For wanting to ban cars – even from just dense city centers – I’ve been called an extremist. Of course, I’ve been called a number of things with little basis in fact. Studying cities going back thousands of years, it’s impossible to ignore the damage cars have done to our lives. We can go farther, faster, but at the loss of social connection, safety, and vast sums of public transportation cash.
Where ever cars dominate, human life suffers. The two are fundamentally incompatible. Automobiles can’t function in a space crowded with people any more than people can function in a space crowded with automobiles. When both do mix, they do so with lethal results.
The auto industry has perfected lying about its product. Never will you see congestion, never will you see images of the 40,000 Americans cars kill each year, or the mangled, bloody bodies of survivors. To do so would scare the shit out of your average consumer at a time when fewer of us are driving at all.
What car companies want is for drivers to feel safe behind the wheel, selfishly expecting their very own speed-way unobstructed by bus, train, bike, or pedestrian. These other modes are the true threat to auto profits as much as cars are a physical threat to human life.
I’m not the only one who thinks this way.
Many argue it’s extremist to suggest the dangerous mistake cars have been to city life be perpetuated by those demanding bigger and wider freeways. It’s they who are the radicals.
To illustrate how unpredictably deadly drivers can be, scroll below for 36 looped GIFs of crashes and near misses that will stop your heart. Some seem almost comical, others surely involved maiming and loss of life.
They come fittingly enough via the blog Just Ban Cars. Their purpose here is not to desensitize or be gratuitous, but to counter the open-road, smooth-ride advertising lie that we’re bombarded with ad nauseum.
By all means, fear the auto, but not so much that you refrain from biking that busy road. The more you assert your rights as a human being, the more you strike back against the infernal combustion engine.
See you in the streets.
Every year, 1.24 million people are killed in road traffic crashes. Between 20 – 50 million more people suffer non-fatal injuries, with many incurring a disability as a result of their injury. Cars are the leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 29 years. Source: World Heath Organization