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The Car Once Symbolized Freedom… 49

Toronto traffic jam

One of the rare occasions in which the author of this blog sits in a traffic jam (Dec 2011) – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country

Motor cars were once a symbol of freedom – a way to achieve personal independence. They took us places where we couldn’t otherwise travel – they brought us to our destinations faster, and we didn’t need to abide by a schedule or rely on anybody else to become mobile.

Things have changed. We took it too far. The freedom of mobility that made cars so desirable is exactly what now makes cars so undesirable. Too many of us wanted that freedom. Too many of us bought inexpensive real estate in places that depended on motor vehicles even to buy a carton of milk.

And since so many of us became hooked on cars, so too did our elected politicians, who exploited the political opportunities, driving our government to become the primary sponsor and endorser of car culture. Extensive government subsidies (I call it Motorist Socialism) have made driving affordable for the masses, and taking away those subsidies is like trying to take heroin away from a heroin addict.

Shortly after taking office, Toronto’s newest mayor immediately eliminated the personal vehicle registration tax, removing $60 million from the city’s revenue stream. He then came back with proposed cuts to libraries, swimming pools, and raised public transit fees in order to ensure car owners wouldn’t have to pay the measly $60 per year (even though public transit users have to pay $1,512 per year for the privilege to use the city’s public transit system).

North America’s love for the car and large government subsidization resulted in the masses flocking to cars. So much so that driving is now considered to be a birthright in America – even minimum-wage earners often feel entitled to car ownership. It is not uncommon to hear stories about people who are out of work and living on government assistance who are devastated that they might have to give up their car.

But making driving so affordable is also what makes it so inconvenient. Our roads are often overly congested because there are just too many cars, and the thought of having freedom and independence has become but a dream that is cultivated by car commercials that feature unrealistic empty streets, fast cars, and nature.

That’s why living in cities and using public transit and/or bicycles has become the new path to achieving the freedom that past generations desired by flocking to motor vehicles. Freedom from traffic congestion, car loans and from being vulnerable to fluctuating oil prices.

Toronto Star columnist Christopher Hume covered this topic in a recent article where he quotes the former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher:

“Any man who rides a bus to work after the age of 30 can count himself a failure”.

In many places of the world, that quote is still widely believed to be true. That a car is a symbol of success and if you don’t have a car you are a failure.

I just returned from Hong Kong, exploring the former British colony for six days. Although Hong Kong does not accommodate bicycle transportation well, getting around Hong Kong without a car could hardly be easier. Hong Kong’s public transit system is one of the top systems in the world, so it’s no wonder 90% of Hong Kong residents use public transit – with passengers ranging from multi-millionaires to the low-income working class.

In the Star article, Christopher Hume talks about the changing demographics when it comes to how we think about cars:

“No wonder getting that car is no longer the first thing on the mind of every kid who’s about to turn 16. For those lucky enough to live in a city, especially one with decent transit, the prospect of life without wheels offers the same promise of liberation that car ownership did decades ago.

Once the great symbol of individual freedom and personal mobility, the car has become a ball and chain. Slow, expensive and surrounded by endless others, automobiles have taken us as far as they can. At this point, there are so many vehicles on the roads, they exist in a state of perpetual congestion”

Read the full Toronto Star article here.

Car ownership has indeed become a ball and chain. Perhaps some day the American dream of freedom and mobility will involve a bicycle or a world-class transit system.

Until this happens, this website will continue to exist.

James D. Schwartz is a Transportation Pragmatist and the Editor of The Urban Country. You can contact James at james.schwartz@theurbancountry.com or follow him on Twitter.

