Tunnels face many negative stereotypes in the popular culture. We can blame that mostly on movies and TV shows. Take the one in this photo (ignore the painted message for now). If you were to enter this tunnel, you would expect to be robbed, sexually assaulted, stabbed, shot, or to hear the terrifying sound of your own voice echoing back the words to a Justin Bieber song you didn’t even realize you knew.
Luckily, some folks are apparently trying to upgrade the image of tunnels. Offering free hugs is just the sort of public relations effort they need.
With Earth Day so fresh in our memories, we can also reflect on the thoughtful use of sustainable principles in this effort. How many times have you had to step around folks getting their free hugs right in the middle of a walkway? By relocating free hugs into the little-used space under roadways and railroad tracks, these innovators could make it possible to build narrower sidewalks that accommodate just as many people. This would allow wider roads, with more room for automobiles — a far more popular means of transportation than walking.
One can only look forward to the next step in the evolution of tunnel marketing. Perhaps next, the fine folks behind this effort can work on friendlier-sounding echoes in tunnels. Or product placement in movies: how about tunnels as a place where only fun things happen?
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