I read this in today’s NY Times. I think it’s quite interesting, even though it’s probably not applicable to those not living in/near a major metropolitan area.
I don’t remember the article from Car and Driver last month, but a letter to the editor this month, referred to the kids they were hiring to write their articles. I kinda agree looking at some of the stuff they come up with. At any rate another letter to the editor addressed the same kind of car ownership doom in a previous article. The point of the letter was that big cities don’t have a car problem, they have a “too many people crammed into a small space” type problem. All of these articles originate from the areas of the country where millions of people are crammed together. Of course these folks wouldn’t want to own a car.
It is the most efficient means of land utilization.
There is a big difference in the author’s examples of things adopted quickly and automobiles, The tech gadgets are available in my home, and cars are not. I can and do use new tech to go anywhere in the world, but the trip is virtual. If I need to actually go someplace, I need a conveyance to get there. I could get a Lyft, but I doubt it would be available for my commute of 32 miles and the many other things I do with my car. If I lived in the big city, maybe I could get by without a car. I have a neighbor that takes the train to D.C. for work, but he has to drive to the station. Depending on some driver for hire to get me when I am ready on both ends takes time. I could get up an hour earlier and plan to get home an hour later with an Uber, but my commute already stinks at 1.5 hours both ways. Why should I lose 3.5 hours a day if I don’t have to? She can have my place in the taxi. I’ll drive myself.
Yes but to what ultimate end? Elbow room cried Daniel Boone.
Reminds me of the time I took a good friend from out of town to manhattan. We needed to take a taxi to the upper east side, and we’re crawling in traffic at maybe 2 or 3 mph, and my friend looks at the crowds on the sidewalks and asks “do people really live like this?” I had to say that they do.
After a couple of years in the SF Bay area I opted out and returned home to Mississippi to work for myself and never ‘commuted’ more than 3 miles since my return here. In the grand scheme it’s all about personal preferences, isn’t it? And I seem to prefer to live life a little S-L-O-W-E-R. And for those who avoid conversations about religion and politics life is quite peaceful. But an automobile is a necessity here.
I owned a cell phone from 1986 to 1995. It weighed about 4 pounds as was big enough to use as a weapon. It was a necessity for me to get a call to work. I was on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week except for the first 9 hours after I returned home from a trip and I could be disciplined or discharged for not answering a call. I gave it away the day I retired in 1995 and have not missed it one bit. I am not interrupted when having dinner out, walking by the river etc. and no one gets mad at me for not answering because all my friends and family know I don’t have one. Uber and Lyft are not available without a cell phone. Neither is parking in some areas of downtown Buffalo so I don’t have to decide about going there.
Public Transportation is very available in Manhattan, But fly over our country and you will see how little of our country is big city and you will know how warped the perception is of those who live there.The mice don’t really perceive the maze.
Most of the public had better transportation options from 1910 through 1955 than we have had since then. My father in law as a child could ride a street car line from Buffalo to several places on lake Ontario Buffalo and its suburbs had3 commuter ring rail lines before cars were common. These days, passenger rail transportation is a joke, My small home town was served by passenger service from 3 large railroads and the majority of men in ton worked for the railroads, they retired with "Golden Passes for free train rides, too bad there are no passenger trains within 60 miles anymore. The National Railroad Museum is in Green Bay Wisconsin. Too bad you can’t take a train to see it.
Read sometime how General Motors bought up myriad intercity bus lines and put them out of business in the 40s and 50s to force people to buy cars.
Electric planes and carbon free jet fuel? It is clear she wasn’t a science major.
Another article about cars from a newspaper in a city whose residents down own cars.
Maybe if they did own cars, they could drive out to Ohio, Missouri, Texas or pretty much the majority of the country that is NOT NYC. They might learn about how people actually live and work and shop in the rest of the country. Cars play a big part. But that isn’t news to most of us here.
You can read more about the conspiracy between GM and Firestone to cripple trolleys and interurban rail lines if you Google “national City lines” it’s a good read.
Frankly, the only places west of new York that I have any interest in visiting are Chicago, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles.
Sorry to hear that. There are a bunch of wonderful places to see between Jersey and LA that aren’t Chicago nor Lost Wages.
I can understand that some people do not want to travel . But the automobile enables many of us to see the National US parks plus some really great scenic drives . For instance , Big Bend National Park in Texas just shows how tough and resilient the early settlers were.
