PUBLIC TRANSPORT: ADVANTAGES
I hate traveling by car in cities so much that I’d rather walk than drive a car to the city centre. I really don’t understand why people take cars and get held up (= get stuck) in traffic jams and congest (= block) the streets when there are so many quite reliable means of transport (= buses, trams, trains etc.) to choose from. I know that the quality of public transport in Poland is far from perfect, but usually you can get where you want on time. When you travel somewhere by car, you have to face many problems on the way. For example, the traffic light is green, but other drivers are blocking the road because they have entered the crossroads (= a place where two streets meet) and they cannot leave because the traffic light is red. Nobody can drive on roundabouts (= a place where 3 or more roads join and the traffic goes around a circle in the middle). Drivers often forget who should go first. Pedestrians (= people on foot) cross the street whenever they want to; zebra crossings (= places where you can cross the street) seem to be really unpopular and car parks (= a place where you can leave your car) are always crowded and very expensive. And no one uses the park-and-ride system (= leaving a car in the suburbs and continuing your trip by public transport). Drivers often forget to fasten their seatbelts (= close a piece of material on their body to be safe), so lots of accidents happen. Why go to the city centre by car?
More contexts for the new words:
- A traffic warden makes sure motorists don’t break the rules.
(= A person like a policeman who checks if everything is in order in the streets)
- When in the street, pedestrians must stay on the pavement.
(= A part of the street where people on foot can go)
Complete the missing letters in the words.
- Drivers should be careful not to hit any _ _ d _ _ t _ _ _ _ s who are crossing the street.
- Buses, trams and trains are all _ e _ n _ of transport.
- You can leave your car in the car _ a _ _.
- He started driving after the traffic _ _ g _ _ turned green.
- John parked illegally and he was caught by a traffic _ _ r d _ _.
- Children! Stay on the _ _ v _ m _ _ _, don’t go onto the street!
Complete the questions with the words from the text. Then answer the questions yourself.
- Have you ever been stopped by a ______________________ warden? Why?
- When did you last ______________________ held up in a traffic jam?
- Do you always use the zebra ______________________ to cross the street?
ENGLISH IN USE
This time we’ll look at another structure which will help us talk about something we prefer. Look at this sentence from the text:
I’d rather walk than drive a car to the city centre.
When we say ‘I’d rather’ (= I would rather), we say what we would prefer to do. We use the basic form of the verb after ‘rather.’
I’d rather go there = I would prefer to go there.
When we want to make a negative sentence we simply put ‘not’ after ‘rather’ and we say:
I’d rather not talk about this. = I would prefer not to talk about this.
A/ Do you think this political party has big chances of winning the elections?
B/ I think so. Their views appeal to the typical MAN IN THE STREET.
The man/ woman/ person in the street is an ordinary, average person whose opinions are considered to represent most people.
PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP
- If a car moves to the side of a street and stops, it PULLS OVER.
Just pull over here, and I’ll get out and walk the rest of the way.
You can’t pull over right now – there is a sign prohibiting that.
- If you KNOCK someone OVER, you hit them with a car and injure or kill them.
She got knocked over by a taxi as she ran for the bus.
He was arrested for knocking over a pedestrian.
Match the sentence halves.
- Over 100 people are knocked over a) and have a look at the map.
- Let’s pull over b) – an ordinary man in the street.
- He has a typical job and typical interests c) on Britain’s roads every day.
The latest report on the condition of the streets of Warsaw surprised no one. It just confirmed that our streets are full of potholes, and that it is a real miracle that so few cars lose their wheels on them. The traffic lights are out of order more often than not, and the road signs are often devastated by vandals or sold for scrap metal. The drivers are furious and complain that Warsaw is the capital with the worst streets in Europe.
– a pothole – a hole in a road surface which results from gradual damage caused by traffic and/or weather
– out of order – not working
– scrap metal – old cars and machines or pieces of metal, etc. that are not now needed but have parts that can be used to make other things
KEY TO EXERCISES