It’s hard to discount the looming sterility of the suburbs.
Double garage doors face the streets emoting barrenness, and the squalid collective demeanour of the stereotypical urbanite complements the design malfunction, which is easily measured by an obvious lack of civic availability.
Auto dependence is the palpable thorn in the side of Calgary’s path to a more pedestrian, low-stress community of transit bliss.
The simple act of driving cuts off our access to daily human interaction and, sadly, in road horny, sprawl-savvy Calgary, we float from capsule to capsule without the reciprocals of social engagement.
Urbanites go from garage to car, to underground parking, to elevator, to office, without the simplest nod or gesture, without a notion of camaraderie, or even the opportunity to embrace a daily moment of greeting.
The suburban child meets adolescence without the rights of passage they deserve because their independence gets stalled by the walls of the suburban community blueprint.
Instead, kids rely on mom, dad and the trusty automobile for their transit needs.
We are literally living a box existence encapsulated and compounded by our perceptions or misconceptions of the car.
It got me thinking — if people could change their transit sensibilities and decry the overvalued and misconstrued convenience of driving, even if only once and a while, we could become pioneers of a Calgary cultural shift by simply acting on different transportation choices.
Perhaps commuters could replace old transportation habits and routines with a dose of social intrigue and a desire to break the monotony of suburban living while using public transit as a weapon to battle a lifestyle watered down by access inefficiencies.
For instance, think of how many embryonic conversations battle inertia every day on the transit commute.
But Calgary Transit served more than 90 million patrons last year, and you’d have to think it only human to desire some form of social embrace.
Transit routes also offer new scenery, and a jaunt through untried neighbourhoods, which in turn offers a refreshing perspective from daily familiarity.
Let’s recognize the serendipitous exchanges waiting to happen on public transit, the synchronicity of changing the pattern and embracing fellow commuters rather than battling the boredom that so easily wraps us up in routine.