And, by the side of the road, I mean on a freeway entrance or exit ramp. This includes one car blocking the only express lane (I-5 South) leaving downtown Seattle, backing up thousands of cars. (When I got there, a tow-truck was both helping and not helping the situation.)
So I had this idea. It could be a coincidence, like how things group; if they didn't they wouldn't be random. But I don't think so. I think that, with the last couple of years and with end-times levels of unemployment, people are putting off car repairs and gas station visits. And after one or two years of this, the seams are beginning to show.
As it gets colder, I think we'll see more and more disabled vehicles owned by folks who can least afford to have them towed and tended. And these vehicles will cause more traffic slowdowns and accidents. Which will result in more wear and tear on the running vehicles, more fuel consumption to do things like commute or shop, and more human agony with tardiness and road rage.
Which will, of course, lead to more cars nearing their own demise. And more people less financially able to do something about it.
I live in a city where multi-axel truck drivers often think that bicyclists should pay for the use of the road too. That's fine, I suppose; but drive around SoDo to see what trucks do to roads, and tell me that truckers shouldn't pay more than bicyclists.
We'll reach a tipping point where more people need public and alternate transit at exactly the same time that our cost of service and tax revolt will prevent the availability of that transit.
We haven't fixed roads. We haven't fixed job security. We haven't fixed automobile economy. We haven't fixed public transit.
Oh, they're closing the viaduct for at least nine days. I think that means 40,000 more cars between me and my workplace. Even in the best of times, some of those are going to break down on a freeway ramp.