Taking off on the subject of this recent post, I thought I’d hark back to a column I wrote in 1998, way before this blog was ever thought of. In it, I set forth my vision of what it might be like if the Midlands had the mass transit amenities of New York or Washington or even Atlanta:
Imagine: Say it’s a few years from now, and you live in Lexington and work in Columbia. You drive the mile or so to the station and leave your car in a parking lot. You take your seat and ride the old Southern line that parallels Highway 1 into the city. Call it the A line.
Despite all the stops, you get downtown in less time than it takes to drive, while getting ahead on work or (better yet) reading the paper. You change trains at the Vista Center station near the new arena and conference center.
Say you work where I do, near Williams-Brice Stadium (and why wouldn’t you; this is my dream, after all). You take the C line down one of the very tracks that used to frustrate you in your driving days (if you can’t beat the trains, join them). You get off within a block of work.
A few hours later, when you have a lunch appointment in Five Points, you take a quick ride back up to Vista Center, then through the underground stretch beneath the State House complex and the USC campus on the eastern reach of the A line.
Need to shop after work? Take the C all the way out to Columbiana, or the D along Two-Notch to Columbia Mall. (Where does the B line go? Out toward Lake Murray, which means it runs between 378 and the Saluda River, right by my house.)
Now that there’s so much more growth out to the northeast I suppose we could extend the D farther out. The C would be longer, too. And the A might need a spur that would run out Garners Ferry. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Yeah, I was dreaming then and I’m dreaming now — like the guy in that movie "Singles," who kept talking about his mass transit dream (in Seattle, I think it was), and anyone he told it to would say, "Yeah, but I love my car."
But it’s a nice dream. Here’s the rest of that column, by the way — but I already gave you the relevant part.