Tuesday, July 29, 2008

You'd Better Start Living in Your Car

I'm sure you've heard of this if you live in Utah, but if not, take a look at this article. A gigantic tanker overturned on I-15 and has blocked all traffic going North since before five this afternoon. The tanker weighs 210,000 pounds. Crazy. 

The nice thing about all this-besides the bizarre nature of a HUGE object blocking a whole freeway-is that people could still get up North as long as they were willing to leave their cars. I know it would have been a pain to go home without your car, but if you really needed to get home to, say, take care of the chilluns, then you could have gotten home much faster. 

Would this have been such a big deal if there was more public transportation? Yeah, but it wouldn't have had such a huge impact. Like most states, Utah has a problem with transportation. The development of most areas over the past fifty years has been fueled by cars and highways. Who wants to walk, or take public transportation? Of course, what has resulted from that is constant congestion during rush hour and often during other times too. 

I think the city would grow much more if there was a convenient public transportation system in place. That way, people could come into the city from the suburbs and the West side could be linked with the East. I think we should work toward a goal of making cars unnecessary in most urban areas in Utah. The problem is the reticence some people have with riding public transportation. I think suburbanites conceive buses as only for poor people. I have noticed that the kids going up to the university who obviously live in the suburbs have almost a fear of the other people on the train. It's ridiculous, but it also keeps people from riding. I hope that with gas prices staying high more people will consider public transportation and make it viable, so the next time a humongous tanker overturns on I-15 nobody will care. 


Alex said...

I find it interesting when people act like there is no public transit in this city. Also, when they act like it's only for poverty-stricken folks. I ride the bus or the train all the time and have never had a terrifying experience whilst on either one... waiting is another story... but still. Also, while I can kind of understand people having hesitancy about riding the bus, the train is not sketchy at all! And college students can ride it all for free.
That said, I do think that there is A LOT of room for improvement in public transit in this city.

mummy.danger said...

The buses have been pretty unreliable when I've taken them. They have always been at least 20 minutes late. I think people from the suburbs aren't used to talking or being near people they don't know while traveling so they don't know what to do. It's kind of snobby.

Alex said...

I didn't really have a problem with the buses being late until they added the new trax stations and attempted to shift everything by five minutes... now the buses tend to run about ten minutes late for me.
Of course, you can't assume they'll be late because the one time you do it'll actually be on time.