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Carpool instead of complaining

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What's the only thing worse than Calgary's traffic problems? All the whining and grumbling about
Calgary's traffic problems.

For some reason, people have the misguided belief that everyone around them needs to hear their traffic horror stories. Everyone needs to hear why Deerfoot sucks and should be a six-lane freeway stretching from Harvest Hills to Bridlewood or how they were stuck in traffic for a whole hour. Most Torontonians would give their left arm to have such a short commute.

Not even University of Calgary students are immune from such inane comments. Students complain not only about the same old traffic woes but also the on-campus parking situation.

Admittedly, Calgary's roads aren't designed to accommodate large traffic flows. Calgary's population grew faster than its infrastructure. The new overpasses and causeways can't go up fast enough.

But have you ever considered the problem might not be the infrastructure but those who use it? Yes, Calgarians are the problem. If you haven't realized that then quit your whining immediately and start looking for a solution.

Instead of humming along in a gas-guzzling, monstrous SUV all by yourself, have you ever thought about carpooling? Imagine what would happen if everyone took just one more person with them. There would be half the number of cars on the road and you get someone to help you cover gas and parking costs. You could afford that posh pair of fuzzy dice in no time.

And while you're saving money, you're also helping out the environment. Fewer cars on the road means less nasty emissions, which also means a healthier world for everyone. Of course, that pales in comparison to all the money you're going to save.

Some will object and say it's difficult finding someone with the same schedule. Ever think that's because you haven't met them yet? Of course it's going to be difficult when you immediately bolt after your last class is done. You might just have to join a club, volunteer or get involved in campus life.

Another common complaint is that carpooling adds more time to the commute. That may be true right now, but if everyone carpooled the time lost picking someone up would be easily made up while zoomin' down Crowchild Trail on your way to the U of C.

Besides, complaining works so much better if there's someone else in the car to listen.

Feedback on this article can be sent to opinions@gauntlet.ucalgary.ca

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Use the City of Calgary's rideshare program to find a carpool partner to campus. It's free, fast and available to anyone in Calgary by surfing to www.carpool.ca.