Cars: An Addiction Like Any Other

Cities that prioritize parking and roads for automotive traffic have bought into the hype. It’s the influence of the addiction, and it’s especially hard to break an addiction when the addicts don’t know, or are unwilling to admit that they’re addicted.

The 3 leading causes of death in the US, guns, opioids, and car crash fatalities. The industries are profiting, and they’re killing us in almost equal numbers by keeping us addicted.

The auto and oil and gas industries cleverly, and creatively keep us addicted to cars, even though they’re literally killing us: 2018 was the third consecutive year of at least 40,000 motor vehicle deaths.

Pharma succeeded in getting and keeping people addicted to opiods, which were involved in 47,600 overdose deaths in 2017, just slightly higher than car related deaths, and now drug companies are profiting from the drugs that treat opioid addiction.

Americans are addicted to their guns too, and that’s the way the industry likes it, even though 39,773 people died from gun-related injuries in the U.S., according to the CDC. just slightly less than deaths by car.

One way that the media has bought into the hype is putting the onus for safety on people riding bikes and scooters, which is focusing entirely on the wrong problem. #toomanycars #slowthecars

Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition works to address the health, economic, and equity of transportation options in our city.

The truly most dangerous activity :
“…separates white from black, rich from poor, healthy from sick…when you cram yourself into a little steel box. The structure is designed to keep you emotionally and financially enslaved to your car…”


Another reason it’s popular to talk about the dangers of cycling is that talking about the dangers of cycling discourages people from cycling. American society doesn’t want YOU on a bike. If YOU start riding, you will drive less. If you drive less, you’ll contribute less to the structure we live in, which is built around driving.

Read this blog post by Seth Davidson, a long-time bicycle rider, advocate, and cycling lawyer. He’s often snarkily humorous, but this time he’s deadly serious:

The most dangerous activity

Is Your City Too Car-Friendly?

Question: Among our readers, who, like me learned to drive at a time when we were taught that pedestrians had the right of way? I was taught when I was behind the wheel that I had the awesome right and responsibility to drive a huge metal engine-powered machine, and I had to look out for those more vulnerable on the road. Things seem to have changed. Right now we can see daily reports from cities everywhere of drivers involved in hit and run, and other fatal crashes with people walking and riding bikes, in which drivers are getting away with “failure to yield”, or “reckless driving”. (Police reports say: “She came out of nowhere.”  “I didn’t see him.” Or even more ridiculous, “He/she wasn’t wearing a helmet.”)

We’re in the midst of a crisis of an health crisis of vaping. There have been 13 fatalities to date, and may be more to come. It’s a serious problem and it’s in the news every day.  But we don’t see a similar response to car crash deaths that occur daily by the hundreds and yearly by tens of thousands! The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that in 2018, 40,000 people died in car crashes (and almost the same number deaths from guns, but that’s another discussion). We have normalized car-related deaths as built-in to our dependence on driving.  The US can do so much better, and things are beginning to change -very gradually. It takes time to change a culture. Cities like Asbury Park are making strides to create streets that are safe for everyone, especially the most vulnerable – walking, riding bikes, pushing strollers, navigating wheelchairs, and yes, scooters too. (Check out scooter education on Sunday 9/29!)  Watch for continued improvements to infrastructure all over Asbury Park with the goal is to increase availability, convenience, and safety of micro mobility, and reduce car dependency, as it becomes less convenient and less desirable to drive.


Cyclist Deaths Are Exploding Because U.S. Cities Are Car-Friendly Death Traps

Bike-related fatalities are up 25 percent across the U.S. since 2010.


By Jada Butler; illustrated by Hunter French
Sep 6 2019

In 2019, more and more cities across America are encouraging their residents to commute by bicycle. Cycling, of course, is good for the environment in terms of reducing pollution from car-dominant streets, and it’s a healthier way to travel.

But cities gaining new cyclists are quickly, tragically finding that they do not have the proper infrastructure to keep them safe. Cyclist fatalities have gone up 25 percent across the U.S. since 2010, and up 10 percent in 2018 itself, while all other traffic fatalities have decreased.

Read more…