Thursday, February 9, 2017

Transportation and its consequences

I was out and about and noticed that the various eras of transportation are strikingly evident in Roanoke, and the consequences of the placement of the transportation mechanics is evident as well. In the picture below, we see a train running along the tracks, with a highway with individual cars and trucks running visually above it (the highway is not, in fact vertically above the train but is off in the distance). Looking visually higher again, we see the houses that are isolated from the center of the town, the spot from which the picture was taken.

Consequences of inclusion and exclusion are often overlooked when decisions about how to best lay track or road are considered, and, even when the social aspects of the transportation decision are considered, frequently the poor find themselves voiceless.

Then there are the juxtapositions of the old and new Roanoke. Here we have the new roundabout that serves the new Carilion Clinic at Riverside -- complete with Carilion-sponsored trolley-- up next to the old train tracks that run parallel to the river. Off to the side of the image, we see the super-modern lofts being constructed, with traditional homes in the distance.