I could not believe my eyes. Traffic has increased – already! I was just out for an essential errand – food – and the empty roads are no more. There were also 20 cars at the roadside market that we support. The beauty of having the road and the stores to myself is gone. And I was just getting to like a slower pace to my life.
I was surprised that people are in that much of a hurry to be flooding the highways so quickly. Thank you, Governor Hogan for lighting up the highway signs “Stay home. Stay safe. Essential jobs only.”
No, the traffic was nothing like the old days, but it was bad enough to bring back awful memories of fighting traffic every day between 7 and 9 am and 4 and 7pm. It was more like nightmares – that is as clear as I can be. How could we accept putting ourselves at that level of risk and anxiety on every work day. I’ve been wondering about that and whether all of us will go right back to that sort of chaos and risk. It seems like we will. I hope that we all will consider the following questions before we do.
- What are our options?
- Why don’t we live closer to where we work?
- Why don’t more of us work from home?
- Why don’t we take mass transit?
- Why don’t we work on flex hours to avoid the traffic?
- Why do we put ourselves and others at risk – every day?
- Why do we spend all that money on cars, insurance, and fuel, and all that time on the roads?
Of course, the answers to these questions vary a lot – and I get it. But they are questions we should be asking ourselves and our county, state, and regional planners. We could re-engineer how we live and work in light of the virus and the looming challenges of climate change. After all, the transportation sector is the one area that contributes the most Greenhouse Gasses to the atmosphere and an area where we can dramatically lower those emissions if we do one or more of the items above.
So, take a moment and reflect on whether you want to go back to the way things were. Let’s change these bad habits and spend our time and money on making the future better for all of us.