, Newburyport, MA


August 23, 2013

Round and round with the automobile


What we do know is there will be more use of that intersection, and especially so during summer months.

As for work on the Whittier Bridge, even without its building activities, the slightest of accidents on the existing bridge can back up traffic for miles.

Will the day come when we’ve given up on automobiles?

Maybe. Save this for your great-great-grandchildren.

The horse and buggy and streetcars didn’t disappear overnight.

They’re not even making automobiles the way they use to. No one could have imagined how few workers it takes to assemble them today.

As for ownership, getting from here to there as conveniently as possible in the least amount of time, and discomfort has brought us to where we are and it won’t stop here.

Highways and road beds require continuous up-keeping that drains resources. So does ownership of motor vehicles, but even those have comparatively short lives.

But being willing to lose our personal freedom to go from here to there and back again at the time and place of our choosing?

Ridiculous, so the beat goes on.

Automobiles are smaller. More and more of us are biking, especially in cities where parking is a continuing headache.

Commuting considerable distances on a daily basis is a costly drudge for millions. Disabling accidents and deaths are everyday occurrences.

We keep on adapting because there are no other short term choices.

That has made for the roundabout.

The hope is it will improve conditions. Could be. There’s a learning curve ahead because there always is.


Bill Plante is a Newbury resident.

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