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Why Cars?


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Will The End of Oil Mean The End of America? by Robert Freeman

Why Cars?

"Why would anyone drive…when you can take the Red Car for a nickel?" asks a line in the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Who indeed? Quite a few of us, that's who! But why?

Examining the truths about cars and the car culture one has to ask: how did such an ineffective and expensive mode of transportation become so pervasive?

Most Deadly Mode of Transportation

Cars kill 47,000 Traffic sign run over by car individuals on American Roads each year—129 persons each day. Like a non-stop killing machine, automobile traffic in the U.S. claims one human life every 12 minutes.

Most Expensive Mode of Transportation

In 1998 car ownership cost 52¢ per mile on average, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Merely operating a car was estimated to cost 35¢ per mile that same year.

Surprised Eyes One on going real-world study consistently finds that it cost $1.00 for every three miles driven when factoring in the out-of-pocket expenses associated with owning and operating a car.

Though we hear a lot about how many miles to the gallon (MPG) a car gets, when do we ever measure a car's miles per dollar (MPD)?

Most Subsidized Mode of Transportation

Because car drivers don't pay their own way by a long shot, individual car use is subsidized by taxpayers. Fuel taxes and license fees pay only around 30 percent of the infrastructure cars and car traffic Army of Cars need—including law enforcement, emergency medical services, road construction and maintenance. Society picks up the other seventy percent through bond measures, sales and property taxes.

In any given community one-third of the population on average does not drive because of age, disability or by simply by choice. Regardless of their reasons for not driving, these individuals also pay the cost of cars.

Factoring in environmental cleanup and health ailments associated with cars, such as traffic, pollution, manufacture, destruction, etc, automobile subsidy—and the cost to society—amounts to far more than car drivers cover through their taxes and other fees. Did someone say "welfare state"?

Read more on this topic by the Sierra Club, America's Autos on Welfare.

They never
owned cars!

Abraham Lincoln, Chief Pontiac and many other great and accomplished individuals lived long and happy lives without cars.

How about you? Take the next step, literally. Get out of your car and discover a new world, one where human interaction—instead of human isolation—revitalizes your spirit for community and a clean evnvironment.

Earth-1, Save As...

Right lane starts here; yield to bikes

Thank you City of Ventura, CA for implementing these new signs around town. Larger image »

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