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
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:
And read the following articles in the series: