Auto dependence: it can’t last

On Thursday, I was forced to drive in the Westside of L.A. during rush hour, an area where I lived in for 15 years until moving four years ago. The traffic, which was bad then, was appalling. A drive which normally takes fifteen minutes took nearly an hour. All my sneaky shortcuts, the ones that used to be traffic-free, were bumper to bumper.

People I asked said, yeah, that’s what traffic is like now. If, like me, you’d rather be set on fire than drive in such traffic and deliberately organize your day so you don’t, then when forced to do so every six months or so, you can easily see how hideous and dysfunctional Westside traffic has become. And how it continually worsens, never gets better.

Jim Kunstler at Clusterfuck Nation has any number of wondrous rants on this subject, on how U.S. over-dependence on the automobile coupled with decreasing oil supply and rising prices will, sooner rather than later, create massive social dislocation and chaos.

But the problem is not going away. It’s not five or ten years down the road — it’s here, now. We’re in the zone. We’re entering a world of hurt. The pain will ebb and flow, as the pain of a fatal illness ebbs and flows over the days. The price of oil and gasoline will ratchet up and down, but along a discernable upward trendline.

Can we bust out of this narrow tunnel of fantasy? Can we imagine living differently? Can we turn more fruitful imaginings into action before the American scene becomes a much more disorderly place?

  • Agree with you.

    Check out my blog on L.A. traffic. I offer some good ideas (have been told so!) on how to improve traffic on the Westside (if anyone cares to listen, that is!!)

    hey, can I quote you on my blog? I want to show that I’m not the only one saying this! How should I credit you?


  • Bob

    Please credit me! I’ll do a post about your blog with today or tomorrow, looks great.

    PS My comment spam killer put your comment in the spam queue because the blog name has the name ‘suck’ in it and it thought it was porno spam…

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