About That Moment of Silence…

While certainly sympathetic to the idea expressed by the image above, I was thinking it a bit too high-mindedly smug, too facetious, more of a sentiment than a reality, a phrase great for a t-shirt or cartoon caption but not much grounded in reality.

Then I looked at a random sample of Twitter.

My lips are sealed.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 at 6:50 pm and is filed under Bicycles, Commuting, Congestion, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

15 Responses to “About That Moment of Silence…”

  1. Eric McClure Says:

    Thank God for traffic jams! Otherwise, all those people people would be Tweeting at 60 mph.

  2. AN Says:

    Sounds like you need to spend a little more time in L.A., Tom.

    Or maybe not.

  3. Doug G. Says:

    Tom, I believe you may have just won the Internet.

    Even better, however, is a search for tweets containing “traffic” and “spin class.”

  4. DG Says:

    Doug G,

    Yes there are a few:!/search/realtime/spin%20traffic

  5. Jack Says:

    Yes Tom we live in a culture where people drive to places where they pay membership dues (but they offer FREE parking) in order to run around an indoor track or spincycle to nowhere. Then I see all these “cyclists” who drive their cars a few miles so they can bike on a cycle path for a few miles. For too many cars are an extension of their body-personality. Truly absurd and sad.

  6. Alex Says:

    Or how about driving to the park to walk your dog?

  7. A. Smith Says:

    With your considerable knowledge of the blindness of drivers towards bicyclists and pedestrians, I’m surprised you think driving to the gym is a chuckle-worthy oddity. My neighborhood has terrible potholes and tons of stop signs, making it a poor choice for a fast-paced bike ride, and as a woman there’s no way I’m going running alone, at night, on deserted streets. If you want to concentrate on exercising rather than personal safety, of course you’ll go to the gym. And if you’re on the way home from work, you’ll stop there in your car — unless you are in the tiny minority of US residents who have access to convenient public transit, I suppose.

    People don’t need any more excuses to be insufferably smug and disingenuous, please don’t provide them with another one.

  8. Mark Says:

    @ A. Smith

    You could move, that’s what I did.

  9. John Murphy Says:

    A. Smith – or apparently in the tiny minority of US residents who live somewhere they fix the potholes.

  10. Bob Davis Says:

    This cliche’ has been around for years–long before the Internet became part of everyday life, stand up comics were making jokes about Southern Californians as “The people who will drive ten blocks to the gym for some exercise.”

  11. becky Says:

    Not everyone is driving to the gym to work on a treadmill. I hate to defend people who drive to the gym, but riding a bike is not the same as lifting weights!

    I did ride my bike to the gym this morning and thus only did 5 minutes on the treadmill to warm up before lifting! If I’d driven, I’d have jogged for 10 minutes.

  12. Scott Cohen Says:

    Actually search this –!/search/realtime/spin%20class%20traffic.

    The poster, sadly, is pretty accurate. Imagine all the people who don’t tweet about their traffic-impaired spin class attendance.

  13. Glen Says:

    Sad story but true: My dad drove literally across the street to get subway, drove back across the street to the house, ate, got dressed and drove to the gym about a 1.24 miles away. When I asked him about it all at the end of the day he said driving to subways (across the street) was safer then walking across the street… which by the way is dangerous no matter how you choose to cross it. And driving to the gym meant he would be able to stay on the tread mill a little bit longer for his cool down after he did his “big” stationary bike miles.

    yeah… its all true :/ We even have a multiple use trail going from our house to over by the gym…

  14. RichUncle EL Says:

    I literally busted out laughing after reading this article. Wow I cant believe it but many people out there can not see the big picture. I left the gym about 5 years ago and if I had to be stuck in traffic to get there I would not go, point blank. Save us the smog and work out at home idiots.

  15. Clay Says:

    @Glenn. That is sad, when people actually have safe places to walk and they don’t use them.

    I was thinking today of all the “labor-creating” devices in my life. I take my recycling to the recycler with my ‘garbage cart’ instead of with a car. I use a handsaw for trees that would get chopped up much more quickly with a chainsaw. Even my stick-shift cuts down on the number of shoulder exercises I have to do for physical therapy.

    The bicycle you use instead of driving to the gym is the labor-creating device. The one that saves you time and money and keeps you alive.

