In the early 20th-century illustrations of Future Cities, amidst the gleaming towers and the lights that make day out of night, among the sweeping motorways full of countless automobiles as they wind through the vast manmade canyons -- you do not see a single train track.

You will see depictions of personal aircraft-automobiles in lanes of the sky, or, in works of a slightly earlier era, small lone prop airplanes. All manner of personal conveyance. But not one train track.

Plenty of space for automobiles! All the space, really, nothing left for anything else -- but think about what all that implies. That travel through this glorious shining city becomes crushingly lonely. Each individual is forced to navigate this maze alone, separated from every other by walls of steel and glass and hazardous speed -- unable even to enjoy the sight of the city itself, as they are forced to keep their attention ahead.

No trains, no buses, no ability to speak with or even just be with anyone else, as one goes from nowhere to nowhere in this city where one cannot even find a place to rest.

That was the future we were promised, and the future we sought, so enticing was the thought of the seeming freedom of personal transportation -- never mind who decided where the roads went!

This is the future we gained, that we all suffer now.

Having fun stuck in traffic on your morning commute?