Tag Archives: car culture

The Whole Money Thing

My wife and I get many different reactions from people when we mention our moving to a loft in downtown Springfield. A few are interested because the same thought has crossed their minds. A few are amused because our move seems the trendy thing to do. Still others are perplexed and simply nod. We were […]

On Participation

I re-asserted yesterday that my primary goal as a bicycle advocate is not increasing participation. My primary goals are to educate people how to use the streets we have and to return us to the idea that our streets are a public commons. I think participation is a quality of culture. If a culture understands utility […]

Behavior Given The System

As promised in the comments of this post, Steve, at DFW Point-to-Point, ruminates on role that street design plays in “bad” behavior on the streets. Interesting and well worth your time. A taste: The roads really ARE optimized to accommodate a uniquely dangerous major use – four-wheeled motor vehicle operation. Because these motorists mostly kill and delay […]

Silly Season 2012

I often walk to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays because I do not head downtown first on those days. Plus, I like to mix it up. Walking home yesterday — all of 3/4 mile — I saw five separate incidents of people being silly on the streets. Upon seeing the first one, I thought: Oh, […]

Just Crazy

Raise your hand if you own a computer. Keep your hand up if your computer has ever glitched while in use, i.e. lost its internet signal or crashed or done some other annoying thing that basically ended its functionality if even for a few seconds. Ahhhh … all of you 🙂 Now imagine a computer […]

What Gives With Car Rental Agencies?

OK, so I was in Kansas City on Monday to attend an academic conference, and to get there I rented a compact car from Budget. I’ve rented three cars in 2011 — to go to Florida for a winter vacation, to go to St. Louis on a class field trip (I’m working on a certificate […]

What I Saw Downtown This Morning

I began my career out of college as a news photographer. I carried a camera 24/7 and was always ready. Those days are gone. I have my iPhone, but getting it ready for photography eats up precious seconds. So I can’t show two of the coolest things I saw this morning: two men, in business […]

Of Media, Culture, and (Street) Texts

Three scenes from today: 1. As I approached the 4-way stop at Walnut and South this morning, a cyclist passed me on the right and proceeded through the stop. I was positioned in the center of a narrow lane with parked cars along the road. The bicyclist is a guy I’ve seen before. From his […]

A Longer Walk to School

Disclaimer: This is not a complaint about the hard-working people who plowed the streets for the City of Springfield during  Snowpocalypse ’11. This is, instead, a complaint about all of us, i.e. our culture. In case one needed proof that the car is king of the road — indeed, king of all transportation modes — one merely […]

Crossing The Line

Thanks to a heads-up from James Baumgartner, author of Car-free in PVD, check out this Blueprint America Special Report called Crossing the Line: Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know. This is what happens when you design roads for cars instead of people. Also see the discussion at Commute Orlando. Technorati Tags: car culture, pedestrian […]


The final chapter of David Owens’ Green Metropolis describes some aspects of urban life in China today. One thing I found particularly interesting: According to his observations, the Chinese have an interesting sense of right-of-way. Or, rather, not much sense of it at all (that is in the American sense of it). Owens says traffic […]

Culture and Rational Choices

Transportation planner Jarrett Walker says this post by Michael Druker is the most important you will read this year. It’s about the fundamental attribution error in transportation choice. This error: …refers to the tendency for people to over-attribute the behavior of others to personality or disposition and to neglect substantial contributions of environmental or situational […]

Walking in the Cold

Jason Peters continues to meditate on the virtues of walking at Front Porch Republic (re: Walk, Damn It!). This week he writes about what it means to walk in the cold. And by now this walking has become habitual enough that, if for pressing reasons I do not or cannot walk, I feel that an […]

The Worst Commutes

Why do I have a 3/4-mile commute? I have a 3/4-mile commute because that’s the kind of commute I want — one that makes driving a car a silly choice. I’m lucky. I had the opportunity to make this choice based on my profession and my socio-economic status. Others are not so lucky. Sadly, most […]

Objects In The Road

Today is the middle of the second week of classes. In my media ethics class we spend much of this week discussing students’ personal reactions to the “overview” to the textbook — a crash course in the philosophy of ethics prior to studying the applied ethics of the media professions. I ask them to identify […]