I spent most of my morning commute thinking about robot cars and the nefarious purposes you could put them to. It's a good way to pass the time, though a weird one. I'm obsessed with robot cars and the dystopian future I fear they'll bring. I'm not a technophobe by default and there are many technologies that I think are just peachy. But what I am in a carphobe and when I think about the history of cars in cities, I see a steady progression of space being stolen from people in not-cars and given to be in cars and how we're all pretty much ok with that. I don't see how that changes when the cars are driven by robots and I don't predict a halcyon future where we say 'oh wow, let's use what was a parking lane for a park' and not 'oh wow, let's use what was a parking lane as a place to idle our robot cars so they can pick us up faster when we call them on our smart phones.' I hope I'm wrong, but I fear I won't be.
I rode home now through what's the regular route on Woodley, potholes be damned. At the stop sign at 29th, a guy tried to wave me around him while he stopped to make a right turn. But he suggested that I pass him on the right, between his car, the curb and the place he planned to turn. Thanks, bud, but I passed on the left instead. There are shockingly few reasons to ride in the two feet between a car and the curb, waved through or otherwise.
Today was car free day, but I had an appointment that kept me from work right away. In the morning I was running errands and planned to take Bikeshare, but as I approached the first two stations, my arrival was greeted by someone beating me to the last bike, leaving me with bupkis. You can't ride bupkis. At least not comfortably. I did finally snag one and then I caught the last bike at the Tenleytown metro when I finally got to work. My luck, however, ran out in the afternoon. When it was time to ride home, there were no bikes in the station. Now, this is kind of antithetical to the whole mission of Bikeshare, which is all about sharing, but would I pay a dollar to "reserve" a bike for me, for like 5 minutes, when I absolutely knew I needed it? Yeah, maybe. You could even add in dynamic pricing based on demand. I'm kind of surprised that one of the for-profit systems hasn't tried this yet. Seems like it would probably work.
Instead I took the bus home and I didn't get off the bus at the stop I should have and waited one stop too long, which meant waiting in an extra 15 minutes of traffic to go two blocks. Massachusetts Avenue is barren for Bikeshares between AU and Dupont and that's a shame. You could get off at Observatory Circle and walk over to Glover Park, but that's not exactly right there on Mass, so I don't think that really counts. It'd be nice if they threw in a dock at the Cathedral or by the British or Finnish Embassies. It wouldn't probably be the highest used station, but it would certainly close a pretty expansive gap. When I finally got off the bus, I rode from Dupont to New Hampshire at T. It took 4 minutes.