[Cdt-l] Hitchhiking in Idaho -- followup

sudeste sudeste at gmail.com
Wed Jul 27 16:55:56 CDT 2011

Long time since I've heard of anyone being hit by a car while hitchhiking -
not to say that it doesn't happen - just to say that it's unlikely -
especially hitchhiking in the hamlets and villages through which our nations
scenic trails pass.

I was harassed by the constable in a forgettable NJ town along the AT near
the NY border. The shoulder between the town stop light and the trail head
was too close for comfort and I pointed that out to the officer, suggesting
that whatever paperwork might ensue from my hitchhiking violation would be
much easier than the paperwork ensuing from cleaning up and disposing of my
mangled corpse. Surprisingly, he did not buy my argument.

At any rate, all this talk about "government of the people" is just too
idealistic for me. Figure out who is to benefit and that's who you can
blame. Imagine what a nation of hitchhikers would do to Greyhound or the bus
services in the Northeast, or taxi companies.

Poor hitchhikers, we have no lobbyists....

On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 3:47 PM, Will Hiltz <will.hiltz at gmail.com> wrote:

> Quite right mark, and we need not look even beyond the trail community to
> see an example of how the state might justify such a restriction in the name
> of safety-- I can think of at least three hikers killed on the roadside
> within the past 5 years
> Easy
> On Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 2:32 PM, Mark Liechty <mlaccs at mlaccs.com> wrote:
>> On Jul 27, 2011, at 2:09 PM, Jonathan Ley wrote:
>> Rights granted under the 1st amendment are not absolute (e.g. you can’t
>> yell fire in a crowded theater… unless it’s on fire). Basically, you can’t
>> infringe on the rights of others while exercising your rights. Standing on
>> the side of a public road with your thumb out & maybe holding a sign while
>> safely away from traffic doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights to do anything.
>> Some may argue that allowing such behavior can affect the environment of a
>> community; that allowing unrestricted hitchhiking would degrade property
>> values for example. That kind of argument might have merit in upholding
>> zoning laws, but I don’t think it applies to impermanent actions like those
>> of a hitchhiker.
>> ##############
>> My strong bet is that somewhere this has been challenged and upheld in the
>> courts.   The government (people of the State) would argue that the
>> hitchhikers are a distraction to drivers on the freeway and therefore
>> putting innocents in harms way that could = death.
>> Most hikers move a bit slower than the cars on the freeway and the cars
>> need to have somewhere to go if there is an emergency in front of them.
>>  Having people walking on the side of the road prevents this.  Plus while
>> most hikers are attracted to "shiny things" those objects could become a
>> distraction to drivers and, again, people die.
>> I am pretty sure that in CA you can hitchhike on the onramps but not on
>> the freeway itself.   From time to time I pickup someone just hoping to
>> build karma.  NEVER EVER would i consider pulling off the highway itself to
>> do that.  I have seen what happens when the Highway Patrol ends up picking
>> up people with a stick and a spoon.
>> Mark "Blankie" Liechty
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matt smith
sudeste at gmail.com
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