Sunday, February 14, 2016

"If we're interested in social justice, beginning to reorient the majority of the transportation infrastructure running through cities should be sought."

Is it your city, or does it belong to the ones passing through, speeding as they text?

The Bicycle as a Tool of Social Justice, by Steven Snell (Planetizen)

... Philosopher and social critic Ivan Illich was fascinated by technology. Forty years ago he was arguing that the automobile, rather than a tool of freedom, contributed to entrenching mobility hierarchies. The car is at the sharp tip of the pyramid; all other transportation modes can get sucked under its tires. Where we've continued to allow the design of our cities to worship the automobile, Illich might have seen a monopoly, or worse, a dictatorship. He saw cities as subservient to this machine rather than an expression of people.

Illich couldn't have forecasted that motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading cause of death for those aged one to 34. Nor could he have fathomed that the use of a technology while driving could become such an epidemic. Distracted driving is the number one leading cause of car accidents in America. Drivers who use a hand-held device are four times more likely to get into a car accident than those who don't, and individuals who text are 23 times more likely to get into an accident.

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