Tag Archives: cars

The Road to Hell is Paved

Food for thought: In Amsterdam, over 50 percent of all trips are taken by bike; in Los Angeles, that percentage is under 1%.

It’s hard to believe now, but L.A. was an early pioneer in public transportation.  There evidently used to be a 9-mile dedicated bike pathway connecting LA and Pasadena that had electric lights the entire way—in 1897. That pathway became a freeway in 1940. The same thing happened to original bikeways in Hollywood and Santa Monica.

Here’s a data point that should make us all stop and think: the percentage of surface area in Los Angeles dedicated to automobiles (roads, parking, gas stations, etc.) is more than 70 percent, while the percentage devoted to parks and open spaces is 5 percent.

As the article from which I took those figures asked, “Is your city designed for you, or for your car?”

Yesterday, a colleague whose opinion I value commented on a previous post about the need for public transportation by saying that it would never happen–that thanks to a combination of low density and the American love affair with the automobile, we have established a “car culture.” If he is correct, our cities will continue to be designed for, and dominated by, automobiles–and increasingly inhospitable to people and parks.

I’ve been to L.A. several times. There are nice areas, but it fails as a city. It’s not a place I’d want to live–or emulate.


Those Whom the Gods Would Destroy They First Make Mad….

The quote “Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad” is often attributed to Euripedes. He was wrong–or at least incomplete. The quote should read “those whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad by giving them electronics…”

I came home yesterday to a husband fuming–while holding a phone he’d been on for three hours with tech support. It was another hour until internet was once again available, and we still aren’t sure how or why.

Meanwhile, I traced a highly annoying “beep beep” sound to a smoke detector on the (vaulted) ceiling in our bedroom. Making the beeping stop required a climb to the very top (not just the top rung) of a ladder, clutching the top of a door for support. And–speaking of the gods–some prayer.

There will be no “deep thoughts” (or shallow ones) from this blogger today. I have to study the two thick manuals that came with my new car, which is now paired with my IPhone and daring me to figure out its multiple functions and displays…

Maybe I’ll just go back to bed.