*Editor’s Note: The original version of this article included the statement “even minimum-wage workers can often afford their own cars”. This was more accurately re-worded to read “even minimum-wage earners often feel entitled to car ownership”.

i share the road

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  • selkiem

    I really liked Mr. Hume’s article – I have 4 kids, all brought up in Scarborough. Not one of them has a driver’s license nor has any interest in getting one. Two now live downtown and bike everywhere and the other two do the TTC thing and other than complaining about the escalating cost of monthly passes, have no interest in driving. Incidentally, for the past 8 years, except during back winter months, I usually commute to work downtown by bike myself – but I would KILL for some really decent bike paths from Scarborough to downtown. I’m always jealous when I visit my cousin in Montreal.

    • ubringliten

      Good job on raising your 4 kids!

  • selkiem

    I really liked Mr. Hume’s article – I have 4 kids, all brought up in Scarborough. Not one of them has a driver’s license nor has any interest in getting one. Two now live downtown and bike everywhere and the other two do the TTC thing and other than complaining about the escalating cost of monthly passes, have no interest in driving. Incidentally, for the past 8 years, except during back winter months, I usually commute to work downtown by bike myself – but I would KILL for some really decent bike paths from Scarborough to downtown. I’m always jealous when I visit my cousin in Montreal.

  • http://www.fullfat.ca Octavian

    I am a car lover. I love to drive. I got my G1 on my 16th birthday. G2, 8 months later, G a year after that. In other words, I did not spend a minute longer than necessary without a license. I’ve dreamt about driving since I can remember. I didn’t even grow up in North America, but Eastern Europe, where car ownership used to be rare. I don’t know what it is about cars, I’ve always loved them, even before being exposed to commercials and incessant marketing.
    That being said, I fully agree that we’ve reached a kind of critical mass. I’m not sure what the solution is. Not everyone wants to move closer to work or amenities. People like their privacy and quiet in the suburbs or out in the country. The commute is a means to an end to many who don’t want to live close to the core of a congested city. I would never live in Toronto. There are way too many people.
    Public transportation sucks. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. It just plain sucks. It would take me one hour or more to get from my house to work on the bus. Compare that to 45min by bike, or 20 by car. Also, public transport is largely dependent on the same infrastructure as cars.
    Biking is a solution, but many people don’t like biking in the winter or when it’s raining, myself included.
    Carpooling is another solution, and I think we’ll see a rise in that as gas prices soar. Whichever way I look at it, cars are still the most convenient way to get around. We just need to start sharing our cars with others a bit more often.

    • Tkeen

      Your comments only seem to cover commuting, and it’s been shown that most car trips are not commutes, but under a few miles in length. Part of the congestion problem is all the motorists driving around on short errands, not just daily commutes. (Just how many cars do most families have these days?) Not only that, but in crowded city cores, it’s been shown that up to 30% of car traffic is people circling the blocks looking for a parking space.

      You live in K-W, so when you say public transit sucks, are you talking about K-W’s system, or another system somewhere else?

      I’d support tolls, but ain’t gonna happen in the GTA. The Fords will not permit any extra expenses for motorists, and people will not go for it because we don’t want another 407. (Taxpayer-funded, privately owned). People also talk about ‘congestion fees’… that’s just tolls by another name. Carpooling has never taken hold in any major way. The logistics are too difficult. Who wants to depend on a bunch of strangers’ schedules to get to work on time?

      Sure, there’s the usual whining in the papers about gas prices. Same old song every year or two… most U.S. and Canadian motorists always end up sucking it up and going on as before. I heard it when gas passed $1/L, again when it passed $1.20/L, and so on. The Brits are currently paying around $2.25/L for unleaded, and it hasn’t put them off driving, yet.

      Other than better transit, I’d suggest three main solutions for congestion in the GTA; (1) Get the trucks off the 401 in the city. It’s a sea of big trucks during rush hour. Make it economical for the trucks to use the 407, instead,(2) Do a rail link to Pearson already. The gov’t. has been talking about it for ages. (3) Get rid of cheap on-street parking in the core, either by raising the prices or removing the spaces. This will keep excess car traffic out of the core.

  • http://www.fullfat.ca/ Octavian

    I am a car lover. I love to drive. I got my G1 on my 16th birthday. G2, 8 months later, G a year after that. In other words, I did not spend a minute longer than necessary without a license. I’ve dreamt about driving since I can remember. I didn’t even grow up in North America, but Eastern Europe, where car ownership used to be rare. I don’t know what it is about cars, I’ve always loved them, even before being exposed to commercials and incessant marketing.
    That being said, I fully agree that we’ve reached a kind of critical mass. I’m not sure what the solution is. Not everyone wants to move closer to work or amenities. People like their privacy and quiet in the suburbs or out in the country. The commute is a means to an end to many who don’t want to live close to the core of a congested city. I would never live in Toronto. There are way too many people.
    Public transportation sucks. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. It just plain sucks. It would take me one hour or more to get from my house to work on the bus. Compare that to 45min by bike, or 20 by car. Also, public transport is largely dependent on the same infrastructure as cars.
    Biking is a solution, but many people don’t like biking in the winter or when it’s raining, myself included.
    Carpooling is another solution, and I think we’ll see a rise in that as gas prices soar. Whichever way I look at it, cars are still the most convenient way to get around. We just need to start sharing our cars with others a bit more often.

  • http://www.fullfat.ca Octavian

    One more point.
    People aren’t gonna leave their cars, that’s almost certain. However, they will demand that the government do something about congestion. As if they can.
    So governments all around the world have started to work out a ‘solution’.
    The only solution they could think of is toll roads, which is not that bad of an idea, as long as you have money.
    My point is that we’re gonna be back in the middle ages, where only the well to do could travel on good roads, with minimal traffic. Look for an increase in toll road options around large metro areas. There are currently a few big projects going on in DC and Dallas/Ft. Worth. Toronto would be a good candidate. I can almost see a toll highway off the lake shore.

    • dr2chase

      An alternative to (onerously priced) toll roads is to instead make alternatives to driving more attractive for those people who might choose not to drive. The Dutch model is one obvious choice, though I am told that they manage to have both great bicycle infrastructure AND huge traffic jams.

      • http://profiles.google.com/har.3036 Har Davids

        We do have huge traffic jams, mainly because the costs for travelling to work are tax-deductible. Every work-day we have tens of thousands of people hitting the road to get to work and back, wasting time, resources and quality of life. I’ve been lucky enough to have always looked for and found work in my own area, so I could use my bike and at present I commute from Rotterdam to The Hague by an extended subway-line; I can even take my bike for free, saving me time and loads of parking-fees.

        I got rid of my car about a year ago and I can’t say I’ve really missed it, but it was hell when my bike broke down on me.

    • Tallycyclist

      Another option could be better regional rail systems that lead into the heart of a city on right-of-ways. My friends in Cph live out in the suburbs, 7 km from the city boundary and they have a variety of choices getting in to it. They can drive or bike the same route as the major roads have separated bike paths all the way to the city. Another convenient option is to take the S-train (the station is a 5-minute walk from their house), that takes you into Cph, and now allows bicycles to be carried on without an additional fee.

      They often do the bike-train combination (they don’t have a car). No one single option should be the bottom line, whether it be transit, walking, cycling or driving. Unfortunately most NA cities grant that title solely to the automobile. I agree that cars will probably never go away, nor should they completely. But neither should they ever dominate our cities the way they do now, even in Cph-it may be a very bike-friendly city, but there’s still way too much space being given to cars. But the important difference is that in Cph, it’s convenient, safe and reasonable to use other modes than driving. The choices are all still there, but are more balanced.

      • http://www.fullfat.ca Octavian

        Unfortunately, rail systems cost money to build and maintain, which is why I did not include it as an option. It’s nice that you have that option, but over here in Kitchener, Canadia, we have one train station for 500,000 people in three cities. Sure, there is also a commuter train option to near-by Toronto, but there are only two runs, one at “early as hell”, and the other at “before sunup”.
        Closer to Toronto, there are more options, sure, but Toronto is one metropolis out of a grand total of 5 in the whole country. The rest of us live in smaller communities where public transport is horrid. Like I said, it would take me over an hour to get to work by bus.
        People like me prefer to get to work in a timely fashion. We also prefer to live away from places like Toronto. If it were up to me, I’d live in a small village outside of Kitchener. I’m really not ready to give up my peace and quite in order to fulfill someone’s dream of a car-free future (not that there’s anything wrong with that :) ).
        Anyways, I guess my point is, we need solutions that will work for most people, not just those that actually have access to decent infrastructure, whether it be the bike lanes of Amsterdam/Cph, or the underground of London, or the decent train systems in most of Europe.
        If you want to save the planet from people like me, you have to put yourself in my shoes.

        • Tallycyclist

          My Danish friends are lucky, but I don’t live in Cph. Here, we only have a half-ass bus system with limited service and hours. But unless a lot of people want it to be better and it receives a big subsidy, how can it ever improve. It’s fair to say that only the poor and a small chunk of students ever use it. It’s nobody’s fault for wanting independence and freedom of travel, but as per the subject of this blog, the result of everyone wanting to drive has now taken away that freedom. What’s to blame is the finite nature of our world. Rail is very expensive, but if there was priority to build it, it would be done.

          What I was trying to suggest was simply another decent option for people. The Danes have every freedom to drive their car without much hassle, even in downtown Cph if they want. The “bicycle city” has plenty of incredibly wide boulevards; HC Andersen has up to 9 car lanes on certain segments. My country, the USA, is constantly having budget issues with transportation and other social services. On one hand “not enough” people are demanding these things. On the other hand, too much money is spent on elsewhere, like on defense and war, things which do nothing to improve infrastructure or enhance mobility. I don’t want cars banned, not even from our cities. They have a place, and to think otherwise is unrealistic and counter-productive. But as I said earlier, there should be more of a balance, so that it’s not 95% car and 5% everything else. Yet that’s what Tallahassee is like. No matter what road I take, my commuting by bike is stressful at best and sometimes even scary. If the system was more balanced, then the whole system can better accommodate everyone, and we all win.

          • http://www.fullfat.ca Octavian

            I agree with your assessment. If government spent more money on infrastructure and less on pet projects that serve no purpose, we’d have a lot less problems and much better transit systems. I’m a firm believer in small government, but transportation is one of their most important mandates.

  • http://www.fullfat.ca/ Octavian

    One more point.
    People aren’t gonna leave their cars, that’s almost certain. However, they will demand that the government do something about congestion. As if they can.
    So government all around the world have started to work out a ‘solution’.
    The only solution they could think of is toll roads, which is not that bad of an idea, as long as you have money.
    My point is that we’re gonna be back in the middle ages, where only the well to do could travel on good roads, with minimal traffic. Look for an increase in toll road options around large metro areas. There are currently a few big projects going on in DC and Dallas/Ft. Worth. Toronto would be a good candidate. I can almost see a toll highway off the lake shore.

  • dr2chase

    An alternative to (onerously priced) toll roads is to instead make alternatives to driving more attractive for those people who might choose not to drive. The Dutch model is one obvious choice, though I am told that they manage to have both great bicycle infrastructure AND huge traffic jams.

  • Tallycyclist

    Another option could be better regional rail systems that lead into the heart of a city on right-of-ways. My friends in Cph live out in the suburbs, 7 km from the city boundary and they have a variety of choices getting in to it. They can drive or bike the same route as the major roads have separated bike paths all the way to the city. Another convenient option is to take the S-train (the station is a 5-minute walk from their house), that takes you into Cph, and now allows bicycles to be carried on without an additional fee.

