Category Archives: car culture

Seven freeways that never were

More good stuff from Slate’s Tom Vanderbilt (via Bus Nerd):

The Lower Manhattan Expressway—dubbed “Lomex”—which would have coursed in eight-lane glory through the now-vibrant (and expensive) neighborhoods of Soho and Nolita, is one of the world’s most famous unbuilt highways. The epic battle about whether it should be built is virtual mythology in New York City, pitting the sweeping interventions of Robert Moses against that savior of the street, Jane Jacobs, a conflict of networks against neighbors, a struggle over a road that was either essential to Gotham’s 20th century survival or, in the words of Lewis Mumford, was “the …

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More snow talk

My latest for Grist: “Driving a car doesn’t mean being in control”:

It’s during the times we are not able to drive that it becomes clear just how little “control” a car-dependent life provides. Driving a mile or more to buy a gallon of milk or a box of Band-Aids may not seem especially remarkable until your alternator dies. Or gas prices rise above $4 per gallon. Or the roads are covered in a foot of snow.

Read the rest…

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Upcoming events for transit types

The Culture of the Automobile and its Effect on Our Lives

What: An SDOT-sponsored talk by Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez, authors of the recently released Carjacked. Here’s a synopsis of the book:

Carjacked is an in-depth look at our obsession with cars. While the automobile’s contribution to global warming and the effects of volatile gas prices is widely known, the problems we face every day because of our cars are much more widespread and yet much less known — from the surprising $14,000 that the average family pays each year for the vehicles it owns, to …

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The opposite of progress

From Tom Vanderbilt’s recent piece in Slate:

In Greenberg, Ben Stiller plays Greenberg, a drifting musician-turned-carpenter who’s getting over a nervous breakdown. He’s a needy and casually abusive schmuck, a socially awkward and obsessive crank. And if you need any more clues to the extent of his pathological loserdom, here’s one: He doesn’t drive.

[…]

Greenberg is just the most recent film in which a character’s non-automobility–whether for lack of a car or for lack of the ability to drive–is used for comic effect, whether as a metaphor for a deeper personality flaw or as a token of marginality …

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The bus family takes a drive

Over the long weekend, we bus types did the Zipcar thing and spent Saturday hiking on Mount Rainier. In the old days (back when it was just Bus Nerd and me), our Tahoma adventures included hard hikes (for which we were rewarded with breathtaking views) and overnight camping. These days, we stick to easy day hikes and settle for great views. I miss our grown-up trips, but I do enjoy bringing the little ones. Exposing Chicklet and Busling to the beauty of the natural world is good for them in all kinds of ways. I hope it will also …

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How to make a bus chick angry, part V

Bye bye, 8…

Bad truck!
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And they say buses are slow

According to this LA Times article, runners can get around Los Angeles almost as fast as cars. (via: Bus Nerd)

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Watch this!

On Monday, 2/8, PBS will debut a cool documentary.

Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City.

[The film] examines how Detroit–battered by the fallout of the automotive industry, and a bleak example of the social/economic failures that occur from having a transportation system that relies so heavily on private automobiles as the primary mode of mobility–may actually lead the way in transforming how the country gets around using public transportation that runs on clean energy.

It airs in Seattle at 10 PM. Check out this clip.

I had the pleasure of watching a preview copy of …

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No car, no service

Alki Mail & Dispatch this ain’t.

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“Public transportation is paying for my Porsche.”

You don’t have to be a car hater to understand the benefits of transit. From a recent Slate article (via: Streetsblog Network):

In spring 2007, my wife and I sold our Volvo and committed to public transportation. Since then, it’s been no traffic jams, no mechanics, no gasoline, and no insurance bills. With the money we saved, I started a “hot rod” bank account dedicated to making driving fun. Public transportation is paying for my Porsche.

[...]

Like many Americans, I love to get out and drive. But in and around major cities, “driving” usually means idling …

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