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One Last Bit about the Morning Commute

Just to wrap up the past couple posts:

When North American cities were first developing, we commuted on foot.  It had its limitations, was endured during inclement weather, but gave us exercise.

Various forms of mass transit came to be, which allowed for a larger commute area.  The commute in to work became something social: one could converse with their neighbours and colleagues, perhaps read the morning newspaper. Eventually, some trains had “commuter cars” so one could enjoy a cup of coffee on the way in.

Eventually, public transit systems were allowed to decline, in favour of individual transit – the private automobile. This mode of transportation had a sense of excitement about it, because of its newness, and giddiness.  One could propel themselves along a “freeway” type of road –previously unseen – in a vehicle that looked more and more like a spaceship with chrome and fins. And one didn’t need to share it, this was theirs to display.  At first, it made even longer commute times enjoyable.

But, like all things new, the private motorcar on the freeway experience came to be old hat. Commute times lengthened, we were living further and further away from work.  And the private motorcars themselves came to be, well, monotonous. They lost their imaginative zeal and came to look the same.

Which describes a modern-day predicament.

Transit systems seem to be on the way up, however.  Maybe we’ll go back to the day of travelling en masse and getting to know our neighbours on the way in to work.

Posted in Automobile Design, Pop Culture, Transit, Urban Planning.