Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Passion Party #378 - Car-less in Culver City

In a county filled with 9,800,000 people
word was spread
"Stay off the freeways!"
Signs flashing along roadways for weeks in advance
the media hailing it as possibly the world's worst traffic jam.
In a city that loves cars more than life itself
and cherishes mobility as the Constitution's First Inalienable Right
the idea was almost blasphemous.
Who would agree to such a thing?

But a little miracle happened.
People paid attention
People planned to stay home, or
just do things in their neighborhood.

Some people walked to the supermarket!
Others rode bikes to local festivals, or to the park.
Los Angeles, which has always been a collection of 128 communities in search of a city,
discovered that each community has grown and
is, in fact, its own community.
The roads empty, the city felt like it had traveled back in time to
the 1984 Olympics, or even 1975, when you could truly say you could get anywhere in Los Angeles in 20 minutes.

Instead of spending a Billion Dollars on becoming more mobile
perhaps the money could be spent building communities.
Perhaps the answer may come from the State of Oregon,
where the transportation policy seems to be
"If we don't build it, they won't come".

That may not work in car-centric Los Angeles,
but it is worth a thought,
now that we see what a weekend at home can be like.

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