Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Benefits of a car-light culture

We realize now that the cocoons of our cars kept us well insulated from the people around us. Our genuine interactions were with family and coworkers, the only people who saw us stripped of the metal that clothed and protected us. Our neighbors, we discovered, were virtually strangers.


In Confessions of an Empty-Nester, the writer talks about some of the positive changes that may come about if more people started using their car less. I'm convined that a car-light community would see reductions in anti-social behaviour, as well as the environmental and safety improvements; turning life in a town into something like rural living used to be.

2 comments:

An Inconvenient Truth said...

Great story, and a reminder of the wider forces that drive car culture. Think about it. Townliar today comments on Nick Wallis's forum that people won't give up their cars because they are so convenient. Yet the facts suggest, in Darlo at least, otherwise. Average speed of in town journey - 20mph.

I'm sure deeper forces are at play - the privatisation of our lives, and the car is one of the most private social spaces going, the extension of our private house (and look at UK house ownership levels).

I think love of the car increasingly reflects an addiction to this world view rather than any objective speed advantage. A rational use of the car today would be to leave it at home for most in-town travel and walk, cycle or bus.

Has anyone done studies of the effest of decreased car culture on anti-social behaviour? Could be difficult given all the other factors that affect such.

Steve said...

and we're doing better than Toronto too:

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/03/09/toronto_councillor_d.html
Toronto councillor: dead cyclists have themselves to blame!