War on Cars

Yet another example of how cats are subsidized and how people are able to drive without paying the true cost.

It was very heartening at MAGFest when Scott off-handedly dissed cars and “The War on Cars” was apparently known to the crowd. We got some minor applause.

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EDIT: Here’s a video with an interesting history on Apple’s prospects for the project (surprisingly, this video was made roughly a week before today’s news).

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Our roads are not built to accommodate the very large cars that people are buying. The guardrail being the most obvious example. Standard guard rails aren’t strong enough to stop a very large vehicle from going through.

Do we:

a) Spend a bunch of taxpayer money to upgrade all the guardrails everywhere.
b) Just let large vehicles cause fucktons of damage to themselves and others.
c) Restrict large vehicles only to people that truly need them and force everyone else to get smaller ones.

I choose c, but what do I know?

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I think A with REAL incentives for people getting smaller vehicles is the best way. Realistically, if we want electric cars (and, yes, I know you’d prefer almost no cars), we have to accept that they are generally heavier than their ICE counterparts. The barriers are made to stop 5000lbs, but a Tesla Model S, unladen, is 4650lbs. Add two people my size and you’re already over the 5k limit.
A Ford 150 Lightning, unladen is 6500lbs, but it’s 35% heavier than its ICE sister.

Electric cars are not the answer.

The top priority is fewer cars, period. A lot fewer. And the cars that remain should be no larger than necessary.

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This isn’t anything new, but I think they miss the larger point. While I strongly favor democracy above all else, this exposes democracy’s fatal flaw.

People do now know what is best for them. People don’t even know what they themselves want. They think they want one thing, and vote for that, but they actually want something else. If they actually experience the something else, they change their mind.

I always use Citgo sing in Boston, where I’m going today, as an example. When the sign was new, people hated it as an eyesore. When people attempted to remove it years later, people fought against that too, because it’s a landmark.

Clearly something is going right in Europe in terms of local politics. Not only do we see people like Anne Hidalgo, the Mayor of Paris, imbued with the power to redesign the transportation landscape. But they also see unafraid to push implement policies that may initially generate a lot of anger among some portion of the population.

In NYC we see a few city council members who are willing to push sane transportation policy. But for the most part, they all seem absolutely terrified of the interest of car owners. The numbers even show that car owners are less than half of the population of NYC.

This isn’t a problem of lack of democracy like we see at the federal level in the US. These people are elected by popular vote. Why do the European politicians have courage while the American ones don’t?

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The data backs it up. The US is really MUCH worse when it comes to the danger of cars than any country in Europe. And the gap is widening.

There’s a fraying away at the edges of our society, for a lot of reasons. I really think this is a symptom. A lot of different factors that are driving society to choose this hill to die on. Pun intended.