Comedic history of how cars took over cities
The TruTV show Adams Ruins Everything ran an episode on cars that is a good history of American favoritism toward automobile transportation and why that hurts people.
The show stars Adam Conover, who mixes comedy and education on real issues—in this case the form of cities and the impact on how we get around.
The episode was posted to You Tube this week. Below is a short segment that features an animated representation of UCLA professor and parking expert Donald Shoup.
The full 21 minute episode is here.
The first four and a half minutes of the episode discusses car dealerships, but the rest is a concise history of how cars took over America. He covers how public rights of way used to belong to everybody, the invention of the term "jaywalking," the destruction of neighborhoods to build automobile infrastructure, the layout of cities and suburbs to make walking nearly impossible, the end of viable public transportation, and how this affects everyone's health, safety, and welfare.
Here's an excerpt:
When we design our cities to be more comfortable for cars, we make it less habitable for humans. In a city designed for public transportation, this space would be full of homes and businesses. And you could walk from place to place. But in most of our cities and suburbs, everything is so spread apart that nothing is within walking distance, giving you no choice but to drive. It didn't have to be that way. We could have built walkable cities based on public transportation like Western Europe and Japan. But we missed that chance, and now you have to have a car to get around. So … write 'em a check.
The episode, Adam Ruins Cars, is an entertaining teaching tool.