    They often do the bike-train combination (they don’t have a car). No one single option should be the bottom line, whether it be transit, walking, cycling or driving. Unfortunately most NA cities grant that title solely to the automobile. I agree that cars will probably never go away, nor should they completely. But neither should they ever dominate our cities the way they do now, even in Cph-it may be a very bike-friendly city, but there’s still way too much space being given to cars. But the important difference is that in Cph, it’s convenient, safe and reasonable to use other modes than driving. The choices are all still there, but are more balanced.

  • http://www.fullfat.ca/ Octavian

    Unfortunately, rail systems cost money to build and maintain, which is why I did not include it as an option. It’s nice that you have that option, but over here in Kitchener, Canadia, we have one train station for 500,000 people in three cities. Sure, there is also a commuter train option to near-by Toronto, but there are only two runs, one at “early as hell”, and the other at “before sunup”.
    Closer to Toronto, there are more options, sure, but Toronto is one metropolis out of a grand total of 5 in the whole country. The rest of us live in smaller communities where public transport is horrid. Like I said, it would take me over an hour to get to work by bus.
    People like me prefer to get to work in a timely fashion. We also prefer to live away from places like Toronto. If it were up to me, I’d live in a small village outside of Kitchener. I’m really not ready to give up my peace and quite in order to fulfill someone’s dream of a car-free future (not that there’s anything wrong with that :) ).
    Anyways, I guess my point is, we need solutions that will work for most people, not just those that actually have access to decent infrastructure, whether it be the bike lanes of Amsterdam/Cph, or the underground of London, or the decent train systems in most of Europe.
    If you want to save the planet from people like me, you have to put yourself in my shoes.

  • Tallycyclist

    My Danish friends are lucky, but I don’t live in Cph. Here, we only have a half-ass bus system with limited service and hours. But unless a lot of people want it to be better and it receives a big subsidy, how can it ever improve. It’s fair to say that only the poor and a small chunk of students ever use it. It’s nobody’s fault for wanting independence and freedom of travel, but as per the subject of this blog, the result of everyone wanting to drive has now taken away that freedom. What’s to blame is the finite nature of our world. Rail is very expensive, but if there was priority to build it, it would be done.

    What I was trying to suggest was simply another decent option for people. The Danes have every freedom to drive their car without much hassle, even in downtown Cph if they want. The “bicycle city” has plenty of incredibly wide boulevards; HC Andersen has up to 9 car lanes on certain segments. My country, the USA, is constantly having budget issues with transportation and other social services. On one hand “not enough” people are demanding these things. On the other hand, too much money is spent on elsewhere, like on defense and war, things which do nothing to improve infrastructure or enhance mobility. I don’t want cars banned, not even from our cities. They have a place, and to think otherwise is unrealistic and counter-productive. But as I said earlier, there should be more of a balance, so that it’s not 95% car and 5% everything else. Yet that’s what Tallahassee is like. No matter what road I take, my commuting by bike is stressful at best and sometimes even scary. If the system was more balanced, then the whole system can better accommodate everyone, and we all win.

  • ubringliten

    Good job on raising your 4 kids!

  • http://www.fullfat.ca/ Octavian

    I agree with your assessment. If government spent more money on infrastructure and less on pet projects that serve no purpose, we’d have a lot less problems and much better transit systems. I’m a firm believer in small government, but transportation is one of their most important mandates.

  • Sadedrat

    It’s just not true that “even minimum-wage workers can often afford their own cars.” They may have cars– but that’s just going to show what a ridiculous hold car culture has on American society. American minimum wage workers can’t afford *health insurance*– yet they will look on owning a car as a necessity.

    • http://www.theurbancountry.com James Schwartz

      Thanks for pointing this out. Poor choice of wording. I have reworded it to read “even minimum-wage earners often feel entitled to car ownership” and I added an editor’s note at the bottom of the article.

  • Sadedrat

    It’s just not true that “even minimum-wage workers can often afford their own cars.” They may have cars– but that’s just going to show what a ridiculous hold car culture has on American society. American minimum wage workers can’t afford *health insurance*– yet they will look on owning a car as a necessity.

