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“I love my car.”

July 30, 2013

Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay takes the whole “Some of my best friends are bike lanes” rhetoric and turns it on its head:

I say all of this as a driver. I love my car. When I moved to New York, everyone said one of the best parts about New York City was that you didn’t need a car, and that was true. But having a car also kind of rules. It’s fun to drive places. It simplifies a lot of experiences. Carrying groceries home from the supermarket isn’t as complicated as docking a space station. (But I loathe parking. I truly do. I park on the street and sometimes it takes nine days to find a space as I roll sad laps around the block.)

 

But city streets do not belong exclusively to cars. You meet people sometimes who believe that New York streets were made only for cars, and that sidewalks are for bikes. These people would be really surprised by what New York looked like before the car arrived. It was not New Yorkers riding horses on the sidewalks. (Especially not those blue CitiHorse horses.)

Of course, Gay isn’t using his love of cars as a predicate for trashing them, as Cuozzo and company tend to do with bikes.  He’s merely injecting a much needed bit of nuance into the ever-diminishing nontroversy surrounding a safer, more equitable New York City.

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2 Comments
  1. Mark permalink
    July 31, 2013 5:51 pm

    That’s a great point. When people argue the aesthetics of the PPW bike lane, for example, I think how picturesque the street must have been before people parked all those cars all over it…you know, back in the day when it was full of horses and bikes.

  2. Mark permalink
    July 31, 2013 5:53 pm

    I also think of it when people complain that bike share takes up parking places….why should a public resource be purely dedicated to storing private individuals cars vs a public transportation resource?

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