Last week I quoted the Vatican’s view on roads:

The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.

Friday morning I got to see that in action in spades. I had an appointment on Interstate Ave and elected to walk. As I crossed the Broadway Bridge eastbound, I encountered a hundred or more cyclists in a steady stream commuting into downtown and had the opportunity to exchange a wave with 3 different people that I know (including a PDOT bureau director). I also came across the SHIFT Breakfast-on-the-bridges crew serving coffee to the commuters.

I can safely say I’ve never encountered that kind of delightful instantaneous community while driving a car.

4 responses to “Communion”

  1. I go careening down Barbur into downtown from LO as a commute. I don’t actually know anybody else that goes that route but I have had other cyclists slow down briefly and ask me how things are going. It’s sad but it’s almost creepy to have people do that. We’ve become so detached in our private little safety cabins.

  2. I often use Barbur on my work commute, from the Transit Center at Capitol into Portland. I would agree that it’s not much of an opportunity for socializing :-)

  3. I thought I saw you on Barbur the other day. I guess that really was you riding eastbound at 19th :)

  4. I like my grand commute of…

    Walk down lovejoy, maybe get on the Streetcar.

    If I do talk to the regulars I know will be on board, if not drop into one of the coffee shops I know will have multiple patrons I know.

    Arrive at work after a nice 20 minute walk, maybe a little longer if I don’t wanna hurry.

    For the return trip, sometimes I catch #15, sometimes #17, and sometimes I walk up and grab the Streetcar. Either case I have almost guaranteed good conversation.

    …of course pending, I don’t leave too late. After 7:00pm (some days I work late) I’m more worried about watching my wallet and preparing to get knawed on by the pitbulls the transients walk around with most of the time.

    But I can honestly say I’m glad I’ve given up the car commutes for the transients and pitbulls. They hurt a lot less than the hours of sitting in stop and go traffic, and for those that know, the nice little 10-15mph fender bender isn’t so great either. :(

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