This charming and thought-provoking graphic story illustrates the beauty of riding a bike in the city, and also the frustration and danger – and asks whether motorist entitlement making us question our confidence in the human race. In this case the bike rider arrives at a happy ending.
Drivers display behaviors on the road that indicate that they feel entitled, but in a weird way it’s not the fault of drivers themselves. The titans of the auto and oil and gas industries have made a concerted effort since the 1920s to brainwash the populace, when the first affordable cars rolled off the assembly line, making them affordable and available to almost everyone, and cities built roads that accommodated cars, and marginalized people.
In the interest of promoting car culture the industry has deliberately co-opted our vernacular to take responsibility away from drivers, using words like “accident”, which is a rare, pre-ordained and unavoidable incident, rather than “crash”, which all vehicle related incidents are. “Jaywalking” is a completely made up word intended to marginalize, and even criminalize walkers. The term “parking”, which now is only applied to parking vehicles, is originally a West Germanic word, pre-4c., meaning “fencing”, in Medieval Latin, “enclosure, park“, in old French, as well as Italian parco, Spanish parque, etc. We even use a driving license as the main form of ID in the US.
Asbury Park, like many cities in the US is working on changing car culture with incremental infrastructure improvements, improving mass transit, adding micro-mobility options, and making it less convenient to drive in the city, and more desirable and safer to ride a bike and walk.
‘Motorists undercut any confidence you ever had in the human race’: New York cycling – a cartoon
Marcellus Hall is a New York-based illustrator
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