New Jen's Horde

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Hints for knitting, and some thoughts on transportation

Surfed into Yarn Boy's blog today, and found a great post, The Knitter's Guide to Mass-Transit Delays. He reasons out several tricks to knitting on subways, etc, with angry people who are already late:

In that shoulder-to-shoulder, sweat-soaked subway car that hasn’t moved in over thirty minutes, anything that unnecessarily touches anyone else is considered a capital offense. The rhythm of your straight needles might be relaxing and hypnotic to you, but they’re tapping that guy next to you on his elbow, and he doesn’t think they’re hypnotic or relaxing. He thinks they’re f%#*ing annoying.
Good to know!

Not that we get a lot of chances to do that here in Denver. Our local system, The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is fairly difficult to use compared to many other cities where people can go completely without cars. For instance, the kids and I could drive to our friend Cheryl's house in 15 minutes and use a small fraction of a tank of gas plus add a little wear and tear to my car. Or, I could use the RTD and get there in 1 hour and 27 minutes, and pay $7.50 each way. And heaven help you if you're trying to leave your own general area, the prices and time factor go way up. This may be why my husband once mused that RTD must stand for "Reason To Drive."

Although, I must say, in an "all roads lead to Rome" kind of way, RTD is pretty good if you're trying to get from where you are straight to downtown. Anywhere else, though, and it's going to be a long haul. So, it's good to know what the best sorts of knitting projects and needles are to take with you. Now, I just need to teach all of the kids to knit and we can sell the car... Yeah.

Editing to Add: Renee reminded me of an RTD horror story from one of our homeschool group moms. This had slipped my mind at the moment, but I'm sure they relive this all the time! (I've taken out all personal details from her message.)

We took a special light-rail ride into LoDo to meet [my husband] for lunch. On the way back I was trying to wrestle two boys and an umbrella stroller out the door when it closed and the train started moving....with [one son] and I INSIDE and [the other son] OUTSIDE!!!! I pushed all the emergency buttons and the intercom button but nothing happened, and there was no way to get between the cars to
get to the driver. When the train stopped at the next station I ran up and told the driver what had happened and he radioed back to the Alameda station to get someone to stay with [my son]. Then he took off and told me to wait for the train back. There was no train in sight so I called 911 to see if they could send someone to drive me back to the station, but the guy who answered was completely unhelpful (and sounded annoyed that I called). Finally the train came and I got off at the Alameda station and found [him] with a wonderful woman who had stayed with him the whole time and an RTD guard.
This is a hyper-responsible mom, she always knows what's going on with her kids. Poor thing!

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Reason to Drive is funny! I totally considered trying to take the RTD to the Children's Museum one day and went to the RTD plan your route website. If I wanted to get up and go during rush hour, I could get there in an hour and a half. If I wanted to wait until 10am (like a normal person) I wouldn't get there until 5:15pm...about 15 min after they close! I would have to spend most of my day waiting at bus stops.
And after ReneeE's story, I'm thinkin...No Way!
Oh, I'd forgotten about that, I'm going to add that to my post...
Yep, same here. Actually, that's been pretty much the same in every place I've lived, even Austin, which attempts to have some sort of civic nod to environmentalism.

BTW, I was checking your site for an update this morning while Zidy was on my lap. She saw all of your pictures at the top and went, "Bleah!" and stuck out her tongue. Of course, that's what we do when we're changing a poopy diaper so I think she thinks y'all're all having poopies but I thought it was a hoot.
How funny, Lori!
Wow. People don't pay taxes for that fantastic system do they? I think areas have to commit to public transit, otherwise any other system is only going to be cumbersome. Around here, it's done pretty half-ass.
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