Friday, July 22, 2011

Cars, Humans and a Tragedy

So many Los Angelenos enjoyed last weekend's I-405 closure. It was, I suppose, like a massive snowfall here in the northeast, when people get to interact with other people because roads are blocked with snow, and neighbors come to the streets to shovel and socialize. That is, streets and cars don't rule the day, with their danger and their noise, dividing and interrupting our natural propensity to gather for human-to-human interaction. 

Perhaps this realization of "natural" human interaction is why so many people relished "Carmageddon."  It's like a freak, massive snow. This image of a completely empty freeway published by the Times last Sunday, being traversed by a lone cyclist, seems unreal to us. It's a shift in perspective, like blanket of snow on a modern landscape. Perhaps responding to this, other Californians raced a plane on their bikes that same weekend, and won! 

The car versus bike/pedestrian struggle in our post-industrial society is a pernicious dance. Or mosh pit. While I've read about several accidents and deaths on many blogs, the great worth of each day is now ever more apparent to me: Last weekend of friend of ours was left paralyzed from the waist down when he was struck by a vehicle on a morning bike ride. 


She Rides a Bike said...

I'm so sorry to hear about that. Accidents like that are so senseless. I hope your friend is the recipient of excellent healthcare and rehabilitation services.

Ben said...

Time will tell on his recovery. What would the world be like with a 4-day workweek, higher gas taxes, tax credits for biking :) and ___? In other words, I'd like to see some serious policy changes to shift the world in the favor of people and less corporate interests.