Monday Moaning

Monday Moaning this week is a continuation of the CTWW challenge the previous week. Looking at public versus private transport.

Muscle cars of the past

The world is worried about global warming and atmospheric pollution in general, but we don’t stop using our cars. The number of cars on our roads making short trips or going to work with only one person are a plague in our cities.

While we are making inroads into solving the problem and looking at smaller more efficient cars or electric cars rather than the muscle cars of the past. The problem with congestion remains.

We also ignore the use of natural resources in making all cars, whether efficient or not. Even with electric cars we are building more dams and electricity generation facilities that use more resources and create their own pollution. The problem is cyclic. We need to break the cycle!

Are we not barking up the wrong tree?

Shouldn’t we be looking at banning cars from the cities altogether?

Shouldn’t cities be looking at providing an efficient system of public transportation to cater to the demands of carless cities?

Shouldn’t cities be providing safe cycling paths and necessary infrastructure for cycles?

Shouldn’t the cities be providing the education necessary for people to change their ideas about ‘cars rule’?

We need to take a long hard serious look at our society and change some of the rules of the game rather than just change the chess pieces.

Milan in Italy, purported to be the most polluted European city, bans cars from the city when the pollution level reaches a predetermined limit.

In the face of what we have now there should be incentives like free parking for cars that travel to work at capacity (car pooling 3 or 4 passengers), there are many simple ideas like this that could be implemented in the status quo that would help resolve the existing problems in the interim. Or even fines for cars traveling to work with only the driver.

Moan over…

What do you think?

4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by smallftprints on October 10, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I really like the idea of cities banning cars … any ban is good but I especially like the cities that have decided to make certain areas pedestrian only all the time. And I agree … there should be some kind of incentive to encourage people to carpool and/or take mass transit.



    • @SF, the whole problem is the our mentality, it has to change; steps should be being taken to ensure the change, but they aren’t. We just stand around and bemoan the problem without doing anything. Thanks for the comment.




  2. There are so many factors and steps that we can take to support people to choose non-car transportation modes–it’s not always as simple as telling people why they should bike or use public transportation. If it’s unsafe to make that switch, or people have perceived social barriers, or people have disabilities that make it harder to get around, it’s not a simple decision to change from driving. So yes, I agree that there needs to be systemic change and city, state, and national governments need to put more funding into providing the infrastructure for people to make the switch. Culturally, we need to stop romanticizing driving, but nothing will change if we aren’t putting more funding and emphasis into actually changing our streets and how we interact with the landscape on an infrastructural level.

    I’m co-teaching a university-level class right now on sustainable transportation, and these issues you bring up are the same ones we discuss in class each week. I encourage you to read through some of the student responses to these questions and see what our conversations have included as possible solutions:



    • >Melissa, I’m sorry if I appear to have simplified the problem. I am by no means an expert, I just call situations as I have seen them during my lifetime. Like many aspects of our society, the patadigm is all wrong and I agree wholeheartedly that we need to stop romanticising driving and the car culture. I have had a brief look at the site, and it is pleasing to see that there are people interested; but then you have to interest the politicians, and many of them are totally blind to the problems because they don’t attract votes (another totally errant paradigm).

      I wish you luck in your studies, hopefully something fruitful will come of them.




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