Cross at the crosswalk

Transportation for America has Raquel Nelson on the Today show yesterday. It’s very hard to watch, but worth watching. She’s impressive, and obviously not just some giddy irresponsible parent dragging her children into traffic because she can’t be bothered to walk down the block to the intersection.

It also has a guy called Ken Edelstein of Green Building Chronicle in Atlanta showing us the bus stop, the street, how far away the intersection with traffic lights is, how obvious it is that the bus stop is there for the apartment complex, how people who live there never go to the intersection to cross, how like a highway the street is, how heavy the traffic is and how fast it goes, and, above all, how infuriatingly tiny the strip of concrete in the middle is. I don’t have a car; I use public transportation; I’ve crossed busy suburban roads and stood on strips of concrete between two rivers of traffic hoping no bits of me were sticking out as the cars flashed past. I thought of standing on that thing with shopping bags hanging off my arms and three children – not because I wanted to but because it was getting dark and walking back from that distant intersection in the dark would also be dangerous – and I shuddered.

It’s an insult. It’s as if human beings are trespassing on the property of automobiles. It’s as if human beings are worms and cars are gods.

By way of more insult, Cobb County transport put a big sign in the bus shelter saying CCT Cares – oh right! – and be safe and cross at the crosswalk. Cross at what crosswalk?! There is no fucking crosswalk! “Cross at the crosswalk five miles from here.” What the hell is the point of that? People need buses to take them where they’re going, not 3/10 of a mile down the road and then 3/10 of a mile back up the other side.

It makes me angry. It’s typically American and brutal and it makes me angry.

Green Building Chronicle thinks just maybe CCT will be sued.

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