ON BIKE CULTURE IN EUGENE | Fine blogging since 2010 (with periodic long breaks)
I have to tell you an automobile story today.
Our recent San Francisco vacation went great until we were trying to leave town, got stuck in traffic trying to get on the Bay Bridge and then got a violation for not having the cash to pay a $6 toll somewhere way out past Berkeley on the way to Sacramento.
I had no idea there was a toll out there.
It’s funny. Sharrow often teases me for always asking, “Do they take debit cards there?” whenever we are going out to eat or something. I know, who doesn’t take debit cards anymore? Well, I’ll tell you: The California Department of Highway Tolls — or whatever they call it — does not take debit cards.
As I tell the toll booth guy I don’t have any cash, he hands me a yellow slip of paper.
“It’s a $40 violation — failure to pay a toll,” he says.
“Is there anything I can do. Somebody to talk to?” I ask.
“There’s a number on there you can call …” the toll guy says, pointing at the yellow slip of paper.
… to complain?” I say.
“If you want,” he says, in a way that makes me think it won’t do much good.
Then he says: “There’s a camera that’s going to take a picture of your license plate as you drive away. And they’ll mail you the citation.”
So I drive away.
Hey, did I tell you we took the bikes to San Francisco? And I don’t have to tell you how great bikes are, right. They’re healthy. They’re good for the environment. They won’t leave you stuck in a traffic jam on the Bay Bridge. Blah, blah, blah … you’ve heard all that before.
But the best thing about bikes is that if you hang them on a bike rack on the back of your Toyota Previa, the California Department of Highway Tolls definitely cannot take a legible photograph of your license plate.
Yes, we’ve been home for a few weeks now, and no citation so far from the good state of California.
Go buy a bike: Reason No. 468.