The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

11 August 2007

Slow progress

Lileks remembers this day in 1900 (by proxy):

All thirteen of the cars in Minneapolis race from the Hennepin County courthouse to Wayzata to demonstrate to the county commissioners the need for better roads. Harry Wilcox arrives in Wayzata first, making the twelve-mile run in forty-two minutes.

That's right: 13 cars. They had 13 cars in Minneapolis in 1900. Doesn't it take about 42 minutes to make it to Wayzata now?

Of course, these numbers can be deceptive. In 1988, I was in the process of relocating to Los Angeles when I heard a filler piece about average traffic on L.A. freeways moving at something like 32.5 mph. When I actually got there, it was obvious what they really meant: half the time traffic was moving along at 65, and half the time it wasn't moving at all.

Posted at 9:01 AM to Driver's Seat