Car-place Waiting Room Limbo

I'm sitting here in the waiting room as my car's steering system is checked out. This is always stranger than a doctor's waiting room, because there's no escape without my car. There are no sidewalks here, although I could wander over a couple parking lots to get a taco if I really needed to. I'm in some strange car-less limbo, trapped without wheels in a landscape/infrastructure designed solely for cars.

It's true, in the past I've run across the five-lane highway to take photos of abandoned buildings, or walked a half-mile behind the guardrail to a strip-mall to get some shopping done... but I still can't get very far without my car. So now I'm sitting here devouring Wikipedia entries on highways, induced demand, vehicular fatalities, the environmental impact of roads, suburbia, etc., trying to figure out how we can continue to justify such widespread use and reliance on automobiles. Meanwhile, fun phrases like "off-road excursions" butt up against "fixed-object collision" and "Cat's eyes or Botts dots" makes me wonder if the people in charge of devising lane-marking devices enjoy children's poetry more than they should.

Living near highways often leads to elevated blood-pressure, simply to due to noise levels, while a roadway can slice animal populations into tiny, isolated gene pools prone to genetic drift and inbreeding. In 2007, there were 1,230,000 traffic-related fatalities world-wide––that's 20.8 people out of every 100,000, and doesn't mention injuries. 260,000 deaths every year, and about 10 million injuries... in children alone. But it couldn't happen to me!

I sure hope they can fix my tie-rods!

Here are some photos I took a little bit ago, lest we forget that we're really not that good at cars:

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