December 9, 2013

In a Dec. 2 letter, Bruce Wright, the chairman of the Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, suggested that I should walk or bike a mile to the new Tysons Silver Line Metrorail stations, instead of driving, and thereby get some exercise, ease congestion and reduce pollution. Mr. Wright’s suggestion was a perfect example of why the parking dilemma facing soon-to-be Silver Line commuters should have been resolved long ago. Fairfax County’s failure to accommodate those commuting to Tysons Corner by automobile will be a colossal failure, especially when winter’s worst arrives.

Mr. Wright’s appeal to commuter ruggedness is wishful thinking. Though I manage, as an 80-year-old, to bike 25 to 30 miles per week, I would be ill-advised to risk traveling down busy Leesburg Pike to Tysons in anything less than my wonderful, safe, climate-controlled, comfortable cocoon — just like other automobile commuters are inclined to do.

While much of the rest of the globe races to embrace individual carbon-powered transport, we race to handicap our economy through forced carbon energy denial. The atmosphere we seek to protect is the same one being polluted by the rest of the world, which will gladly consume any energy we eschew. Our ability to drive anywhere is a blessing that most fail to appreciate, especially those coercive utopians who seek to remold our society into something it will never be.

While driving, it should always be comforting for me to recall, and edit slightly, the late Charlton Heston’s proclamation: I’ll give up my steering wheel when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

John Lucas, Vienna