Car Dealerships: Redux

A few months back I mentioned that nothing makes me sadder than empty car dealerships because they are such an absurd waste of land and capital and inventiveness. I feel like I see them everywhere, these altars to the end of modernity, these colossal ruins that give testament to the absurdity of happy motoring and cheap-o gas.

In Decatur there is a strip that has three separate empty dealerships alone, which makes me wince every time I go by it. Here’s some pics:

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“It’s never safe to be nostalgic about something until you’re absolutely certain there’s no chance of its coming back.”

Bill Vaughn

News From The Edge Has A Two-Fer

*MARTA pins its hopes on a transportation tax…wait, why does MARTA have any hopes?

*And, seriously no snark here, I’m glad someone is trying to think outside the box to fix one of America’s systemic problems.

News From The Edge Has Got Some Cold, Dead Hands

*You’re gonna have to pry the oil from Georgia’s cold, dead hands.

*For real. Cold. Dead. Hands.

*The New York Times had an interesting op/ed piece suggesting that there might be other uses for parking lots, since they’re basically America’s equivalent of a public square.

*And the Wall Street Journal has its normal dissociative problem where the headline suggests some Republican ecological fantasy but the body of the article says the exact opposite. In this case the headline suggests that unnecessary regulation is keeping farmers from making a good living, when in actuality what the government is regulating is the use of water in a place that is basically a desert and shouldn’t be farmland in the first place. Oh yeah, and they just got through one of the worst droughts on record. Damn communiss!

*Maggie Koerth-Baker, author of When the Lights Go Out, uses a small suburban town in Kansas as the spine of a brief tale of how Peak Oil and Climate Change will combine to totally screw over middle America. Sweet dreams.

*But none of these things have anything to do with the massive shortfall in funding for public education. Of course not. Course not.

News From The Edge Is In A Race

The AJC was chock full of urban decay stories yesterday. In case you missed it, here are a few of them:

*According to a recent Sperlings Best Cities survey Atlanta is one of the fifteen most stressful cities to live in. One of the main reasons is that the ATL has the third longest commute time per capita in the country. But you’ll pry my endless miles of wasteful concrete from my cold, dead, stressed out hands.

*Atlanta metro and its environs is having some serious sewer problems. The most terrifying thing in this article is the supposed 22 million gallon sewage spill in NW Atlanta. 22 million!?

*Poor Boomers. You don’t get to retire on your private yacht at 55.

*And when news sources like the AJC are actually posting shit like this, you know its gone mainstream. And all the people in this country with a shred of deductive ability heave a collective, “Duh!” Apparently more drilling doesn’t actually effect gas prices.

*Think Progress has an interesting article about transportation use and urban planning in our fair, dysfunctional city.

*While we’re at it, Talking Points Memo also ran a story about public transportation and the end of the Happy Motoring Age.

*And while we’re still at it, Salon chatted a bit about the end of cheap gasoline. They say get used to $4 a gallon. I say get used to $5.

*One more: Rolling Stone and the race for earth’s last resources.