No Freedom For Me
The auto lobby likes to claim that automobile dependence means "freedom." But this certainly did not reflect my experience last week. I visited Atlanta (where my parents and siblings live) for a vacation, and lost my drivers' license a couple of days into the vacation. Since my license is a New York license, I couldn't get it replaced while I was in Atlanta. And because my parents live in one of the city's most automobile-dependent areas*, I couldn't get anywhere without getting rides from family members.
In other words, my supposed instrument of "freedom" made me totally dependent on state bureaucracy, since to get around I needed a car, and to drive the car I needed a license. By contast, to walk I don't need a license, and to take a bus all I need is cash.
*How bad is it? If you want to go to Google Street View, go to 1678 Mount Paran Road, Atlanta GA (the nearest major street to where my parents live, and the street I would have to use to reach the nearest bus stop).
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