  • http://www.theurbancountry.com/ James Schwartz

    Thanks for pointing this out. Poor choice of wording. I have reworded it to read “even minimum-wage earners often feel entitled to car ownership” and I added an editor’s note at the bottom of the article.

  • D Web

    Here in London, Ontario all of our buses have bike racks and the bike/bus combo makes it very easy to get around.

  • D Web

    Here in London, Ontario all of our buses have bike racks and the bike/bus combo makes it very easy to get around.

  • Tkeen

    Your comments only seem to cover commuting, and it’s been shown that most car trips are not commutes, but under a few miles in length. Part of the congestion problem is all the motorists driving around on short errands, not just daily commutes. (Just how many cars do most families have these days?) Not only that, but in crowded city cores, it’s been shown that up to 30% of car traffic is people circling the blocks looking for a parking space.

    You live in K-W, so when you say public transit sucks, are you talking about K-W’s system, or another system somewhere else?

    I’d support tolls, but ain’t gonna happen in the GTA. The Fords will not permit any extra expenses for motorists, and people will not go for it because we don’t want another 407. (Taxpayer-funded, privately owned). People also talk about ‘congestion fees’… that’s just tolls by another name. Carpooling has never taken hold in any major way. The logistics are too difficult. Who wants to depend on a bunch of strangers’ schedules to get to work on time?

    Sure, there’s the usual whining in the papers about gas prices. Same old song every year or two… most U.S. and Canadian motorists always end up sucking it up and going on as before. I heard it when gas passed $1/L, again when it passed $1.20/L, and so on. The Brits are currently paying around $2.25/L for unleaded, and it hasn’t put them off driving, yet.

    Other than better transit, I’d suggest three main solutions for congestion in the GTA; (1) Get the trucks off the 401 in the city. It’s a sea of big trucks during rush hour. Make it economical for the trucks to use the 407, instead,(2) Do a rail link to Pearson already. The gov’t. has been talking about it for ages. (3) Get rid of cheap on-street parking in the core, either by raising the prices or removing the spaces. This will keep excess car traffic out of the core.

  • http://profiles.google.com/har.3036 Har Davids

    We do have huge traffic jams, mainly because the costs for travelling to work are tax-deductible. Every work-day we have tens of thousands of people hitting the road to get to work and back, wasting time, resources and quality of life. I’ve been lucky enough to have always looked for and found work in my own area, so I could use my bike and at present I commute from Rotterdam to The Hague by an extended subway-line; I can even take my bike for free, saving me time and loads of parking-fees.

    I got rid of my car about a year ago and I can’t say I’ve really missed it, but it was hell when my bike broke down on me.

  • http://www.kimharding.net/blog/?cat=9 Kim

    Have you noticed the way car ads just offer the illusion of freedom they never show a traffic jam.

  • http://www.kimharding.net/blog/?cat=9 Kim

    Have you noticed the way car ads just offer the illusion of freedom they never show a traffic jam.

  • kelley stone

    it’s true that, once car had symbolized freedom, but you know it’s also by emergency lights, so we should keep in mind that emergency lights are so important and you can visit- emergencylights.net for this

  • kelley stone

    it’s true that, once car had symbolized freedom, but you know it’s also by emergency lights, so we should keep in mind that emergency lights are so important and you can visit- emergencylights.net for this

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    Emergency lighting fixtures and accessories such as exit signs, batteries, lamps, wire guards, and more are in stock and available now at wholesale prices! Buy online any emergency lighting from- http://www.emergencylighting.net

  • Allan Daniel

    Emergency lighting fixtures and accessories such as exit signs, batteries, lamps, wire guards, and more are in stock and available now at wholesale prices! Buy online any emergency lighting from- http://www.emergencylighting.net

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    Cars have become an important aspect of lifestyle and are no more just a high-class for any one personal. Transport is created very simple and the financial commitment created in a car is never regarded to be a spend. Most individuals will not have the hot money to immediately buy their desire device.

