This morning I'm riding down R Street near Duke Ellington School of the Arts, and granted the road is a bit narrower there than on, say, Wisconsin Avenue, but I'm watching these huge Urban Assault Vehicles -- one was a "Yukon" and the other I think was a Land Rover -- blocking up traffic because they can't go by one another on a normal city street.
Upon further review, however, you realize they can get by one another, in a technical sense. It's just that the respective drivers are so completely unable to navigate their vanity tanks that they gridlock every one around them. I confirmed this as I continued behind the Yukon toward Wisconsin Avenue. The Yukon -- I love these SUV names by the way -- drove as if it were on a one way street, its massive hulk of foreign oil dependence lumbering down the middle of the road, apparently because the driver had no idea how close he/she was to the parked cars beside it.
Often you hear defenders of the SUV yak on about how much better you see the road, etc., and having both ridden in and driven some friends' boondoggles, I can tell you that it is bullshit. Yes, you can see the road in front of you (and I mean ten feet and beyond in front of you) better, but you are absolutely blind to objects near your vehicle. For city drivers, that means that 95% of your driving time is spent with you having little or no idea what's around you. That means you are a menace to others.
When I see an SUV with DC tags it makes me question the very idea of human history as a Progress Narrative.
And parents, don't even try to tell me about how you need an SUV to haul your kids around. I'm not a moron. I've seen the insides of these things, and I've seen the insides of minivans and regular sedans. And station wagons for that matter. Most SUVs have front and back seats, much like a sedan or station wagon. A few have a third row, much like a minivan. I have yet to find an SUV that will outseat a Grand Caravan or an Odyssey. Most of them can't outseat a Civic.
Anyway, having safely reached my place of work without incident, I open the paper to find on the front page of the Style section a fabulous story about the International CXT. Just like that most obnoxious of all cretinesque possessions, the Hummer, I predict the CXT will become a must-have among the moron set.
Don't get me started.