Catherine Lutz and Anne Lutz Fernandez who co-authored the book Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives, answered the questions of Melissa Lafsky for the Infrastructurist.
Lutz and Fernandez offers some practices to change the average American’s relationship to cars, in the face of diminishing fossil fuels, increasing traffic problems, and rising costs. They indicate that each car driver passes approximately 18.5 hours per week in “forced isolation” in traffic. I do think that driving can make you feel free and powerful, yet looking at the road in full concentration for that 18,5 hours, instead of reading a book or newspaper on the bus sounds to be a total vaste.
Here are what they propose:
1. Authors recommend people to go from two cars to one, instead of trying to go completely car free.
We wouldn’t want to cut off our relation to cars completely. In deed driving could be a vital need from time to time, but reducing the number of cars a family owns in favor of higher standards of lifestyle would be a promising tip.
After all sharing a drive twice a day creates yet another time for the family.
2. Improve YOUR life through individual changes while being more politically active as well.
They assume that recognizing their self interest people will be more willing to voice their needs in terms of public transportation etc.
3. Think of alternative forms of transportation – such as bikes, walking, railway
Most often, people use cars just out of the convenience habit. Sometimes my own parents struggle in two hours traffic in rush our because they don’t think of the subway option. Biking whereever possible is both fun and healthy. The Dutch provides a viable example of it.