A new perspective on auto dependence: it hurts drinkers, too
Posted January 6, 2009
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a very serious matter. But count me among those who enjoy a good brew or single malt from time to time, so I am not without sympathy for those who find it difficult to enjoy themselves in a world where options other than driving are limited.
And now, the connection has been made. William Brand writes in his beer column for the Contra Costa (CA) Times, "What's On Tap":
"The American problem - our problem - is the way we live sucks. I mean we're totally auto-oriented. Most of us live in places where mass transit doesn't exist or is sucky.
"For instance, I live three miles from the closest BART station; there's only bus service 9-5 weekdays and it's five blocks to the damn bus stop. So I drive, usually to BART. Coming home, I don't get back in the car 'til I'm certain I'm sober. It's a hell of a way to live.
"In fact, it changes where I go. I hate visiting friends where we're going to drink good beer, but the only way to get there is driving. I envy my friends who live in San Francisco, Oakland and other cities, where a trip to the pub is a short walk."
The column has spawned quite a few online comments, most of them thoughtful and sympathetic. It's a point of view worth considering.
Thanks to my colleague Justin Horner for pointing me to this story.
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