The Citizen‘s David Reevely had a quick word with Mayor Jim Watson at the end of a scrum today. Mr. Watson commented that as he drove into the city this morning, his was the only car in the High Occupancy Vehicle lane. Everyone else, it seemed, was the only person in their car.
“Who else was in the car with you?” I asked him at the end of the scrum. His driver, he said. Nobody else.
“He counts!” Watson said. “He’s a human being. Should he ride on the roof?” And sure, yes, two people in the car means they’re following the rules.
As Mr. Reevely notes, this is not in keeping with the spirit of HOV lanes. There was no reduction in emissions through carpooling, just a well-paid politician being chauffered around.
Mr. Watson has not carved out a profile of an out-of-touch politician since he became Mayor. He is eminently approachable and appears to want to connect with the people of this city. Unfortunately, his use of HOV lanes betrays this persona. It paints the picture of a privileged politician with a sense of entitlement. It makes it appear that he just doesn’t get it.