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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Only In California

The land of fruits, nuts, and wacko liberals.
Taxpayers Fund Bambi’s Bridge
It appears that some California lawmakers have been watching too many Disney movies lately. A recent decision leads us to believe that they view local animals to be as human as the wisecracking, emotional animal characters in Disney movies. As a result, transportation money is being spent on four-legged travelers rather than those on four-wheels.

According to the Los Angeles Times (October 10, 2007), “a proposal for a $455,000 animal path over the 405 Freeway has riled residents….” The overpass is strangely not winning over the locals. “[They] say scarce transportation dollars should not be used to help deer and bobcats get around while humans remain stuck in endless traffic.” Have people forgotten that animals hate getting stuck in traffic, too?

The overpass won’t rile the animals, as they won’t even have to see the cars below- “traffic makes creatures skittish, [so] the bridge plan includes a 5-foot-high wall to block their view of the freeway and a 3-foot wall blocking their view of the bridge roadway.” Nice thoughts, but how will they even know to use the overpass? A local resident asked, ‘What are they going to do, have Doctor Doolittle standing there directing animals to the bridge?’” If Dr. Doolittle can’t, someone could hire The Lion King’s Mufasa to authoritatively direct the animals.

A magical kingdom full of animals could merit the construction of this overpass but, “[a biologist] said wildlife surveys show that at any time, there are about 15 bobcats between the 405 and 101 freeways, possibly 30 to 35 bobcats west of the 405 as far as Topanga Canyon and 135 to 160 deer in areas on both sides of the freeway.” It doesn’t sound like there are enough Bambis and Simbas to need an overpass. Instead, there surely are enough people who would be happy to sleep, sell drugs, and do other unspeakable acts in the safe confines of the overpass, scaring potential animal crossers away.

Other statistics challenge the need for the overpass. “There are other spots where animals can cross under or over the freeway…and ‘there is no documentation that animals are using them.’” Have these lawmakers been around wild animals before? You don’t have to be an expert to know that they are threatened by people and loud, moving vehicles. After all, opposition to the overpass has said, “[t]he secret of success is not expecting animals to behave like people.”

Obviously, the concept of an animal overpass is not reality-based, will not work, and should be stopped. If only the people who voted for the overpass could prioritize like Senator Margett (R-Arcadia): “We’ve got to take care of people first.” Our transportation bonds are being aimlessly spent like fairy dust on animals misperceived to be humanlike. It’s time for government to leave the world of make believe and spend tax dollars responsibly.
For past issues of Waste Watch click here.

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