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Letters to the World


The dull life of an Athens non-driver

Filed under: Car-Free — codeman38 @ 1:27 pm

Once again, I’ve been left to feel like a second-class citizen— OK, maybe not that extreme, but definitely like an outcast— simply because I’m unable to drive a car.

I saw an ad in the paper for a new Apple Mac retailer called PeachMac that’s going to be opening in Athens, Georgia later this month. The shininess of new computers (and accessories for my older one!) beckons this easily distracted geek, even if I can’t even remotely afford a new computer at the moment.

Except that, although the store (1850 Epps Bridge Parkway) is considered to be in Athens, it isn’t actually in Clarke County. And thus none of the bus lines actually run there. The nearest bus stop is a mile and a half away. At least this road, however, appears to have sidewalks and crosswalks, unlike…most others in Athens, so I could walk there if I were ‘together’ enough (though whether it’d be bearable in 80°F weather is another question entirely).

I suppose I could catch a taxi there if I really wanted to take a look…

(As an aside, am I the only one who thinks it doesn’t make sense that we have a unified city and county government, but not all of what’s considered part of Athens is actually in Clarke County? Does this make sense to anyone?)

Sigh. I need, at the very least, to learn how to stay balanced on a bike. (Oddly enough, I have no trouble with pedaling; I do absolutely fine on exercise bikes and with training wheels. The issue is purely one of Not Falling Over.) And hopefully the driving lessons this summer will prove more fruitful than my last several attempts…


  1. Our small county size is a bit awkward. Counties are pretty small in Georgia, and that thwarts effort to plan development and land use on a practical scale. Epps Bridge Parkway is literally a shining example of what happens when planning is so limited — on the Clarke County side of McNutt’s Creek you have residential areas, but on the Oconee County side a different governing authority allowed sprawling commercial development with bright lights that shine into the Clarke County neighborhoods.

    Comment by Adrian — 01-May-2007 @ 3:21 pm

  2. Yeah… I’ve noticed the few times I’ve managed to get rides to that area how utterly unchecked all the development on the Oconee side of Epps Bridge has been. The sad thing, though, is that it’s still somewhat more pedestrian-friendly than the sprawliness of Atlanta Highway that’s in Clarke County…

    Oh, and honestly? I was rather surprised that an independently-owned Macintosh dealer would locate itself amidst that sprawly mess rather than somewhere closer to the heart of town. It just seems like a very un-Mac-ish way of doing things. ::shrugs::

    Comment by codeman38 — 01-May-2007 @ 5:18 pm

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