Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's different in Garden City

Garden City... Boise's puny red-headed step brother... is notorious among cyclists in these parts for having closed off a section of the multi-modal Greenbelt. In a nutshell... when a developer (who now just happens to be Garden City's mayor, John Evans) put together an exclusive riverside subdivision, the state deeded the river-front property to Garden City, with the stipulation that it would be maintained as a "public path." Since bicycles weren't specifically mentioned in the legal agreement, and since the homeowners in the exclusive subdivision didn't want bicycles (for whatever reason), the city maintained the pathway unpaved and off-limits to cyclists.

So - the "vision" of a 40-plus mile, river's edge multi-use non-motorized paved path has a roadblock, near dead center.

(I was disappointed to read that Mayor Evans, and two of his Council toadies, are running for reelection unopposed this November. Are they that popular?)

Strangely, however, the Garden City stretch of the Greenbelt is NOT off-limits to automobiles.

This afternoon I was bicycling on the south side, when suddenly there are two cop cars driving toward me. (On pavement that is barely wide enough to accommodate a cop car.) One cop in each car.

I pulled off the pavement and threw my hands up in dismay. Cop number 1 rolled down his window and asked, "What's the problem?"

I explained I was disappointed to see POLICE CARS on a path that is clearly marked NO MOTOR VEHICLES. (How can they expect the common folk to obey rules that they don't obey?)

Of course, the police (and all "public servants") are above the law. He said matter-of-factly, "These are official emergency vehicles and we are serving a warrant have a nice day." Which certainly didn't include any explanation as to why they were driving on the Greenbelt.

As a rule, I try to respect law enforcement officers. They have a tough job, and I'm sure they are involved in a lot of adversarial situations. But I sincerely believe they would command more respect from us commoners, if they did their level best to NOT put themselves "above the law" unless absolutely necessary. Nobody respects aristocrats who have one set of rules for themselves, and another for the common folk, whether they be in Garden City or Washington, D.C.

Oh - one more thing. Do they learn in Cop School that Rule Number 1 is "Never Smile"? Cops who seem empathetic and compassionate make a much more positive impression, at least on this commoner.


The Boise Picayune said...

Running Unopposed... They're not that popular. The electorate is that pathetic!

Police... You get what you pay for.

Seth said...

I've seen the MOTORcycle cops on the greenbelt in these parts a few times this summer.