Cars v Bikes

I was not that surprised to read in Slum Ecology that traffic accidents will soon be the third leading cause of death in developing countries. Sadly the car is winning out. Rather than focusing on better public transportation or encouraging cycling , governments are building more roads and car companies like Tata in India build cheaper cars. The air pollution (and noise pollution) gets worse and worse and the highways and streets become even more dangerous. It’s sad when a city like shanghai which used to be famous for it’s cyclists now outlaws them. This auto-centric vision is an unfortunate capitalist export. It benefits the wealthier residents at the expense of the poor. The Tata car is targeted at the middle class and creates an even bigger divide between classes and further isolates slum neighborhoods if there is little transportation available.
(LA is an example of how car culture defined the city and made it easy to ignore the poorer neighborhoods as the freeways by-passed or sped through them. )
And here in NYC where 82% of residents do not own cars it is a constant battle over bike lanes, pubic transportation costs and services and pedestrian safety.


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