Category Archives: car culture

Moving beyond the margins

Last week, Portland bicycle activist* Elly Blue published a piece in Bicycling magazine about how her decision not to have children has enabled her carfree activism: both her ability to afford life as an full-time rabble rouser and her general freedom to cycle without the physical encumbrance and time constraints of transporting children.

Some UCLA researchers have thrown down some science about women and bicycling. The gender gap in cycling is so huge in the US (by comparison, to say, the Netherlands) not because women are particularly afraid or particularly fussy about their hair, but because …

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Category: busing with babies, car culture, media, multi-modal | Tagged , ,

When “growing up” = getting behind the wheel

This morning, NPR ran a story about a teenager’s first time driving herself to school. A reporter followed Rebecca Rivers, a high school junior in Canton, NY, from the breakfast table to the parking lot of her high school. (It wasn’t my idea of riveting journalism, but then again, I recently wrote a post about all the parks I visited on the bus this summer. To each her own.) The point of the piece was to focus on an important “rite of passage” in the life of an American child.

During the interview, Rebecca talks about why …

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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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Category: car culture, seattle stuff | Tagged , , , ,

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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Category: car culture, media, reviews | Tagged ,