I started thinking about the different ways I interact with people during my morning commute, after passing a school crossing guard. The same guy is at this particular school crossing, pretty much every morning. As I pass, we briefly greet each other. I'm sure that the kids and parents going into the school talk to this man, but I highly doubt anyone in a car ever says anything to him. If I ride on the bike-trail, there are regular people that I say good morning to, most of whom I don't have a clue what their name is, but certainly recognize from our many encounters. I'm sure none of these encounters will blossom into a friendship, but it's a nice way to start the day.
I also meet up with other bike commuters, which frequently gives us an opportunity to spend more time talking. Some of these, I've run into multiple times and can actually follow up on previous conversations, most I'll probably never see again. Still, it helps the time pass and I have an opportunity to chat about the world as we are pedaling our way to work. A number of the people I've met multiple times, have even pointed out where they live, just in case I ever have a problem and need some help on my ride to and from work.
These two examples of "relationships" got me wondering whether this wasn't a solution for road rage. A car is such a good insulator from the world around you, that it's easy for people to forget there is another person in that metal bubble next to you on the road. Do people drive differently around a convertible or a topless jeep, where you can easily see the person? If everyone were to drive such a vehicle, or something else that allows you to easily interact with the people around you as you sit in traffic, would road rage be a thing of the past? Would it just get worse?