Sunday, August 01, 2010

Traffic in Fallbrook

Driving along De Luz Road
Our neighbors moved to Palm Springs because the traffic was getting so bad in Fallbrook. Today I drove up to the rancho and from the turn onto De Luz Road all the way to Dailey I didn't pass a single car. Traffic and our lack of it has been on my mind since I read the August 2nd New Yorker article "Stuck" by Keith Gessen about traffic in Moscow.
How would you like to face this every day?

Or every night.
It's a nightmare and universally acknowledged as the worst in the world. 300,000 cars were on the roads in 1992 and there are 3,000,000 today. The number of cars is a problem but even worse is the hi-jacking of the roads by those in power. All day, cars speed around with blue sirens on top - the mark of an official - and they bring whatever movement there is in the traffic to a stop. Officials and their body guards battle over who has more right of way status. Last November there was total grid lock for days. People talk about living the traffic...they're stuck in it so often that they cease to merely endure it to get where they are going - they actually live their lives while stuck. "The cars standing in endless lines on the crowded Moscow streets resemble nothing so much as the people who used to wait in endless lines outside the Moscow stores."

There are no solutions in sight. The incompetent and impotent Mayor keeps traveling around the world and coming back with solutions such as bike travel...all Muscovites should ride bikes. Uh huh.
On Yandex, the Russian search engine, red lines indicate stopped traffic.

The author of the article calls it a classic Hobbesian dilemma. I had to look this up - Hobbes State of Nature postulates that in the "state of nature", that is a state without government  "each person would have a right, or license, to everything in the world. This, Hobbes argues, would lead to a "war of all against all" (bellum omnium contra omnes), and thus lives that are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" (xiii).
The alternative is the metro.

I've always wanted to see Moscow but I've changed my mind.  

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