The road to Pottersville
October 29, 2002
When straight-shot advocates speak of the future, I wonder which future they mean. Anyone who?s watched “It?s a Wonderful Life,” the 1946 Capra flick, knows you choose your future based on the strength of your commitment and clarity of your vision. Your heart has to be in it.
The knee-jerk logic of many straight-shot fans seems fatally simplistic ? “Make a bigger road. Everything gets better and better after that.” That road leads goes to Pottersville, I believe. And to leave things exactly as they are would be like putting a wall around Bedford Falls.
I want to hear how electric and hybrid vehicles can replace fuming diesel dump trucks. How public transportation ? train, electric bus, monorail, whatever ? will be so good you can?t wait to ride it. How cars and roads can become less, not more, important in our daily lives. And how downtown can become more like the farmer?s market and less like the Mall of America, emptied.
Big-road bullies are scrapping over a dinner that?s already spoiled. They sneer at eccentric notions proposed by visionaries (trollies? ? too cute!). But in this battle of ideas, I think the “put-everyone-in-a-golf-cart” spirit will probably be the leanest and fittest survivor.
Clarence Oddbody, angel second-class, might know the answer, but he wants the George Bailys and Henry F. Potters of Aspen to hash it out on their own.
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