Streets were built for cars. Right?

The kind of scene that left people unconvinced that cars were safe.

A great reminder from Copenhagenize of the fact that roads were not built for cars but for all means of transport.

The article is a review and brief synopsis of the book Fighting Traffic – The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City by Peter D. Norton. It is always good to be reminded that it took a lot of PR spin and hard fighting by the auto industry to convince people to surrender their streets, the place where public life happened, to the movement of cars.

There is no doubt that the availability of automobiles has lead to some great advances and helped cities grow. However, when we see countries like Denmark and the Netherlands with a street environment that is much friendlier to means of transport other than cars and achieve half the number of road traffic deaths of NZ, we must ask ourselves if we have the mix right.

In any debate we must not accept as a given that cars have a right to dominate the street. It is for all of us to enjoy and use safely.

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