Thoughts on cars

I looked at a website today, which talked about why cars are bad. Of course, it was a little over the top, but it made some interesting points. Here are my favorites:

Average speed of a horse cart, London 1909: 7mph. Average speed of an automobile, London 1999: 6mph. -- A goto B

"Widening roads to solve traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity." -- Walter Kulash, a traffic engineer, Orlando, Fla.

Crowded Is Good -- just as long as you are not in an automobile! [There is a] deep difference in travel philosophy. To the motorist, "cars are in the way, except mine." Thus the fewer other motorists encountered on the road, the better. But to pedestrians or bicyclists, a vibrant street or sidewalk filled with other people cycling or walking is much better than deserted block or creepily empty bus. We share a sense of community hard to convey to the isolated individual in his or her metal box. ... The thought of twice as many fellow car drivers on the road fills [car drivers] with horror.

Transit costs drop if transit ridership goes up. In the case of every form of transit, if ridership increases, costs per passenger mile drop sharply: by as much as 43 percent. Driving costs increase if roadway traffic grows at a high rate. If growth in roadway traffic picks up, the cost for each mile a person drives will go up, in some cases quite sharply

Three and a half states paved over!!!! (By 1991, 20,627 square miles of the U.S.A. had already been paved over for roads alone (no parking areas included!); That is larger than the states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut combined with half of Vermont thrown in too!) --Alt-Trans index

Much has been written (ie Dune) about the damage to all facets of society when an economy is utterly dependent on one product. (Oil) It is foolishness.

Youth and the Elderly are excluded from the transportation system, and therefore from most of society.

To shelter us from automobiles, our living spaces focus away from the streets, thus severing us further from the people around us.

Moving people a step away from face to face contact, generating a false sense of superiority which causes people to reach a level of aggressive, angry, selfishness that they would NEVER ever reach if they had to take direct responsibility for their actions.

Some office developers now budget 200 square feet of space for each cubicle and 400 square feet for each car.

The death rate per 100 million passenger miles for cars is 1.05. The death rate per 100 million passenger miles for transit buses is 0.01.

Organ Donor Cards. Automobiles are the only machine we are asked to sign away our organs before we can operate it. No one asks you to sign an organ donor card before you operate a blender. --AltTrans

Turning a benign drowsiness into one of the most dangerous events in our life.


I'm not being a negative natalie- I'm saying public transport is great! I love cars, but am trying to become enamoured with public transit as well. Right now I'm mostly a fan of the bike. But it has become a bit of a hassle with NYC's high threat of theft and many cars! Maybe I'll like public transit now that I have a long commute to Manhattan (to see my friends), and will have more time to get into a book on the subbie.

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