Car Blindness – A Curable Condition

The industry has systematically blinded us since the 1920s, and many drivers and city leaders passionately defend the condition.  Even though cars are literally killing us, it’s common to hear and read about drivers, business owners, delivery services, and emergency service providers arguing against proposed bike lanes and other infrastructure for micromobility (the ongoing fights in NYC about bike lanes reducing parking, and constant bashing of e-scooters), and complaints about insufficient parking.  The onus is placed on the most vulnerable road users for their own safety, with programs aimed at walkers and bicyclists suggesting (or mandating) hi-viz gear, flags, eye contact, of course helmets for all bike riders, and staying within painted lines. Drivers are routinely absolved of responsibility by law enforcement and journalists in crashes involving people on bikes or walking, because the person wasn’t wearing a helmet or wasn’t in the bike lane or crosswalk (as if a helmet will prevent being hit by a car, or that paint magically protects bike riders and walkers – did you know that jaywalking is fake?).  APCSC is thankful for Asbury Park city leaders who envision streets that prioritize people, not cars. This is a process that will take time as it has in cities all over the world, but Asbury Park is truly becoming a people-oriented city.

“This is the first in a series of four articles discussing car blindness. For cities around the world, more urgency is needed to enable sustainable, efficient, and healthy transport.”

Car blindness — Ignoring the true cost of cars

Alex Dyer Aug 24

Car blindness

Car blindness is the mindset of not seeing that cars themselves are a major, chronic problem. It is when one overlooks the heavy price tag of driving cars and is unable to see the precariousness of car dependency.

A symptom of car blindness is being convinced that by fixing one or two problems, cars will finally make sense.

Maybe by changing how they‘re powered will fix them? Or maybe making them a tiny bit less dangerous? Or making non-dangerous road users, like cyclists, more visible? Or adding another lane to a highway, or tunnel through a city?

Read more of this article:

Car Blindness

And read the following articles in the series:

Do You Hate Cyclists?

It seems everyone is hating on cyclists, aka people on bikes.  We constantly hear that bikes “scare” people, or that they “almost got run down”… (scooters are a close second in the hating department). But why isn’t everyone seriously hating on drivers? Drivers of multi-ton motorized vehicles kill nearly 1.25 million people in crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day. We have been led to believe that we need vehicles, but they are actually killing us.

Why Do NYC Drivers And Pedestrians Loathe Cyclists?

 

“So we set out to explore the psychology of what happens to us when we compete for limited road space, and why much of the frustration seems to get dumped on cyclists. We walked the streets, spoke to people on bikes and on foot at the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, chatted with delivery truck drivers, and hung around the break room of a taxi garage to get a variety of road-users’ perspectives.”

Read more…

https://gothamist.com/2019/07/16/everyone_hates_cyclists.php

Cars Are Killing Us

Asbury Park is perfectly designed to support alternatives to cars. Bike share, scooter share, electric car share, jitneys, pedicabs, and more.

This article in The New Yorker, in addition to recent articles in The New York Times,  The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and other respected and well- known publications tells the history and social, health and environmental impacts of automobiles in this country.  It has become clearer that we need to address the problem of #toomanycars.

“The road has emerged as the setting for our most violent illustrations of systemic racism, combustion engines have helped create a climate crisis, and the quest for oil has led our soldiers into war.”

The “Automobile Era” was ushered in by men who saw a way to make a lot of money hustling Americans into thinking that everyone needed, and everyone could afford a car, and that vehicles represented freedom and our very identity.

This author quotes the stats: “Since 1899, more than 3.6 million people have died in traffic accidents (*Let’s make sure we NEVER say “accident”. They’re CRASHES.*) in the United States, and more than eighty million have been injured; pedestrian fatalities have risen in the past few years.”

“In 2018 alone, an estimated 40,000 people lost their lives to car crashes.” Since 1990 1 million people have been killed in car crashes.”

The environment has suffered irreparably from automobile emissions, and from our dependence on gas and oil. Human health has been adversely affected with particulates in the atmosphere.

Let’s keep working toward a car-free Asbury Park.

Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?

For a century, we’ve loved our cars. They haven’t loved us back.

READ IT:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/07/29/was-the-automotive-era-a-terrible-mistake