It’s a car world

Day 3–July 6, 2009 (Germantown-Frederick, 13.3 miles)

After a painful purge of 15 pounds from my backpack (including the first two-thirds of a book I had been reading that I ripped out and threw away) I began to make some real progress. A lighter backpack made a huge difference and I was actually enjoying walking. And then the sun beat down.

In a moment of brilliance I figured I could get out of the sun and take public transportation to my destination in Frederick and then backtrack to where I left off the next day. But, after an hour online looking at bus and train schedules, I realized the truth: this is a country of cars. To get from point A to point B, the car is really a much better mode of transportation than walking.

Certainly public transportation trumps both, but even in heavily urban areas it can be sparse. I may have still been in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., but that didn’t mean there was public transportation beyond a few commuter routes. And it certainly didn’t cross county lines. It is no surprise that in areas where the middle class commute there are numerous routes, but where it is the poor who rely on public transit there are fewer options.

– By Jennifer E. Cooper