Friday, May 04, 2007

White, sliver and green

The smokey haze that's been hanging around Savannah for the last couple days was replaced this morning by a white blanket of fog. It was even raining in at least one place. Sort of. Condensed moisture fell in fat drops from the broadcast tower (pictured above) at the corner of Huntingdon and Abercorn streets, making large spots on the otherwise dry pavement. The forecasters predict we have a 30-40 percent chance of seeing real rain this weekend.

In the previous post I suggested that our current drought conditions had at one positive effect: stimulating bicycle use. Savannah Morning News columnist Lolita Huckaby found a similar "silver lining" in a local version of San Francisco's recent commuting apocalypse. There was no fiery gas tanker or melty overpass, just a barge that got a little too friendly with a South Carolina bridge.

Huckaby catalogs the suffering caused by the damaged bridge, now restricted to carrying a fraction of previous automobile capacity. But then, she gets to the silver (and the green) part:
But there is that bright spot, the increase of bikers, coming from the islands and heading to jobs in Beaufort and Port Royal. One local attorney, accustomed to a 15-minute drive into town for work, bought a bike Monday and turned a two-hour trip into work into a 1 hour 30 minute exercise back home that evening.

With all the attention to the "greening" movement, the bridge disaster could be a hidden blessing if it gets more car owners to park, walk or ride bikes.

Certainly not everyone, because of health issues, can ride a bike. But wouldn't it be great if more people did?

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