Holidays' Roadways | On a Roll | Paul Bendix | Almanac Online |

Local Blogs

On a Roll

By Paul Bendix

About this blog: A 32-year resident of Menlo Park, I regularly make my way around downtown in a wheelchair. This gives me an unusual perspective on a town in which I have spent almost half of my life. I was educated at UC Berkeley, and permanentl...  (More)

View all posts from Paul Bendix

Holidays' Roadways

Uploaded: Dec 24, 2014
Deck the halls...and hit the decks. These last pre-Christmas days have proven perilous for anyone in a wheelchair. Drivers do not see me in crosswalks. But it's nothing personal – they don't see each other. And once behind the wheel of my minivan, I quickly seem part of the problem.

I see other drivers, but I don't see what they are about to do. Cars dart unexpectedly from intersections. In packed parking lots, they wait inexplicably for driverless vehicles to move. And speaking of driverless vehicles, if you ask me, they can't arrive quickly enough. Someday, the general concept of air traffic control will morph into something more terrestrial. Holiday traffic control.

Call it road queuing. Or structured parking . You know how when SFO gets fogged in, you sit waiting at Cleveland Airport? Imagine something like that for the Peninsula roadways. Why waste time? When there's no parking at Stanford Shopping Center, you might as well stay home. If a space opens up at the mall, Holiday Traffic Control will let you know. Actually, I will let you know. Just give me a call. My advice will be to stay home. Or take Caltrain to Hillsdale.

At my home, such advice falls on deaf ears. My wife drives a lot, frequently endures traffic en route to her San Francisco job. Which is why I do much of the shopping, even the holiday grocery shopping. Despite the perils, a wheelchair has certain advantages in crowded streets – principally the freedom from parking. That's why my wife's shopping list can arise spontaneously. As menus change, so do priorities. So off I go, battery-powered, in search of fresh tarragon, whatever that is. As for collisions, watch out. I can do serious damage to a shopping cart.

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


There are no comments yet for this post

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.



Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Almanac Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Analysis/paralysis: The infamous ‘Palo Alto Process’ must go
By Diana Diamond | 21 comments | 2,871 views

Common Ground
By Sherry Listgarten | 4 comments | 2,775 views

Planting a Fall Garden?
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 1,343 views