With minions like this Los Angeleno Sam Rubin lamenting the end of Carmageddon, it’s easy:
This weekend, most especially Friday afternoon and evening proved something that I hope transportation planners, city leaders, and local citizens will keep in mind. It is as simple as it is true. Less cars on the road equal less traffic. Less traffic means better quality of life. So what is the real way to put fewer cars on the road, wider freeways and more HOV lanes? Of course not. We keep trying that solution and it fails again and again.
Dude, you could always sell your own car. Walk. Ride your bike. Find a new city.
The best solution was the one we all learned on Friday with the only real expense being an over abundance of media attention. People stayed home. People worked from home. Employers staggered work schedules, enabling employees to take the day off, work from home, or leave early.
How many are unable to work from home? And how much money did those people lose because of a forced day off or early quit time?
And you know what.
It worked. It worked better than a multi-billion dollar subway, worked better than wider and wider freeways. People all over the Southland were given a crystal clear message and they responded. So, how do we repeat the sheer joy of Carmageddon. We do the same thing, all over again.
The future of modern transportation is right there on your shampoo bottle. Wash, rinse, repeat. With the key word being REPEAT.
We should select one weekend a month, maybe the third weekend of every month, or whatever, it doesn’t matter. Isolate a particular weekend, and isolate a particular Friday and give people the exact same message. Stay home. Work from home. Don’t take long trips unless absolutely necessary. Ask people to remember the pure pleasure of this past weekend. The chance to reconnect with family and friends at home, the chance to save some serious time and money and aggravation.
If you need government to shut freeways thereby providing you with a chance to “reconnect with family and friends at home,” then you need to rethink your destiny, dude. Are you not capable of making that decision for yourself before begging government intercession to do it for you? And for millions of others? If you don’t like your car, give it away. If traffic causes too much angst and anguish, give it up. Make that personal choice. But don’t wish it upon millions of others just because you’re incapable of running your own life.