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Toronto Taxi Drivers Resort To Victim Blaming 24

Toronto taxi line – photo by Gabriel Perez Last week a Toronto taxi driver was charged with second degree murder after 28-year-old Ralph Bissonette was killed on a longboard (a surfboard-style skateboard) in what appears to be a result of road rage. As reported by the Toronto Star: “What occurred is still under investigation, but ...

Urban Car-Free Camping 17

Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Growing up in Canada, camping in the outdoors has always been a significant part of my life. Camping can bring us closer to nature and allow us to appreciate the simple conveniences of modern life. Before now, I had always relied on a car to go camping. ...

Traffic Congestion & Optimal Efficiency 17

Beijing traffic – photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country Beijing’s traffic congestion nightmare is perhaps best attributed to the much hailed Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China’s “socialist market economy” – which opened China up to foreign investment and brought significant wealth to the people of China over the past 30 years. Xiaoping ...

Motorist Convenience Trumps Safety 43

“Driving the Volvo” – Photo by Thomas Anderson Toronto’s chief medical officer made headlines in the Toronto media for recommending that the city reduce its speed limits to 30km/h on residential streets, and 40km/h on other city streets to “support the increased use and safety of walking and cycling”. The Doctor’s recommendations were mocked by ...

The Car Once Symbolized Freedom… 49

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 ...

A Renewed Faith in Newspapers 8

“Places To Go, People To Meet, Things To Do” by Amsterdamize (via ratemyvelo.com) Over the years as a citizen bicycling advocate I have lost my faith in the media. I had found that news outlets have a bias toward car culture that has contributed to the animosity on our streets and the stifling of progress ...

Wealthy Drivers More Likely To Break Traffic Rules 37

BMW X6 – Photo by Triple RS University of California Berkeley researchers recently performed a series of studies that found a strong correlation between wealthy people and cheating. Among other things, it found that people driving expensive cars were four times as likely to enter an intersection when they didn’t have the right of way. ...

Baby On Board: A Desperate Plea 21

Photo by Steve and Sara Emry Driving in North America has reached such a low level of selfishness and entitlement that many parents with young children in their car have succumbed to a desperate plea for safety for their children by erecting a “BABY ON BOARD” sign in their car. I view these signs as ...

Emotional Affection For Automobiles 31

Top Gear Season 13 Ending – Aston Martin V12 Vantage HD (via YouTube) In a recent comment on a Grist article, I was accused of being “jealous” of a proud owner of a Ford Mustang with a 5.0 liter V8 engine with over 400-HP Ford Mustang (labeled as a “penile extension” by another commenter). I ...

Awkward Moments In China’s Car Culture Frenzy 36

Cyclist in Shanghai – Photo by James Schwartz / The Urban Country (2010) As a Canadian ex-pat currently residing in China, there are moments where my culture and values clash with Chinese culture. A recent situation at a dinner with my wife’s family and friends surfaced the importance placed on car ownership in Chinese culture. ...