I just found out about another book I have to read: Edward Humes' Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation. But until I get around to it, here's some of what he has to say in an interview with the New York Times.
We drive these vehicles that weigh 4,000 pounds and are built to carry five people and eight suitcases, and most of the time, it’s just one person and this giant machine going to work. We’ve got transportation overkill.Then more specifically,
In the book, you write about the car as if it were a social problem.And that's not mentioning the 38,000 people killed in or by cars each year in the U.S., or the 4.4 million injured. The latter part of the interview focuses on why there aren't speed governors in our cars.
And a health problem. And an economic problem.
Next to our home, the car is our single largest household expense. We’re paying for it round the clock. Yet, it sits idle for 22 hours a day. Plus, it’s horribly inefficient in how it uses energy. The average car wastes about 80 percent of the gasoline put into it. By comparison, an electric vehicle uses about 90 percent to actually move the car.
Pair that interview up with these other recent posts on transportation topics:
- The modern car is an amazing waste by local urbanist blogger Bill Lindeke.
- Do we really care about children? by Charles Marohn of Strong Towns. Building a society around cars means children are in much greater danger than they would otherwise be.
- Two different stories about break-throughs in electric buses with substantial range: Tesla is playing catch-up to China's BYD and This new electric bus can drive 350 miles on one charge.
- America's ugly strip malls were caused by government regulation (from Forbes).
- Portland wants to rethink speed limits by factoring in walkers and bikers. (Hey, did you know that a pedestrian hit by a car going 20 mph has a 90 percent chance of surviving, but when hit by a car going 40 mph, that chance falls to 10 percent?)
- Helsinki's ambitious plan to make car ownership pointless in 10 years (from the Guardian). They hope a mobility-on-demand system that integrates all forms of shared and public transport in a single payment network could render private cars obsolete.
- And, finally, all in one place, a list of Strong Towns posts about what they call the Growth Ponzi Scheme. Descriptions of a few posts: "If you want a simple explanation for why our economy is stalled and cannot be restarted, it is this: Our places do not create wealth, they destroy wealth" and "How did we build such an amazing place before the home mortgage interest deduction? How did we accomplish this before zoning? What created this place before we had state and federal subsidies of local water and sewer systems?"