Carmageddon - Lots of Lessons
It was supposed to bring Los Angeles to a crawl as a section of the transportation lifeline was shutdown. A bypass would have been needed but we Angelinos were supposed to have created the biggest traffic mess unseen by humanity.
But guess what? It never came to pass. The prediction was the correct one to make. It was one I would have made based on what I know to be our driving habits. So what happened?
There are like a lot of reasons. People stayed home. They carpooled. If they had the need to go out, they drove locally. Or they simply realized they did not have to drive at all.
Whatever the reason, this will be studied in universities, government agencies, and companies that deal with the public and transportation.
On a personal level, I think the experience was an interesting one for all of us. I had more than a few friends who thought we should have Carmagedden like days again. My idea is that there ought to be car-free holidays with rotating parts of the city shut off to driving.
Here is what I think we need to learn from this. Public transportation use will increase. An equalibrium will exist at a point between personal driving and use of pubic transportation. Future planning for business locations and homes should be considered.
And what about those who absolutely had to work? For some starting on Friday, it was their first opportunity to be not just a regular mobile warrior but the telecommuting type. My hope is that they and their employers will discover the advantages of allowing some employees to work from home, coffee shops, or anywhere else they want.
I look forward to read the reports that will soon be published.