Cars Really Suck!!!
A couple of typical Washington Post 'reports' below.
The 1st sentence of #1 was completely contradicted later in the article.
Neither managed to ask why we weren't
making an effort to decrease our use of cars.
So Far, So Good For Holiday Travellers
By Brooke A. Masters
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 22, 2000; 12:45 PM
This is the biggest travel day of the holiday season, according to road and airline analysts, but at midday there were few problems to slow the big getaway in the Washington region or across the nation.
The Air Transport Association estimated that 2.14 million people will embark today nationwide, riding in planes that were on average 81.6 percent full.
Saturday will also be busy, with 2.07 million people riding in planes that are 79 percent full. The air travel crowds will pick up again next week, with the number of passengers expected to top 2 million on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
For the three-quarters of Americans who get where they are going on the nation's roads, the peak travel days are likely to be today, Saturday, Tuesday, Wednesday and New Year's Day, according to AAA Potomac spokesman Justin McNaull.
AAA estimates that 60.6 million people are traveling this year for the holidays, up 4 percent from last year, when fears about the Y2K bug kept some Americans at home, he said. That means 925,000 are leaving the Washington area, including 694,000 who expect to go by car, he said.
Still, analysts said, this year's busiest days are less congested than last year, and fall well short of the traditional worst day of the year, the Sunday after Thanksgiving.
That's because Christmas falls on a Monday this year, allowing people to spread their getaways across a long holiday weekend, and many people take the entire week off between Christmas and New Year's, reducing the congestion for returning travelers.
On the downside, "you do have the convergence of last minute shoppers, rush hour and holiday travelers," said McNaull said. "The drive that ordinarily takes nine hours could take 10 or 11, so please plan plenty of breaks."
For southbound drivers, today got off to a terrible start, when a Disney World-bound pickup towing a camper jackknifed across Interstate 95 at Massaponax, closing that entire side of the highway for 25 minutes and blocking two of the three lanes for an additional 90 minutes. Traffic – much of it holiday travelers – backed up for several miles, said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell.
She said the driver, Richard Carney, 47, and several other families, all towing campers, from Bridgeton, N.J., were convoying to Florida. At about 6:35 a.m., Carney, who has been charged with reckless driving, lost control of his 1998 Dodge pickup and the camper ripped open, spilling Christmas presents across the highway. I-95 fully reopened about 8:30 a.m.
The morning went well at the region's airports, as the snow that had been forecast had little or no effect. At noon, most flights were taking off and landing within 15 minutes of their regular schedule at all three of the major airports.
"So far, so good. The flurries were flurries, which is always good," said Tara Hamilton, spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. "There are very few canceled flights . . . and the weather we are looking at is all up North."
"But 4 to 8 p.m. is the critical mass period," she noted. "And tomorrow will be busy."
© 2000 The Washington Post Company
1 Killed, 6 Hurt Crossing Streets
By Clarence Williams and David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, December 22, 2000; Page B03
One pedestrian was killed and six others -- three of them children -- were injured during evening rush hour yesterday after they were hit by cars in four separate accidents in the Washington area, police said.
At least nine pedestrians have been killed this month in accidents across the metropolitan area.
Kyoko Matsushima, 30, died last night after she tried to cross Rockville Pike near its intersection with Tuckerman Lane about 5 p.m., said Officer Derek Baliles, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Police Department.
Matsushima was with her husband, apparently in a crosswalk, when she was hit by a 2000 Ford pickup, Baliles said. The driver, along with other drivers and pedestrians, rendered aid immediately after the accident. Matsushima, of the 1000 block of Montrose Avenue in Bethesda, was taken to Suburban Hospital, where she died shortly after 9 p.m.
Police, who said that the driver may have run a red light, were still investigating last night. Matsushima's husband was not struck or injured.
In Prince George's County, a woman and three children -- a 6-year-old boy and two 5-year-old twin boys -- were struck by a 1992 Toyota Tercel as they crossed the 7200 block of Annapolis Road in Landover Hills just after 6 p.m.
The 6-year-old and one of the twins were listed in serious condition at Children's Hospital, and the other boy was listed in good condition. The woman, 22, was treated for a minor foot injury at Washington Hospital Center and released. Their names were not disclosed.
Landover Hills Officer Andrew Gue said the driver of the Toyota Tercel said "she never saw" the four people, who were wearing dark clothing.
"The driver was pretty shaken up and tried to help," he said. The accident is under investigation.
In the District, an unidentified man was in critical condition last night at Washington Hospital Center after he was struck about 5:45 p.m. in the 3200 block of Georgia Avenue NW by a car that left the scene, police said. The man, who was found lying on the ground, had not been identified last night.
Police were looking for a silver or gray compact or midsize car.
In Fairfax County, a man was struck by a car on the Wiehle Avenue overpass near the Dulles Toll Road in Reston just before 6 p.m. He was listed in fair condition at Inova Fairfax Hospital last night.
In Montgomery County, a series of pedestrian accidents this year prompted the county to run broadcast and print advertisements about the dangers pedestrians face. County officials also have moved to increase fines for running red lights.
© 2000 The Washington Post Company