Published June 2, 2017
It is well documented. How good it actually feels. That first rush. That first time everything is just right. You get comfortable in your seat. Tighten that belt. With not much more than a singular motion, you are transported from one place to another. Day or night, it makes no difference. It feels like freedom. Like there is nothing that can slow you down. All thanks to that substance. All because of that stuff.
There is no wonder that it is habit-forming. Soon enough, the habit has become an addiction. Always seeking the feeling of those early days, those first few times where nothing was in the way of pure bliss. But it’s not the same. More is needed, add to the habit. And that’s when it all goes downhill.
The more and more the habit is fed, the less significant it becomes. It seems to require bigger and bigger doses, which, at the same time, grow costlier and costlier. Everything seems to take more time and the sacrifices made are never sufficient. The habit becomes more important than life itself. And more rapidly than you think. Each time the habit is fed, you destroy the organism. The one which was once so full of life and unlimited potential.
Today, in 2017, there is a general consensus among urban planners that adding another traffic lane does not solve traffic problems. It, however, induces more traffic. By adding grade separations, overpasses, underpasses, by feeding the habit, car congestion gets worse. But there are loud voices of codependency. There will be loud voices who owe every bit of their financial and political success to promising and constructing roads, selling more fuel, more cars, with all the carbon footprints that “success” entails. Detroit went down that road. A city planned and constructed according to every wish of the motor industry. More roads. More overpasses. More underpasses. More of that asphalt stuff. Detroit filed for bankruptcy in 2013, the largest city in history to do so.
For Reykjavík, luckily, there is a way out. Stop feeding the habit. Get healthy.