Leave a Reply

Traffic Tom Vanderbilt

How We Drive is the companion blog to Tom Vanderbilt’s New York Times bestselling book, Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), published by Alfred A. Knopf in the U.S. and Canada, Penguin in the U.K, and in languages other than English by a number of other fine publishers worldwide.

Please send tips, news, research papers, links, photos (bad road signs, outrageous bumper stickers, spectacularly awful acts of driving or parking or anything traffic-related), or ideas for my Transport column to me at:

For publicity inquiries, please contact Kate Runde at Vintage:

For editorial inquiries, please contact Zoe Pagnamenta at The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency:

For speaking engagement inquiries, please contact
Kim Thornton at the Random House Speakers Bureau:

Order Traffic from:

Amazon | B&N | Borders
Random House | Powell’s

U.S. Paperback UK Paperback
Traffic UK
Drive-on-the-left types can order the book from

For UK publicity enquiries please contact Rosie Glaisher at Penguin.

Upcoming Talks

April 9, 2008.
California Office of Traffic Safety Summit
San Francisco, CA.

May 19, 2009
University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies
Bloomington, MN

June 23, 2009
Driving Assessment 2009
Big Sky, Montana

June 26, 2009
PRI World Congress
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

June 27, 2009
Day of Architecture
Utrecht, The Netherlands

July 13, 2009
Association of Transportation Safety Information Professionals (ATSIP)
Phoenix, AZ.

August 12-14
Texas Department of Transportation “Save a Life Summit”
San Antonio, Texas

September 2, 2009
Governors Highway Safety Association Annual Meeting
Savannah, Georgia

September 11, 2009
Oregon Transportation Summit
Portland, Oregon

October 8
Honda R&D Americas
Raymond, Ohio

October 10-11
INFORMS Roundtable
San Diego, CA

October 21, 2009
California State University-San Bernardino, Leonard Transportation Center
San Bernardino, CA

November 5
Southern New England Planning Association Planning Conference
Uncasville, Connecticut

January 6
Texas Transportation Forum
Austin, TX

January 19
Yale University
(with Donald Shoup; details to come)

Monday, February 22
Yale University School of Architecture
Eero Saarinen Lecture

Friday, March 19
University of Delaware
Delaware Center for Transportation

April 5-7
University of Utah
Salt Lake City
McMurrin Lectureship

April 19
International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (Organization Management Workshop)
Austin, Texas

Monday, April 26
Edmonton Traffic Safety Conference
Edmonton, Canada

Monday, June 7
Canadian Association of Road Safety Professionals
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Wednesday, July 6
Fondo de Prevención Vial
Bogotá, Colombia

Tuesday, August 31
Royal Automobile Club
Perth, Australia

Wednesday, September 1
Australasian Road Safety Conference
Canberra, Australia

Wednesday, September 22

Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s
Traffic Incident Management Enhancement Program
Statewide Conference
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Wednesday, October 20
Rutgers University
Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation
Piscataway, NJ

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre
Injury Prevention Forum

Monday, May 2
Idaho Public Driver Education Conference
Boise, Idaho

Tuesday, June 2, 2011
California Association of Cities
Costa Mesa, California

Sunday, August 21, 2011
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Attitudes: Iniciativa Social de Audi
Madrid, Spain

April 16, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Gardens Theatre, QUT
Brisbane, Australia

April 17, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Centennial Plaza, Sydney
Sydney, Australia

April 19, 2012
Institute for Sensible Transport Seminar
Melbourne Town Hall
Melbourne, Australia

January 30, 2013
University of Minnesota City Engineers Association Meeting
Minneapolis, MN

January 31, 2013
Metropolis and Mobile Life
School of Architecture, University of Toronto

February 22, 2013
ISL Engineering
Edmonton, Canada

March 1, 2013
Australian Road Summit
Melbourne, Australia

May 8, 2013
New York State Association of
Transportation Engineers
Rochester, NY

August 18, 2013 “Ingenuity” Conference
San Francisco, CA

September 26, 2013
TransComm 2013
(Meeting of American Association
of State Highway and Transportation
Officials’ Subcommittee on Transportation
Grand Rapids MI



April 2012
« Jan   Aug »

No, you probably won be compensated one million dollars; however, with the right blend of negotiating skills and patience, your efforts will be substantially rewarded!I have seen up to forty thousand dollars added to starting compensation through diligent negotiations. It is a way to significantly raise your standard of living and sense of self, simply by