In a Major Urban Setting.
I have had the opportunity and privilege of living in several of the world’s greatest cities and visiting many others. I have found that I, and many others, take it for granted to the point that we often forget what is soooo great about these places.
Urban living keeps all of us living in THE MIX. The mix is a mélange of people from many places with many languages, cultures, habits and likes and dislikes. The pleasant result is an endless variety of restaurants, exhibits, and friends.
Within the mélange, there are bound to be people we will like, some we may dislike, and a few we may despise.
The buildings are various and often splendid, but still compact enough to make strolls through a neighborhood breathtaking.
Best of all, our forebearers liked trees and flowers and we all still enjoy the abundance of greens, colors and shade with front, side and back gardens.
For all its benefits though, urban living imposes hardships – roads and traffic being prominent among them.
Today two cars, moving in opposite directions, can barely navigate crowded two-way streets without touching. And one inexperienced driver can wreak havoc in seconds.
Most urban streets were designed and laid out when cars were narrower and did not have two side view mirrors. (A Honda Civic was 59.3 inches wide in 1973; by 2008, it’s width had increased to 70.3 inches – ballooning, like many Americans themselves, by nearly 20% over the years.)
We cannot be more than a few years away from having to have ALL one-way streets. Such solutions are the sort of civic rigidity that bleeds the life out of cities, imposing a frustrating series of right turns to overcome the negligence of drivers and the still growing popularity of behemoth, gas-guzzling SUVs.
While side-view mirrors undoubtedly increase safety, the overall growth in vehicles is a simple matter of consumer tastes. Since that is not likely to change, perhaps it is time to eliminate side view mirrors entirely and replace them with on-board cameras and sensors that can provide information about nearby vehicles without the bulk of physical mirrors that many people fail to set properly.
Absent a dramatic change, the charm and beauty of Georgetown (where I live) is about to slide into history!
Please, somebody, DO SOMETHING! SOON!!