On the war vs. cars and the need to engage in discussions on this topic
There is an increasing awareness for the problems brought about by car-oriented transportation in many cities and towns. These include needless widening of roads, road crashes, and traffic congestion. Then, there are also what we seem to take for granted like air pollution, noise and fuel consumption that are also attributable to the over-dependence on cars. Here’s a nice article about the arguments for more people-oriented transport and how having the latter will benefit us:
Marx, P. (2018) The war against cars will ultimately be won – and that’s good for everyone, https://medium.com/@parismarx/the-war-against-cars-will-ultimately-be-won-and-thats-good-for-everyone-a57b2983c81d [Last accessed: 12/7/2018]
Don’t get me wrong. Though the wording or title seems to stating that cars are “evil” we should still be grounded in the fact that there should be a balance among transport modes. There is still a need to determine which are most suitable for different people with different trip purposes and other characteristics. It is always easy to state (or shout out?) slogans or mantras for sustainable transport when in reality it is challenging to implement these given the various factors in play. That includes changing mindsets especially among the decision-makers. I like to recall what a good friend always asks/says when a discussion on this topic arises: “What mode do you use to travel between your home and office? If you’re dependent on a car, then perhaps its difficult to have the perspective of a public transport user or a cyclist or a pedestrian.” But then that statement also works the other way if you’re open-minded enough to understand why people are dependent on cars in the first place. Likely, the discussions will expand to include housing even the selection of schools for your children. And these types of discussions are exactly what we need to indulge in, and engage our leaders and those coming forward as candidates for elective posts next year.