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Automobiles Are A Slow Killer In The City

668 words - 3 pages

Down with Cars!
MATHIEU ISLER

Private transportation does not belong in cities. One day we will wake up and recognize the car and its supporting infrastructure as the plague of modern society. Unlike the Black Death, it will not simply pass with time for it is a plague we have brought upon ourselves. The system of the automobile is a slow killer, attacking the mind before the body. It does not target people so much as the very fabric of civilization, strangling its culture to ultimately leave nothing but the cold moving parts that drive an economy. Upon infection it creates its own illusion of culture—car culture—as a distraction from the damage being done. Such elements of this illusion as freedom and independence fuel false hope and belief in some kind of benefit to society.
Many, if not most, would argue for this system. The convenience of cars is quickly made to outshine the current limitations of public transportation. This comparison seems to support the idea that individuals must have full charge of their commute in order to be efficient members of urban society, when in fact it is the dominance and chaos of car traffic that hinders public transportation from its glorious potential. Swarms of private vehicles, each carrying one, two, maybe three people for the majority of their daily travel, swerve, brake, jolt along enormous expanses of pavement every morning by the power of their individual motors, occasionally colliding, to eventually scramble around the vicinity of their destinations in search of a tight spot in which to cram for most of the day. Meanwhile, buses and various types of trains zip along predetermined routes, carrying large numbers of passengers who are free to do anything that can be done sitting or standing in one place until they are let off at their destination and the vehicle continues its circuit. The former is completely unnecessary and causes nothing but trouble....

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