    • Kimberly Mullin

      You can say that cars has become the main form of our transportation ever since it was invented. Actually, right now, I’ve a used nissan Maximaand was really happy that I bought it cause it does makes the job easier for me, especially when I want to go somewhere.

  • http://www.paydaydirect.co.uk/ quickloans

    Cars have become an important aspect of lifestyle and are no more just a high-class for any one personal. Transport is created very simple and the financial commitment created in a car is never regarded to be a spend. Most individuals will not have the hot money to immediately buy their desire device.

  • http://www.municipalvehicles.org.uk/ Municipal Vehicles

    Yes,when you have your own car you can go to to the place you want anytime and anywhere and can stay there as long as you want because you have a comfortable travel and no need to think for the rush hour.

  • http://www.municipalvehicles.org.uk/ Municipal Vehicles

    Yes,when you have your own car you can go to to the place you want anytime and anywhere and can stay there as long as you want because you have a comfortable travel and no need to think for the rush hour.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O4G2QBIS7IP3R5RDIDVTMJJASI Mark

    Using a car, bike, motorbike, inline skates, feet are all autonomous (free) travel – when you want, to and from on a path of your choosing. Public transit has fixed routes, paths, and endpoints. Motor vehicles displaced trains for the extra flexibility. You like bikes for the same flexibility. A drivers licence is a rite of emancipation for teens formerly dependent on others for much transit. Try a back seat shag on a bike! Motorbikes replace the same challenge with more driver allure and more intense feeling during travel and much longer distances possible.

    Note, US Census figures show car pooling, despite being considered a failure, is still several times more popular than cycling to work. Cycling appears to be the bigger failure, prone to popularity swings, and unaccommodating of aging populations. Check out video of Saigon – mostly motorbikes, then cars and bicycles on streets.

    Consider the health damage from unrelieved traffic congestion. Replacing travel lanes with bike lanes creates more stress for the 99% who drive, even causing road rage. Government deliberately creating stress, heart disease, and depression is unconscionable. Is there a net health benefit when so few more cycle at the expense of so many. Justification is needed to create congestion.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_O4G2QBIS7IP3R5RDIDVTMJJASI Mark

    Using a car, bike, motorbike, inline skates, feet are all autonomous (free) travel – when you want, to and from on a path of your choosing. Public transit has fixed routes, paths, and endpoints. Motor vehicles displaced trains for the extra flexibility. You like bikes for the same flexibility. A drivers licence is a rite of emancipation for teens formerly dependent on others for much transit. Try a back seat shag on a bike! Motorbikes replace the same challenge with more driver allure and more intense feeling during travel and much longer distances possible.

    Note, US Census figures show car pooling, despite being considered a failure, is still several times more popular than cycling to work. Cycling appears to be the bigger failure, prone to popularity swings, and unaccommodating of aging populations. Check out video of Saigon – mostly motorbikes, then cars and bicycles on streets.

    Consider the health damage from unrelieved traffic congestion. Replacing travel lanes with bike lanes creates more stress for the 99% who drive, even causing road rage. Government deliberately creating stress, heart disease, and depression is unconscionable. Is there a net health benefit when so few more cycle at the expense of so many. Justification is needed to create congestion.

  • Ray Ashton

    Actually, there are banking institutions which offers a good and lower car loan for bad credit. In this way, a car owner who is planning to avail and sell their cars could have the package they wanted.

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  • Rebecca Boelke

    Rail transit is the way to go. Look at Japan and Europe. North Americans do really love their cars. Blame the politicians and oil lobbyists.

    -Rebecca Boelke

  • TinaNoda

    Rail transit is the way to go. Look at Japan and Europe. North Americans do really love their cars. Blame the politicians and oil lobbyists.

    -Tina