Not to Human Scale

Some time ago I complained about Hangzhou, and I said that it, and pretty much every US city, suffers from the problem of not being scaled to the human being.

Well today I offer an anecdote that I hope well illuminate exactly what I mean. Today I decided to spend the evening at the bar doing some writing. The bar is roughly one city block from my house. Realistically one should be able to get from the one to the other even with a god damn gun shot wound. And it is a straight shot from the my house to the bar too. What could be easier?

Well, perfectly bisecting the route between the two is WenSan rd, a seemingly major intersection that caries a rather significant amount of traffic. If you don’t catch the crosswalk light to cross the road, you may wait some time. I never stopped to consider just how much time you do wait if you don’t catch that light.

So today I left my house at exactly 5:30 and I walked to the bar, but just as I reached the door I received a message from a flatmate saying that they had, once again, lost the keys to the house and needed to be let in. Seeing as how I am a nice guy, I walked back home, let them in (almost, they met me just outside my complex) and then went back to the bar.

Question, how long did it take me to get to the bar?

25 min from door to door to walk approximately the distance of one city block.

I waited well over 5 min for the cross light as WenSan rd (timed by the extremely unscientific method of measuring it again the mp3 I was listening to). I had to cross it three times. But I challenge to find me a case where such a thing would happen in any other city. Not even Washington DC, a city whose infrastructure is so poor natives joke that it must have been designed by dice rolls, would such a thing occur.

Seriously, the fuck is wrong with this place.

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