In Search of the “War on Motorists”
How many times have you attended a public meeting to discuss changing road usage policy or read about the current “war on motorists”? While perhaps not stated with quite these exact words, I have had many conversations where the under currents definitely revolved around images one draws up when they think of current trends and advocacy efforts to share the public spaces better.
I think George Monbiot over at the Guardian UK blog, does a great job summarizing this war when he stated:
What I see is that driving has become cheaper over the past three decades, while other forms of transport have become more expensive. That the space dedicated to cars – both on the roads and for parking – has expanded, often at the expense of other kinds of public space. There is precious little enforcement of either the speed limit or of other rules – such as parking on the pavement in residential areas. When someone is killed or injured as a result of careless driving, the penalties are tiny, if there is any punishment at all. As a result, motorists are able to take space – and even life – away from people pursuing other activities.
Are we being unfair to motoring counterparts? After all, the personal automobile has become the ubiquitous form of transportation for most Americans. My personal take is that this auto centric transportation policy is not in the best interest of our country over the long term and that, as painful as it is for us as Americans, we need to start thinking outside our molded box towards how we can build the next generation transportation infrastructure, which focuses on how best to move people rather than cars.
So what’s your take, is there really a “war on motorists” being waged?