I think that part of the problem with putting the car-free argument is that it
simply does not lend itself to brevity.
The pro-motoring organisations can state their wants concisely. They want cheap
motoring, free parking at their destination, enough road capacity to take them
without jams, and the right to travel at whatever speed they consider safe
(irrespective of what anyone else thinks). If these desiderata cannot all be
achieved, no matter; just cut motoring taxes, build more car parks and roads,
and progressively remove speed restraint.
However, we have much more trouble describing our ideal society. The majority of
us, I think, accept that it isn't possible to have a totally car-free society.
But if we say something like "cars to be used only when there is no alternative"
we render ourselves vulnerable to questions like "who decides ?" and "how is
this to be enforced ?". It is therefore necessary for us to go into great detail
to describe how the kind of society we want can be put into practice.
There are of course some of us who have as a result given up on adapting society
as a whole to human needs. Their remedy is to ignore everyone who isn't willing
to enter the lion's cage and cycle among traffic, claiming that if they do it
properly it's reasonably safe.
I suggest that such people (and I'm sure that the rest of this list will wish to
follow them) go to http://www.independent.co.uk
and search for "Rhyl". This will
lead them to an article dated 21 Aug 2006 about a cycling tragedy that has, if I
remember rightly, been featured before on this list, bringing the story up to