The War on Cars

It’s getting crazy out there.

Bike lanes, pickup trucks, pedestrian fatalities, distracted driving, SUVs, climate change, freedom, way of life, congestion, more congestion.

I think it’s an interesting topic as we can all likely relate with personal stories, about local infrastructure projects or personal needs.

I drive to work but I’m also a cyclist. I hate drivers these days. Earlier in the Fall I was on a great morning ride, deserted country road, sun shining and blue skies, Saturday morning, group of five of us. Red SUV pulls up beside us, passenger window rolls down, woman screams, purple with rage, spitting 'SINGLE FIIIIILE!!!".

Uh, have a nice day?

I forgot what sub-forum I was in and thought that this was a thread about the recently-completed Kickstarter for SJG’s Car Wars.

Much disappointment.

I think @Adam_B has had a few rants about his thoughts on personal vehicles. Maybe he could weigh in and put everything into perspective for us.

Most people driving cars are fine. Most people riding bikes are fine. But combine an asshole car driver and an asshole bike rider and shit gets real.

I had a look at Ninth Street on Street View. The idea it’s too narrow for a bike lane is laughable. It has two lanes each way, plus a full lane of parking on each side, plus a fairly wide median. That would qualify as a motorway in the UK.

Cars deserve to be warred on. Second worst invention in history.

This is just 100% not my experience whatsoever. Most people are impatient and distracted and can’t drive for shit.

Yup. After living in London for 10 years I go back visiting home to my quaint little childhood suburb in Canada and realize the houses are mansions and the streets could take two way tank traffic. Not to mention that so much of the street space is overkill considering everyone is parked in their private garages or driveway.

To be fair, probably not in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn parking is insane. On average you have at least (depending on area) two families per car street frontage. And while it’s true a lot of people do not own cars, the end result is a definite lack of parking space. Couple that with the need of moving your car for cleaning in some places and it gets crazy.

When I cycle, cars are the enemy. When I drive, bikes are a constant nuisance. When I walk, everything is the enemy. Especially fucking bird scooters on the sidewalk. Assholes.

All that said, and I am an Angeleno who still drives a lot, our cars are literally killing us, so if other modes of transportation become dominant, so be it.

Those Bird scooters are kind of insane with so many users. Tiny wheels and guys just go max speed. Saw a dude face plant after hitting a small rock and there was blood everywhere.

All that said, I keep eyeing this 250 scrambler motorcycle with the idea of town and dirt road excursions. A weekender vehicle.

I need to stop. I’m 54. It’s a bad idea. But the motorcycle looks sooooo cool with retro style.

Maaaaan Americans and their fucking suburbitanks are insane.

I’d love to walk or bike to work. Just find me a well paying, cool job close to my home and I’m in.

The problem is, with the specialization of our labor force and carving up our efforts with different organizations (companies), this is impossible. You need your car to get to the central office where everyone works, and unless you are the CEO, they are not going to relocate the office for you. So you are stuck commuting. Also, I can’t carry almost anything on a bike. Grocery trips, shopping trips, all out. Maybe if all these places were nearby. Also, in the summer, there are no locker rooms at work to shower and change, and in the winter it’s too cold. Bikes will never cut it in a lot of places.

I would LOVE to live in a utopia where everyone rode self powered vehicles and cars are banned. But that won’t happen in the US at least. A densely packed city works better. But that’s not life for a lot of people.

The need for cars is entirely a predictable outcome of how US cities have been (un)plannned. Effectively street-centered cities allow city planners to offload infrastructure construction costs on developers and individuals. And once an area had been designed primarily for vehicles it is difficult if not impossible to change it back.

Automobile centered cities are the predictable outcome of the particular US political system that pushes costs down the line to the next stop on the food chain.

In the past I worked with some people who HATED cyclists. I was told we have no right to be on the road, etc. These people were also gun nuts who watched Fox 24 hours a day. Not to stereotype.

That said, the most aggressive drivers I had run ins with were teenagers trying to be funny.

Also, cities have been planned for ‘existing’ population for the most part, not explosive growth. If the existing population didn’t use bikes, and were using cars, then bike lanes take car lanes. If the population of cars go up, the parking spaces don’t, etc.

Shoehorning bike lanes and public transport into streets only designed for Cars is expensive, and requires real estate which is unavailable, and which gets more and more expensive as demand goes up.

Oh, and even in Rural towns, this infrastructure planning issue is horrible. See people trying to evacuate Paradise, CA during the fires on a 1-2 lane road.

Mackinaw Island :)

You know what’s an interesting tactic? Frame the reply as a personal right. “Most roads and highways are public spaces, and cyclists have an equal right to that road space. Not on interstates, cyclists are prohibited. But on normal roads they have the same freedoms and rights to that space as anyone else. It’s built into the rights afforded all of us.”

I’ve literally had gun nuts (not to stereotype) do a double take, stare at me for a few seconds, mutter “never thought of it like that”, and saunter off perplexed. :-)

I live in a rural area that’s been built up. The roads near me are narrow and winding. Cyclists drive me nuts because there isn’t really a shoulder. The people out for a leisurely cycle are fine. I can get around them. It’s the trainers for the races that get me. They are going too slow to just ride behind, but too fast to get around. The road is narrow enough more often than not I have another car on my side as they go through the turn.

I tried that, they said bikes should have a license if they want to be used on roads. It really was a strange thing that got them really worked up. I think they also associated cycling with being liberal. I gave up talking to them at all.