Here’s fascinating history on how we’ve been brainwashed, explained in Peter Norton’s book, Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City. “In ad after ad during the Super Bowl, auto companies… have long promised us nirvana. And we’ve blindly shilled out our life savings” to buy, insure, maintain and park cars. The 1920s program at Harvard taught “the first generation of traffic engineers to prioritize traffic lights for faster driving and more difficult walking.”
We need to use language and educate to make sure messages like “biking is normal,” “walkability,” and “good transportation choices” become better understood and more widely accepted over the next decade.
The conversation continues about scooters, “…as a transportation choice – and other micro mobility vehicles are not a novelty, and we should give everything we can to helping them succeed.”
To take back our streets, remember how we lost them to cars
Ford Motor’s “Road of Tomorrow” from the 1939 World Fair
Streets are now thoroughly car-centric, and the idea of people-centered streets remains a difficult concept for most people to grasp. These groups recognized they needed to shift the perceived cause of collisions away from drivers and onto pedestrians. Under the name Motordom, the interest groups were quoted in a 1922 edition of Engineering News-Record that they would lead the effort in a “revision of our concept of what a city street is for.”
A 1937 anti-jaywalking ad from the Federal Art Project. Source