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Jeff Whitten: This just ... in
editor's notes

In case you didn’t know it, Georgia has the 16th smallest proportion of state land designated for parks and wildlife areas in the United States of America.

This according to a “new report” by CLIQ, which if I understand the link correctly sells portable camping products because selling camping products you couldn’t take anywhere would kind of defeat the purpose, but never mind.

Its report says that while on average about 11.2 percent of U.S. land per state is designated for parks and wildlife, only 2 percent of Georgia land, or some 747,000 acres, is designated for those purposes, out of more than 36.8 million acres. I believe it.

Everywhere you go around here trees are going down and warehouses, subdivisions or convenience stores are going up, and poor old owls and turtles and foxes and happy campers are out of luck.

As for all that other land, I assume it will eventually be turned into mixed use development so more folks from up north can move down here and grumble about the locals – though quite frankly most of the locals they’re apt to grumble about probably moved down here from Ohio 15-20 years ago and are now grousing about transplants from Michigan.

And, any land left over once homebuilders run out of vinyl siding will go to build more roads so everybody can drive somewhere and back and not complain about having to sit in traffic. We’ll be like Atlanta, only over here.

The wildlife report followed not long after a similar email from the same PR company, Latticeworks. That email trumpeted a new report by CoPilot, an internet site that wants to help you buy a car, ranking Georgia the No. 5 most car-dependent state in the U.S.

If asked, I could’ve told them that for about half the price of whatever firm they hired to do all that research. I know people so lazy they drive down to the mailbox at the end of their driveway to bring the mail back to the house and consider that exercise. While we’re on that subject, I also remember years ago somebody somewhere in the Coastal Empire ran over himself in his own driveway.

In short, he drove down to his paper tube to get the morning paper, fell out and his car rolled over his leg or thigh or foot or toe or something. I saw it in an incident report.

In fact, that happens more often than one might think. I’ve come across a number of police incident reports over the years where drivers manage to run themselves over. So long as nobody dies these sort of things tend to make me chuckle, because I almost ran over myself once many years ago.

SO there I was in the Rincon Walmart parking lot in the middle of a weekday afternoon when a receipt blew out of the window as I was backing out of a parking spot.

I put my foot on the brake, unbuckled my seatbelt, opened the door and leaned down to grab the receipt. Except it moved, so I naturally leaned further out to reach it, lost my balance and fell about three-quarters of the way out of the pickup. My foot came off the brake.

I can tell you from experience it is an interesting feeling, going 3 mph backwards in a Walmart parking lot in Rincon with your head about a foot off the asphalt in the middle of an afternoon.

I did not run myself over, though. I’m still not quite sure how I got myself back up in the seat, but this took place in the mid 1990s and I was a lot more agile back then. I can’t remember, however, whether I got the receipt.

Ah well. The average “annual vehicle-miles traveled per licensed driver in Georgia is 18,334,” according to the CoPilot study, which also says the average number of licensed drivers per household is 0.89 and the number of licensed drivers in Georgia per 1,000 driving- aged population is 864, and the proportion of working adults with at least one vehicle available is 97 percent. By contrast, the U.S. average miles per licensed driver is 14,263 and the proportion of working adults with at least one vehicle available is 95.7 percent, etc.

I’m including links to both reports as a public service of sorts, maybe. car-dependent-states/ states-with-the-most-parks-and-wildlife-areas Please note that I couldn’t find any stats in these links on how many people run over themselves in Georgia.

Up next: Poll claims half of Georgians think “walking dogs every day should be a legal requirement.” We could call it the human leash law.

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