Friday, July 4, 2014

Fairbanks: Going Nowhere... FASTER

It's been a peripheral amusement to read of the latest calamity eclipsing our community: that of converting one of our local thoroughfares from a four-lane road into a three-lane one (two lanes + a center turning lane + expanded accommodation for bicyclists). The sound + fury editorials and back & forth on comment threads has been a source of no small amount of "pole-vaulting over a moose turd" insofar as an objective perspective on this traumatic issue. Meaning that most folks really know how to put the "my" in myopic, since regardless of one's position on the earth-shattering degree of change coming down the proverbial turnpike, this is all over a 3.8 mile stretch of road one can easily traverse in less than ten minutes.

“If you are in a hurry you will never get there” - Chinese Proverb

In fact, if one is really, really in a Big Hurry, Important People can always take our version of an expressway, which will shave anywhere from one to three minutes off precious commute time. Not to mention one surefire way to piss people off in this town is to actually drive the posted speed limit on College Road, the majority of which is 35mph. Heaven forbid folks will have to slow down a little, or even wait a moment for someone else in life who commits the unpardonable sin of getting in their goddamned way.

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” - Winnie the Pooh


  1. I ponder the ethics of transportation choices a lot myself. People who view evolution as a linear process may feel than anyone who chooses to go slower than the latest technology will allow deserves to be run down and crushed by the new, improved species with the better tools. People with this evolutionary attitude about driving may not actually believe in Evolution, but that doesn't mean evolution doesn't believe in them. Therefore, they have an unconscious sense of linear progress through a timeline longer than their own lives, even if they consciously think, "if God hadn't meant us to drive fast He would never have invented cars."

  2. Good comment - thanks for the ponder.
    Reminds me of the time as a teen when driving my first car to school (and giving a friend a ride) I killed my first animal, an Eastern Skunk, that was crossing the road.
    I was traumatized, while he insisted "it was just meant to be."
    So I kicked him out and made him walk the rest of the way, which seems was also a matter of fate. Funny how that works.

  3. And the last time I was a serious bicycle commuter, it was a weekly, if not daily, insight on the obliviousness of our species to see the CARnage from vehicular traffic as I labored alongside the roads: seemingly inconsequential and incidental little things like dragonflies would cumulatively reach astonishing numbers. Seems adding power>speed effectively distances us from awareness of the impact of our species, esp. given the perspective and pace of pedestrian, canoe and cycling locomotion.