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Quote of the (Insert Time Frame Here): Park the Car, Take the Bus

June 13, 2010

I just came across a back issue of Wired from March of this year and I read this Clive Thompson piece aout texting and driving.

The urge to connect is primal, and even if you ban texting in the car, teens will try to get away with it[…] So what can we do? We should change our focus to the other side of the equation and curtail not the texting but the driving. This may sound a bit facetious, but I’m serious[…] The answer, of course, is public transit. In many parts of the world where texting has become ingrained in daily life — like Japan and Europe — public transit is so plentiful that there hasn’t been a major texting-while-driving crisis[…] In contrast, US cities and suburbs have completely neglected their public transit. With very few exceptions — New York and Boston are two — buses and trains are either nonexistent or wretchedly inadequate. People desperately need cars to shop, work, and meet up with friends.

I just wanted to take this time to point out that MARTA is not wretchedly inadequate, not even with the proposed restructuring, but it is neglected by many in the Atlanta metro area, including our politicians. And that neglect will lead to inadequacies or non-existence in the future if people keep acting like this.

Thompson continues:

And anyway, there are other benefits to making the streets safe for texters: Dramatically increasing public transit would also decrease our carbon footprint, improve local economies, and curtail drunk driving. (Plus, we’d waste less time in spiritually draining bumper-to-bumper traffic.)

I’m sure that last bit sounds familiar to anyone who’s been on the roads here in the last century.

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