• Sep 26, 2005

Talk about timing. The annual World Car Free Day kicked off on September 22nd as millions of Texans got on the road in their CARS to escape from the wrath of Hurricane Rita. The event, which promotes alternatives to car dependence and automobile-based planning, drew harsh criticism from opponents stating "it's not a day to celebrate" and noting that "lack of access to cars can be deadly — as demonstrated by the experience of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina." We at Autoblog could not even imagine a world without cars, our favorite object of fascination… I mean, what would we write about? On the other hand, had our cities been built with more efficient public transportation, perhaps an exodous like the one caused by Rita wouldn't turn into such a traffic nightmare and those without cars could evacuate safely as well.



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  • 14 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      I always saw "Car Free Day" as a day to raise awareness of the impact of cars, not really a day to contemplate a world without ANY cars. I love my car, love the technology, etc... but I REALLY love the fact that I work from home 2 days a week and don't have to drive so much -- as Nick said above. Taking one day a year to consider how much we really give up as a result of our dependence on cars seems more than worthwhile.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I love cars as much as any of you do, but effective public transportation only increases my driving enjoyment, as it keeps me out of my car when I least like driving (commuting, for example) and puts me in it when I enjoy it most (vacations, weekend errands, etc).
      • 9 Years Ago
      I was in that horrible traffic jam. It took me 16 hours to get to the other half of the city. Which usually takes about 30-45 minutes. (Sugarland to Cypress)
      • 9 Years Ago
      My favorite was the guy who drove a Prius and still had a quarter tank of gas left after sitting in a traffic jam for 9 hours.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "not really a day to contemplate a world without ANY cars" Does that thought scare you?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Id like to be able to take light rail or a nice trolley anywhere I live when I want to go to the bars. Forget rare occurences like natural disasters and think of how many alcohol related fatalities might be averted if drivers had a better alternative? Accepting that most of America isnt Manhattan or even the Bay Area, one would think some light rail to the suburbs and reliable trolleys could alleiviate alot of that drunk driving burden. I'd like to be able to live outside a good size city but still have a cheap and fast way to get into town early on a friday evening without worrying about how im gonna get home saturday morning.
      • 9 Years Ago
      So Katrina and underfunded levees killed 1000 Americans. Motorists have killed millions.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Poetic justic must have been working double overtime though, given that the jam-afflicted Houstonites got the transport system they voted for. Of course, as with the role of "big government" in Louisiana, I'm sure someone with a propeller on their beanie will be on Fox momentarily to explain that this chaos is all because the government didn't fund [23] lane superhighways (add lanes here as necessary) and make more tax cuts, thereby leading to a dangerous deficit in national reserves of Rugged Individualism.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I was part of this exodus and it was caused by three things. 1. Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S. Yes, there WILL be traffic jams when half the city leaves on the same day. If it was mass transit, there would just be incredible lines of people waiting to board--this would not be an improvement except for the fact that no one would run out of gas in that case. 2. Most coastal cities have plans to convert all lanes into "outgoing only" in times of emergency. Houston did not have this in there plan and only implemented it 12-20 hours before landfall. This is the most glaring issue that should be corrected for next time. 3. Katrina was fresh on everyone's mind so many more people left than needed to. People 200 miles from the coast were evacuating with those of us that live 5 miles away.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Cap and trade: http://www.autoblog.com/entry/1234000460060105/#c470262
      • 9 Years Ago
      Spencer, Right on! Some of us are old enough to remember those days and it worked, well. When I was kid growing up in Los Angeles, there were busses running virtually everywhere. You could take the bus from where I lived (Culver City, city bus) then transfer to the MTD, I think it's called the RTD now, it would take you downtown, you got on the red line and went to Long Beach all for about $2.00 roundtrip. Then they tore it up and replaced it with all busses and freeways and more cars. Then in a flash of memory they rebuilt it at a cost of millions. GM's moves to get us into cars worked well in the 50's and 60's. I love to drive, love my cars but---- there is a better way.
      • 9 Years Ago
      You can't be objective about something you're addicted to.
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