Traffic Life : Passionate Tales and Exit Strategies
Edited by Stephan Wehner
An Anthology
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 viii                      Preface  in great numbers, produce traffic. Most driving is boring. Roads are often packed with cars. City streets get clogged.    When I was still in San Francisco, my employer wisely offered to cover a monthly public transportation pass for all staff. When the possibility of relocation of the company came up, I feared the move, but he said that we would only move within walking distance of a BART station (BART is one of the local transit organizations). In contrast to this, one of my colleagues, a follower of the car religion, rented a house in the suburbs which was too far from the BART station to walk, and so he drove there every morning, to spend half an hour on the train. On one of his trips his car was hit by another car. Beyond the injuries, he had to deal with medical and insurance issues. Another friend became unreasonably angry while driving. He regularly underwent the 'ugly transformation' described by Mr. Wetmore in the foreword to this book. All this was going through my head when I thought 'How silly this is!'    How did this collection come about? After arriving in Vancouver, with only a vague idea of what could come out of this request, I distributed a call for contributions. How would others express these problems or offer solutions? Contributions arrived, and some of them surprisingly fit the picture that had been forming in my head-some made me feel, 'oh, that's what I was thinking of!' Others, I couldn't relate to at first-until I realized, yes, they also talk about the reality, the pain, the suffering, the stupidity, the ulti- mate silliness.    Not every piece arrived through the call for contribu- tions. In addition to some that I came across, I also added some special items: the manifesto of the New York organiza- tion, Right of Way; Declaration of the Right to Walk and Roll by the group WALK Austin; and the Autoholics Anonymous Car-Free Pledge developed by Carbusters. I found a very nice book by Aaron Naparstek, Honku: The Zen Antidote to Road Rage, and am glad that he agreed to contribute an excerpt. Jeff Younger composed a Jazz piece for this book. The scores are included (if you can't play it yourself, hope- fully you can locate someone who will). Finally, I added two
                            Preface                           ix  widely known short stories: Ray Bradbury's The Pedestrian and Harlan Ellison's Along the Scenic Route. Special thanks go to Mr. Ellison for writing a postscript to his story for this book.    For their help in various ways, many, many thanks also go to my partner Tamara Dakic, Albrecht Meyer, Anand Yethiraj, Annalee Heit, David Low, Erick Wong, Helga Low, Laura Quilici, Lisa Lajeunesse, Lisa Miller, Margaret Mar- tin, Paige Raibmon, Taliesin Smith, and Yee Doris Jim.                                               Stephan Wehner                                 Vancouver, British Columbia                                               December, 2003

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