Sunday, April 18, 2004
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Clayton News Daily
It will be a sad day when we colonize the Moon and Mars but we are still coming up with new tricks to handle rush hour back on Earth. The governor has proposed a new "Fast Forward" program to help with traffic congestion. How much wider can we make our bridges and roads?
Apparently when we get through with the bridge at Eagle's Landing it will be wider than the interstate. It occurred to me, sitting in a mess of traffic at that very exit as I looked to the clear blue heavens for answers to the daily plight of the human commuter, I found it staring me in the face.
The sky. That huge wide-open cloudless space. No traffic up there. So move over airplanes, daily commutes are eyeing all that space you are hogging up there. We want a piece of the action. Why not? We have taxed the land enough, now let's move on to the sky before we choke the Earth for good.
But we don't want to use petrol. I'm not a scientist but if we can go to Mars we should be able to fly a car on batteries. Rechargeable batteries that you can plug into a service station for a fixed price and still get a chocolate milk or an oversized fountain drink. In fact, they could probably use the old gas pumps, cleaned up of course, to pump huge soft drink refills. That would be fun. So the gas stations could just do a little remodeling, but keeping the snack and drink. BP could change its name once again to "Battery Powered."
One advantage to flying home is that you could have not only multiple lanes of traffic but you could have multiple levels in the sky. No more building roads around the landscape or blasting through mountains or digging scary tunnels under bodies of water, we can fly a direct route to our location with the jumbo jets still sailing miles above us. I realize this may sour a pretty evening sunset, from the balcony of your modern high rise already reaching into the sky, but that's just too bad.
I wonder how many people are afraid of heights and could not take to the skies. They will have to stay on old nostalgic highways of the past and we can all watch documentaries on the Discovery Channel about the heyday of I-75 like it was the now mostly defunct Route 66. You can drive it just for the kicks and the old diner. But people like my friend Rob can still soar through the air only coming down to the ground for the occasional slushy.
So sign me up for car flight training as soon as it's available and in the words of "Back to Future" mad scientist Doc Brown: "Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads."
Zach Porter is a photographer for the News Daily and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org