Hydrazine is a carbon-free fuel used in rocket and spacecraft motors. It’s too dangerous to use as jet fuel, but if one non-carbon fuel exists, others almost certainly do.
I uaed to pick up 44000 lb. loads of hydrazine at a chemical plant in Niagara Falls. It was going up to the D.E.W. line in Northern Canada to the missile silos. It was in Army drab drums with white stenciled letters saying how far from human habitation it must be stored. When I asked how dangerous it was, the shipping clerk laughed and said "Don’t worry, you won’t feel a thing and your wife won’t have to bury you because they won’t find a piece of you… or the truck. I suppose you could also say the Gossamer Condor was an electric plane of a sort. I think thy were both equally practical for commercial use.
LA, Las Vegas and Chicago are my least favorite places to go west of NY City. The rest of NY State is beautiful but I have no desire to go closer than 75 miles to the city. I drive through Canada and the UP tp get to Green Bay so I don/t have to go near Chicago. I have been to Las Vegas only once and I went there only because it was the closest place to drop off the rental car and fly home from the Grand Canyon. I used to visit relatives in Los Angeles and they could not wait until retirement so they could get out of there and they liked it better than I did.
The beauty of the countryside and the genuineness of the people in between these places is astounding.
Somewhere in the growth of metropolitan areas the point of diminishing returns is reached, surpassed and growth continued on toward bedlam. And then consider China, whose government designs and builds bedlam as a worthwhile goal.
My channel surfing into Reality TV leads me to the conclusion that today’s young females see the Kardashians’ situation as a lifestyle “to die for,” and likewise young men must see something luring in the New Jersey reality program. But my take on the situation for most working class people in the New York City area is closer to the “Midnight Cowboy” or “Good Times.”
About 20years ago my wife , my dog and I took a cross country trip to see the sights and parks of the West and Northwest. We approached the Eastern entrance of Glacier National Park on the 4th of July only to find out the “Highway to the Sun” was close because of a blizzard raging at the top. All of the motels were full but there was a large Native American run campground and motel at the park entrance.
I pulled in and asked if they knew of any place where we could get a room. They asked how fussy we were, I said clean and a good bed are my only requirements. They said they had friends with a gas station and convenience store about 10 miles north that usually only rented room to hunters in the Fall but called them for us and they agreed to open a room for us.
When we got there I asked for a key to see the room because the place looked bad. The outside doors were all delaminating due to the fierce winds in the area. The furniture was from the 40s or 50s, the carpet was threadbare, the bathroom wad from the same period as the furniture. But, the place was spotlessly clean and the bed was wonderful, queen size a good mattress and snow white sheets.
I went bach to the store and the man asked me what I thought of the room and I said, well I couldn’t get some of the upper cable channels (there was no TV) , the Jacuzzi should have more jets and Icouldn’t find the weight room, but I’ll take it .
he and his wife laughed so hard I was afraid they were going to hurt themselves. He said, I put the coffee on about 6 am and you are welcome to come down and help yourself. They wanted to know if $23 was ok for the room. he said that we could stay until the road opened up and we would only have to pay if we stayed another night. They also offered to sell us food from their store and cook it for us free if we needed that. They are probably no longer alive but I will never forget them or their kindness. I never met people like that in NY, Chicago, LA or Las Vegas.
Fifty five years ago, I had a college classmate and friend who went on to do his graduate work in Kansas. He got married before he left eastern Indiana for Kansas, and he and his new bride bicycled the trip. They didn’t own a car. They had five bicycles between the two of them: their two road bikes, their around town bikes and a balloon bike fitted with side mounted baskets for carrying home groceries from the store. This friend called me one Christmas and was upset because a relative had given him and his wife a car and he really didn’t know what to do. He said he and his wife had no need for the car, but didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the relative that gave them the car. In the winter, he and his wife would take the bus back to eastern Indiana from Kansas, but in good weather, they made the trip on their bicycles. I believe it was a seven day trip. From the article, it seems my friends were way ahead of the times.
Interesting. My diesel developed a knock when the wife had it 200 miles from home. I rented a car to pick the wife up and the car went to the dealer for a new engine 150 miles away. So the challenge was to get back to the dealer to pick my car up 150 miles in western Minnesota. No buses anymore were running anywhere close to the dealer. Bus service is now pretty scarce but I never even thought of taking my bike out there. I woulda had to bring a lunch though and an overnight bag, and put new tires on it before I left.