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Letters to the World » Car-Free

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Feeling so pedestrian lately

Filed under: Car-Free,General,Grad School — codeman38 @ 9:49 pm

I really need to make more friends who can drive. That, or find somewhere up here that offers halfway affordable driving lessons catering to those with neurological quirks… or a taxi service that’s not $10 round-trip (if such a thing even exists)…


Tales from Graduate School: Drivers Wanted

Filed under: Car-Free,General,Grad School — codeman38 @ 2:30 pm

OK, so we all know by now that the campus buses here at UGA don’t run at all on the days of home football games, but I figured I’d be able to catch a city bus somewhere near campus, right?

Wrong. Unless I wanted to walk approximately a mile and a quarter to the nearest bus stop that they do pick up at on game days (an illustration via Google Maps).

And they do not mention this fact at all on their web site. After actually getting over my telephonophobia and calling transit headquarters to confirm whether the routes run to south campus on game days (hey, at least I had the foresight not to wait at the bus stop for an hour wondering where the bus was…), I left a message with the Athens Transit webmaster letting him know that, hey, the fact that the routes change on game days is something that needs to actually be mentioned somewhere.

As for that mile-and-a-quarter walk? The temperature right now is 86°, according to AccuWeather, while the heat index is 94°. I was about to collapse just walking the quarter of a mile to the East Campus dining hall… yeah, I know, part of it’s because I’m out of shape, but I could make that walk in the winter without much trouble.


Tales from Graduate School: Sic ‘Transit’ Gloria Mundi

Filed under: Car-Free,General,Grad School — codeman38 @ 5:44 pm

Argh. Yes, there may be a public transit system here, but rapid transit it is not.

I decided to take a little excursion this afternoon, while I had some free time, to go to the grocery store to pick up a couple things I needed— namely, orange juice and a box of blueberry Toaster Strudels™®©. (Mm, I love those things.)

Catching the bus to the grocery store wasn’t an issue, either. So I got there without a hitch, and found the orange juice I needed… but lo and behold, the store’s freezer wasn’t working properly, so the Toaster Strudels were more than a bit warm. I didn’t want to risk it, so I decided just not to bother with them.

So I came out with the grocery store and waited eight minutes for the bus, just like the schedule said.

And waited.

And waited.

By this point, it was already past time for the bus to be several stops past the one I was at, yet I hadn’t seen the slightest hint of it.

So I decided to walk back a bit… slow as it was.

Finally, after several minutes of walking— honestly, I had lost count of how long it had been by then— a bus showed up and I stepped on, to ride it all the way around the route. Naturally, there had been no buses that showed up on the other side of the street… and even if there had, there’s no way I’m playing a life-sized game of Frogger to get across that busy road. (Who in their right mind would design a major intersection and not put a crosswalk there, anyway?)

Total time spent? Over an hour. For a carton of orange juice. Now I have to go to some other store some other time to find the Toaster Strudels.

Maybe I should try my hand again at learning to ride a bike…


The non-driver’s lament, part n^x

Filed under: Car-Free,General — codeman38 @ 7:45 pm

Well, I’m visiting UGA‘s campus right now, and the good news is, I think I can get around the campus fairly well now.

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about going off campus: not only do the city buses not run on Sundays, they also don’t run after around 6:30 PM. There go all my plans for nighttime mall trips. (And the street on which the mall is located is hardly pedestrian-friendly, I should add… besides, it’s an insanely long distance from campus.)

I hate this world sometimes.


More fun with bad bus maps

Filed under: Car-Free,General — codeman38 @ 3:00 pm

Speaking of bad transit maps and UGA, this part of Athens Transit’s system map really needs to be redesigned. There are so many routes overlapping that I literally can’t tell what goes where in some parts of the map. And some of the street names and landmarks are obscured by the routes, too, which only makes things worse. Oh, and forget about trying to find one of the smaller streets on campus under all those routes– as far as I’m concerned, they don’t exist on this map! >_<


Cody and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Map

Filed under: Car-Free,General — codeman38 @ 11:49 pm

OK, here’s a prime example of why I find some bus maps incredibly hard to decipher.

Here’s a map of the University of Georgia’s weekend bus route (PDF link). Simple enough. Now look toward the bottom at Rogers Road and Milledge Avenue. One would think that those roads ran in some direction resembling east-west, right?

Nope. Not unless north-northwest counts as ‘some direction resembling’. Here’s an actual map of that area via Google:
Rogers Road, Athens, GA

That is *so* not east-west. In fact, I’d say it’s far closer to north-south!

And people wonder why I look at these sorts of maps and can’t make head or tail of them…

Edited to add: Yay. Apparently there’s a grocery store that’s a two-minute walk from the part of Milledge Avenue that the bus covers, according to Google Maps. I just wish the bus map had been clearer so I could’ve figured this out sooner– I had been looking for a north-south route on the west side of the map, not an east-west route on the south side!


Well, at least I can study somewhere…

Filed under: Car-Free,General — codeman38 @ 12:48 am

I’ve been a bit busy lately, but some fairly good news came in a couple days ago: I was accepted for graduate study at the University of Georgia.

I’m still waiting to hear from Georgia State before I finally make a decision. I could probably survive in Athens (where UGA’s located), but its bus system is even more confusingly mapped out than Macon’s, and it also doesn’t run on Sundays. Plus, the campus is really big, and I can see myself getting lost way too easily. I’d much prefer to be at GSU; not only is the campus somewhat smaller, there’s also a lot more in walking distance in downtown Atlanta, as well as a public transit system that actually runs 7 days a week with more frequent stops.

So… well, we’ll see. I might, by some freakish chance, actually end up getting over my lack of confidence in my (in)ability to drive, though that still seems like quite a longshot…

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