This So-Called Post-Post-Racial Life

November 18, 2009

I Drive Alone

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — pprscribe @ 10:55 am

"Powell & Mason Sts. Line, San Francisco." PPR_Scribe

Back home again.

Conferencing was what it usually is—highly intellectually stimulating, only being the least of it. Catching up with old colleagues and meeting new ones, mourning those who have passed, cheering those who have achieved higher levels of accomplishments, ranting with those whose efforts have been thwarted, making connections for potential future collaborations…all of these things, too, are what makes attending academic conferences so much fun.

My old college roommate lives in San Francisco so I got a chance to socialize outside of the conference as well. I think I rode every mode of public transportation that exists in the city. Totally new for me, as I currently reside in one of the most car-dependent city of all major cities. On this graphic, my city is in the upper left hand bunch of cities with 70% to 85% of folks whose daily commute involves themselves in their car in the driver’s seat and no one else. Compared to San Francisco, which looks to be just about 40% public transportation commuters.

I have lived in two cities near San Francisco on this graphic: Boston and the D.C. area. When I lived in these places, I took public transportation a lot. In fact, for most of my time in Boston I did not even own a car.

But now? I’m not going to lie. My fellow Earthlings, I will say to you now: If the fate of our Earth’s survival rests on PPR Scribe giving up her single-driving car, then you may as well start saying your goodbyes right now. It’s not going to happen any time soon. I drive. And I often drive alone.

I’m not sure if I could ever go back. Public transportation connotes some things to me that are not in keeping with a progressive conservationalist mindset. In short: public transportation in my mind still equals not having a choice because of being financially strapped.

Any movement that seeks to make conservation more widespread will have to deal with people like me. Knowing what the “right thing” is, is not going to sway me. Shaming me probably will not, either. That’s a truth. Perhaps an inconvenient one.

I drive alone. Just like, apparently, a lot of other folks who make up about 80% of my area’s commuters (and I’d guess close to 90% of my area’s commuters who are able to make the choice).

Anyway, I have more thoughts to share in the recently quiet blog on issues other than my resource-gobbling shameful tendencies. And, of course, some great shots of San Francisco to post. Talk to you soon, fellow Earthlings.



  1. Public transportation turns off my brain, and that’s a good thing.

    while I am driving my mind is a junk box…. “the traffic is moving to slow, should I make that call, let me call you back, I am in thick traffic, can I reach my coffee while eating this donut, do I have time to stop by a convenience store, do I want to change my music selection, oops – I forgot I was going to play this other song, is my seat belt wrinkling my clothes, ooouuu that’s a nice house, why is that fool riding my ass, where in the hell am I going, I hope I beat the traffic, who is that waving at me – oh they’re not, should I take this short cut, damn this gas is high, air conditioning or no air conditioning, damn it’s hot in here…..”


    Comment by careycarey — November 18, 2009 @ 6:08 pm

  2. LOL! Well, like I said I used to be almost exclusively public transport. I do recall it could have that brain-numbing quality which, for me too, was sometimes a good thing. But as a woman you always have to be on your p’s and q’s when riding public transportation because there is always that element of risk—especially when traveling alone.

    At one point my school and work schedule was such that I left before morning light and returned late at night. Once I had a man stalk me through my various transfers and get off at my stop at home. I ended up walking for a while, then to a public place, until I was sure he had given up so I could return home.

    Yet one more reason to love my car!

    Comment by pprscribe — November 21, 2009 @ 12:18 pm

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