griffin.

    “Derailing $8B for trains”

    If the link doesn’t work then copy/paste this: “http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/politics/2009/03/16/griffin.high.speed.rail.cnn”

    After watching this I sent him an email where I asked if this was a report or a commentary. And if it was a report, then next time spare us the snide, dismissive tone. I thought I was watching Fox News.

    Drew Griffin was definitely drinking the Hatorade when he put out this whiny litany of cons for high-speed. His “expert” from USC didn’t put out any specific alternatives. Drew couldn’t be bothered to explore (even a little bit) how automobile and oil interests may have lobbied to undermine the 1965 High-speed Rail Act.

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