Sometimes people pushing for safer streets and more sustainable transportation comment about poor transportation planning of past generations. They usually sound something like this “Why do we have four lanes of fast traffic to begin with? Why did someone think this was a good idea?” The answer is always the same: perspective. Today these commentators see congestion, unsafe streets, and pollution. But 60 years ago people saw opportunity, speed, and convenience. Just look at this 1958 example from Disney. Magic Highway depicts a futuristic highway system that stretches forever and dissects our cities even more than today’s highway system. No thought is given to pollution, walkability, community, or even physical health (somehow everyone is thin and healthy when they sit all day). Density is clearly a bad thing. Nature is to be conquered or bypassed.
As we attempt to improve out streets through right-sizing and improving our communities through connectivity and walkability and bikeability we need to understand we are not just fighting against unsafe streets today – we are fighting generations of highway-hyped, car-centric culture that made the streets we see today.
Also keep an ear open for other pieces of American cultural history. Here are some of my favorites:
- Gender roles: Dad works while mom and kid shop, of course.
- Convenience: “From his private parking space, father will probably have to walk to his desk.” “Moving sidewalks make window shopping effortless.”
- Democracy: “The family vacation will always be decided by a family vote.”
- Progress: “New hopes, new dreams, and a better way of life for the future.”
Because the bus ROCKS.
It’s Danish. Why am I not surprised? boy, I miss Denmark!
You’ve probably heard it before: “The job search is the hardest job you will ever have.” Well, I don’t think I believe that but the job search sure can be frustrating. As a small reprieve after spending a Saturday morning applying to a job or two I jokingly told someone I should give myself a new title: Job Application Specialist. Maybe I could add it to my resume. From their I made a short, comedic job description. Once I started free-writing I could not stop – I wrote a complete satirical job application. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
An Underemployed Graduate
555.555.5555 | firstname.lastname@example.org | tiredofapplications.wordpress.com
Goal: To get a job, stop destroying my life savings, and cut down on the amount of time
spent drowning my sorrows in cheap wine and crappy homemade comfort food.
Also a good reprieve: a ridiculous call from your mother because she was screaming while a bat flew in circles around her head showing her its teeth. “It was flying around in circles and I was getting dizzy and almost fell over myself.” Love ya mom.
Wanderlust is a word that can often describe me. There is something about adventure and exploration that heightens my senses and makes me feel alive! At the start of 2009 I had never been out of the country and, not counting drive-through trips, only visited 10 states. All the states were in the Eastern US and most in the Northeast. Fast forward to the start of 2015 and I have traveled to 22 states and 9 foreign countries. Not bad, eh? Study abroad and a cross-country bike trip will do that. In appreciation of my wanderlust, I want to share and article about some of the incredible journeys people have taken while backpacking. One man actually biked to the South Pole! One day I will do some crazy trips like these…
And in case you were curious, here is where my travels have taken me (asterisks where I lived):
|States as of 2009
||States as of 2015
||Countries as of 2015
Cyclists in Latvia Highlight the Road-Hogging Size of Cars by Wearing Life-Size Car Costumes in Traffic – via Laughing Squid
This is wonderful. I am trying to imagine getting a couple dozen people to do this during rush hour in Seattle…