10 Reasons why I really hate cars (and drivers) in cities

WorldStreets today posted an anonymous email that came to Eric Britton’s inbox under the title “Ten reasons I really hate bicycles (and cyclists) in cities“. I am very happy that Eric printed it as it shows what we are up against. The following is my response (best read after you read the original). I’ve essentially just swapped the words “bicycle” with the word “car” throughout (plus a few minor revisions). The words I changed are in bold. It turns out cyclists and car drivers really feel quite similar at the end of the day.

The point of view of those who ride bicycles is not being taken into account by the public authorities as they flood our cities with cars all over the place.

Well, first of all, cars were all supposed to be out of here by now. It is extremely  irritating that after all we have spent and done to make our cities safe for people that cars are still out there clogging  the streets. This is not right.

The machines themselves are not modern. I personally find them ugly, weak, unnecessarily overpowered . . . excessively macho if you will.

They get in the way of our bicycles and make riders like myself (all riders that is) nervous. They distract us and cause accidents.  That costs us real money and kills us.  Which we also don’t like.

If you can believe it, there are cities that have spent the last 100 years taking away street space intended for people and converting it to car use. This is insane and reactionary. We cannot allow it to continue.

They are even starting to take up perfectly good park spaces. And yet we all know that plentiful (and preferably easily accessible) parks and green spaces hold the key to the successful city.

I do not like car drivers.  They always take the moral high ground. They are uppity. They do not know their place. I find them wanton, aggressive and threatening.  It is a source of fear that I am not separated and protected from them by much of anything.

They are a menace to me when I am trying to walk the short distances I have to cover by foot once I have parked my bike. They are very dangerous.

They look like garbage. Have you ever seen thousands of cars parked in some kind of public space?

Fortunately the car industry is losing ground in terms of its economic and political reach, so the day will go to bikes. More bikes.

Finally, did you know this?  They don’t even pay for all the deaths, pollution, and public space they take up. Now that’s just not right.

I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! I hope you are mad too and ready to do something about it.  We need to get together and fight this menace.


Editor’s note: The earliest predecessor to the car was developed in 1672 but the vehicle most would consider to be the “first car” was designed by Karl Benz in the 1880s. Bicycles were designed in the 1800s. The current “safety bicycle” design, which is basically what we ride today, was developed in the 1880s. In other words, both are technically equally old. Therefore, I deem it legitimate to term both of them “not modern”.

If we are to truly move forward in this debate, we will need to move beyond vindictive hate mail towards each other and find real common ground beyond our mutual dislike for each other.


11 responses to “10 Reasons why I really hate cars (and drivers) in cities

  1. I’m pretty sure the original article was just flame-bait. It was attributed to Don Corleone, after all.

  2. How did you know that? In fact though, it is Don Carleone, an old freind who pops up from time to time with ideas of his own.

  3. Pingback: Ten reasons why I really hate cars (and drivers) in cities | World Streets

  4. True enough, but the letter could just as well have been written by an angry New Yorker, judging by the pushback they have gotten there in the past year or two. @Ethan: The link you sent me today shows that the debate is basically as polarized (and largely stagnant as a result) as I was suggesting with the piece: http://wins.failblog.org/2011/04/07/epic-win-photos-psa-win/

  5. I ride a bike and drive cars. It makes me see things from both angles. They’re just vehicles, tools to help me finish my traveling purpose.

  6. i’m with you i hope one day those big smelly ugly things will be banned for good.

  7. cars should be banned, we need to save the planet together.

  8. I hate all motor vehicles. I agree with the author and elle. They are dangerous and cost too much money.

  9. I am American and I hate how most of the country is designed for cars and not people. I also hate how most Americans don’t walk or bike anywhere. I have traveled abroad and lived abroad and I loved how I didn’t need a car. I hate car culture. I like walking and bicycling around and have no use for cars.

  10. That’s why I live in NYC…I don’t need a car to get around. All other cities suck because they aren’t like NYC and it’s subways/bus system…just sayin…

  11. Car drivers are really dumb. They don’t know how they look like from outside. When you look at a moving car, there is no humanity you can feel. Basically, when a human drives car, they are not a human anymore. They are just a part of the dangerous machine. Why cars are dangerous? It’s because it destroys everything it touches. It hurts other things for sake of comfort and safety of an human animal who’s inside. Very selfish.

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