Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Drinking Festival Without Transit Means Pretending Drunk Driving Doesn't Exist

The Green Miles went to the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford last weekend, billed as the world's largest Portuguese feast with over 100,000 visitors expected. It's also one of Massachusetts' largest drinking events, with two full days and two additional nights of beer, liquor, and strong madeira wine imported exclusively for the Feast.

There is no transit to this event after 6pm when local bus service ends. While some people walk to the event, most drive. (And many attendees pay $5-10 for parking. Not just bad for the environment and potentially dangerous, but also inconvenient and expensive. What's not to like?)

Much like last year's Beer, Bourbon & BBQ festival at National Harbor south of DC, if you're hosting a drinking event with limited or no transit, you're turning a blind eye to drunk driving. In New Bedford's case, how much would it cost to run a bus for the weekend between the site and nearby downtowns? Isn't that cost worth preventing even one drunk driving incident?

But hey, at least the Portuguese Feast stopped selling giant 20 ounce cups of 38-proof madeira, so, problem solved, amirite?
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