Today I may have cheated the system. I may have cheated the experiment, but I don’t think I did. I think I have explored one of the necessary questions of the experiment: what is the appropriate use of the bus system?

You see, I didn’t ride the bus today. I took care of quite a few errands (tax day) without ever walking more than about six blocks to any destination. Here’s what I did: I walked six blocks to the ATM where I deposited a paycheck and checked my balance. Then I walked six blocks further into downtown to send a fax. I walked two blocks to the barbershop to get my haircut and then six or seven blocks to the post office. From the post office it was just six or seven blocks back home. In all I ended up walking about twenty six blocks, but never did it seem appropriate to ride the bus. 

The the question for  me becomes, in a compact, multi-use downtown what is the role of the bus??? I would argue that there is no role for the bus as transit within the downtown, but just to connect neighborhoods. But you know, maybe I should have just paid attention to the name of the bus company: Intercity Transit, not Intracity Transit! That said, I think it serves more of a purpose than getting from Olympia to Lacey or Tumwater. I would say it’s most effective use is getting from one neighborhood to another. In my mind, Olympia can be broken into at least four relatively coherent neighborhoods: Downtown, the Westside, the Eastside, and the South Capitol. I really don’t know Lacey or Tumwater well enough to talk about their neighborhoods. 

Ideally, most of your daily needs can be met within your neighborhood and you would need to travel outside maybe for work or school which could be achieved by catching a bus that goes from one coherent neighborhood to another. Actually, in my ideal world, each neighborhood would be an independent city with control over its territory and interests. Then the transit system would be intercity again.

I’m getting really tempted to redraw the county map with my idealized vision! Watch out! I’m going to do it!

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