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Archives: Driving In the City


This conversation may appeal to those who found Affairs of State interesting. Places fascinate me.

wintermute: Average traffic speed in London is lower than it was 100 years ago...
Sam: LOL
wintermute: Not a joke. When all we had was horses they averaged 11 mph. Now cars in Central London manage about 9.
Sam: London sounds like a different kind of bad driving, then. In Boston, they average like 90. Ok, I'm exaggerating, but the problem truly isn't that traffic doesn't move.
wintermute: It's because the city was designed 400 years ago, and they didn't predict modern traffic.
Sam: That's more or less Boston's problem. In fact, almost every city on the east coast of the U.S. has that problem. California has the same problem for the opposite reason: cities sprang before they *could* be planned. The middle of the country has a bunch of very nicely laid out cities.
Kiki: DC is planned very nicely....
Sam: DC isn't bad, no, although it still seems easy to get lost in. NYC is similarly built: not easy to navigate, but WAY better than other eastern cities.
wintermute: London is easy to get lost in. 100,000 streets.
Kiki: DC is really HARD to get lost in if you know how it's set up.
Kaz: Yeah, but what if you don't know how it's set up ;-)
Kiki: It's all alphabetic and numeric. Pretty easy.
wintermute: There's precicely one place in Britain set up like that: Milton Keynes.
Sam: Kiki: That's the trick, isn't it? In a lot of heartland cities, you don't really need to know the details ahead of time. But, as I say,it's at least possible in DC. You can know all you want to know about Boston or Atlanta or Miami and it still won't help.
Kiki: That's true.... Actually, the state avenues are the ones that throw people off. Those are pretty crazy.
Sam: The trick to Miami isn't navigating through the streets but navigating around the crossfire of warring drug lords.
Sam: I read a statistic the other day. More crimes are committed in Miami each day than have been committed in the entire rest of the world in all its history.
Kiki: Erm.... Am I really supposed to believe that? I don't think I do.
Sam: It's the only city in the world whose annual murder rate exceeds its population.
Kiki: I don't think that's possible....
Sam: I read it, so it must be true.
Sam: And it IS possible, because,
Sam: Florida is entirely peopled by New Englanders who have gotten too old to stand New England's winters. They keep migrating into Miami, turning into drug lords, and killing each other off.
Kiki: LOL!!!!
Sam: It's TRUE. All of Florida, except the panhandle, consists of ex-New Englanders. The southern accent completely disappears once you get out of Georgia.
* wintermute thought New Orleans was the Murder Capital of the US.
wintermute: Mind you if it was up to me, I'd keep that quiet. Could be bad press.
Sam: wintermute: Just because Miami drug lord shooting deaths are blamed on old age.
wintermute: Ah. "He had a heart attack. And fell onto some bullets."
Sam: That's exactly it. They even phrase it that way, because Dave Barry, Miami's only non-old-person, writes the obituaries. In fact he writes the entire Miami Herald under various pseudonyms. That's because everyone else in Miami is either retired or dead.
Faux_Pas: Or on drugs.
wintermute: So, the permanant populaton of Florida is 1?
Sam: More or less. Fortunately, New England's primary export is retirees.

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