Fine Wine and Car-bashing

We had a conversation here last week that kicked off with a quote from Metro President David Bragdon and developed into a series of analogies about cars, roads and congestion.

This kind of stuff often gets us accused of car-bashing. So let me set the record straight. I like cars. My family of 3.5 drivers (0.5 = learner’s permit) has two of them. And while I hope to someday get down to one (and a Flexcar membership), I think they’re very fine things to have around. They enable incredible flexibility in mobility.

What I think is a problem is over-reliance on the automobile.

For the record, I also enjoy wine (in moderation).

So here’s my analogy:

Cars are to wine as over-reliance on the automobile is to drunkenness.

So where does congestion come into this? Congestion is a product of over-reliance, not unlike a hangover. If every ounce of fluid passing my lips was wine, I might expect some negative consequences. Similarly, if we build an environment where almost every trip is by car, we can expect negative consequences.

It doesn’t seem unreasonable to think that we could get ourselves to the grocery store, or kids could get to school, without getting into a car.

I don’t think that’s car-bashing, I think it’s moderation.

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