War on Cars Jul 15, 2022 at 1:05 pm

It’s Insane That We’re Forced to Live Like This

Wish we weren’t here. Reza Estakhrian/Getty Images



So...you don't like cars then?


thank Gawd we at least
regulate these cars
unlike WMDs and
far Far FAR 'right'

try to imagine if
the nra had been
around to Socially
Engineer Big Trans-
po back in the Day.

it's only The Natural
Order of Things if we
ALLOW this crap to Be


I dunno Unwoked but
if them stupid Socialists
in Europe can base Fines on
Income, there's no Way we can here.

we're Exceptional
and apparently
Destined to
be so

stay Sleepy!


"It’s bonkers that we have to be so cautious with our little scooters, while cars weighing a hundred times more can move at freeway speeds down city streets . . . ."

Despite the fact you need to be "so cautious" when riding a scooter, they are still more dangerous than cars:

" e-scooters have a rate of 3.17 injuries per 10,000 miles driven." Cars however, have a rate of ".008 injuries per 10,000 miles — almost 400 times lower than the reported injury rate for scooters." source: https://sccinsight.com/2020/01/11/new-report-presents-clearer-picture-on-e-scooter-safety-issues/


Cars can be liberating for the very young and old, the mobility challenged, and those who work non-traditional hours at in-person jobs. Who I’ve just described must be at least 50% of the population.


You should get out more. Cars are super fun.


Feel better? Nice little rant for your ricebowl, but did you persuade anyone who has power over this issue?


To all of the above except Kris; and all those who have yet to come but surely will with tired stupid shit that they are too limp dicked to understand the connection between their loneliness, depravity, and stupidity: YAWN. Your troll game on this one is especially tired and weak.

Come here less and cum elsewhere more and maybe you will finally be able to get out of your moms basement (whether you live there literally or figuratively you all are sad but too boring to be laughable).


Nice article Matt. I’m sorry you had to have seared into your mind the gruesome effects of the consequences of our way of life. Thanks for speaking up for the sane.



It’s the Slogger that cries “outrage!”

Outraged in da morning. Outraged in the afternoon. Outraged at night.

And then no one gives a shit about your outrage cause it’s lost in the pile.

Matty… try to focus just a bit harder.


Well, I liked it. Thank you, Matt.


"The average lifetime cost of one small car is about a $1 million, about a third subsidized by taxpayers."

No it's not. You've misinterpreted the source article in two ways:

Per the source article, it's $689k total, of which $275k is paid for by "society". I suspect you added $689k+275k. You shouldn't have.
That's the total cost over a car-owner's lifetime. The driver's lifetime, which will require multiple cars... not the lifetime of a single car. I admit that the source article obfuscates this point, but if you look at the details, you see quotes like this: "Gössling based his cost calculations on an individual driving 15,000 kilometers per year over 50 years." You don't drive a single car for 50 years. (My last one lasted 19 years, which was pretty good, but I drive less than most people.)


I have no problem paying a license fee for my bicycle. Wearing a Helmet? Of course!
If bicycle lanes had safer separation from car traffic, and more riders able to ride without being one foot apart from cars going 35 to 40 mph, then more people would cycle.
Most of my rides, I am praying I don’t get smashed into by some inattentive or incompetent driver. They if course, would get a parking ticket at worst.


A lot easier to dismiss the individual than to prove anything he said wrong, seems like. But hey, it's Friday, I understand mental capacities are depleted.

@6 clever of you to quote injuries and not deaths, and also not note the source of most bicycle and other 2 wheel injuries (collisions with cars!).



@18 -- more
likely Littering


Matt - cars hurt and kill people we should ban all cars and there should be severe consequences for misusing your vehicle

Also Matt - People should have unfettered access to drugs that will kill them and while they are using there should be no consequences for victimizing others



this is some stale Charles copypasta.


A sophisticated and well-financed marketing industry has told us for more than one hundred years that our vehicles reflect our self-image and self-worth. We have designed our cities around the convenience and mobility of the automobile.

Bright Young Things in city government are urging that we all abandon our cars and find other ways of transportation, using words like "vibrant", "walkable" and "world-class". Transit, biking and walking works when it works, but it mostly doesn't work, especially if you have obligations that involve hauling children or old people around.

The city is giving developers a big sloppy kiss by letting them build housing that has little or no parking. This does not solve the affordability crisis, as this housing goes for market rate, but it saves the developers millions of dollars, all of which is our profit.

My prediction for Seattle is that we will continue to infill, and a robust network of private parking garages will spring up, making the city even more unaffordable, but the streets will be even more congested. Like every big city.


I still say The Stranger should take some previous commenter's advice and assign Matt to live out in rural Maple Valley or Marysville or Dupont, dozens of miles away from the nearest grocery store let alone a bus stop served twice a day, and pay him to write about how cars shouldn't exist. Now THAT would be reading I would look forward to.


I guess I'm really fortunate to have the luxury of being able to choose my modes of transportation: reliable local public transportation, my beloved VW in good weather for leisure drives, or my own two feet as a pedestrian. But obviously I'm an urban dweller. My one car is the last one I will ever own. I'm lucky to have it, but keep it in storage during the bad weather months. There are just too many distracted and / or road raged idiots on the road. When driving I leave my phone at home.
As Parah Sailin @25 suggests, I wouldn't have such options if I lived in a rural or unincorporated region (i.e.: out in the county).


Condolences to all who got injured--especially the particularly unfortunate motorist with the broken and limp arm--ouch!--and / or experienced car damage from the crash. While I'm well aware that this terrible multiple fender bender happened on Olive Way in Seattle and not on a major freeway, it's also a good argument for avoiding driving on I-5 / I-405 / I-90 altogether if at all possible. All three interstate roads are congested enough already, especially now during WSDOT "Road Work Ahead" season.
In this day and age, it's best to drive defensively. You never know what the other motorist is going to do.


Free street parking is a totally misguided giveaway for entitled drivers. Get rid of this freebie and you open up miles and miles of pedestrian and bicycle lanes.

Upon paying tabs, car drivers should be provided orca cards worth the price of the sound transit tax to provide them options.

Kudos to the person who suggested that drivers lose their license for a month or more after a traffic violation.


@6 yea sure but how many people per day do e scooters kill? I'll take 400 e scooter injuries over one death by car, thanks.


@4, @9 Re: High fines for traffic tickets disproportionately affect lower income people.

Finland has had a law on the books for a few years that makes the traffic fine proportionate to the driver's income up to $100,000...for the fine, not the income! Problem solved.


In the not too distant future we'll have the capability to have safe self driving vehicles and with a little political will, car accident fatalities can vanish overnight. Most of the weight of vehicles is used for safety and can be trimmed away. All our rail and road widening projects will look rather foolish then.

And all will be fine until SkyNet becomes self-aware.


Disincentivizing or banning cars and parking can be a technological boon. The working class will no longer have a means to travel into our tech frothed cities and most service jobs will have to become automated. We'll have sweatshop kitchen factories in Auburn and Marysville shipping ready to eat meals to Automat Cafe's all over Bellevue and Seattle. Those left out can apply to be drivers for tech company private shuttle busses. Rail stations will create mini real estate boom neighborhoods for tech and finance bros. Capitol Hill and other Seattle neighborhoods will become unaffordable and The Stranger will follow it's subscriber base to Olympia, where we all know it belongs anyway:)

Brave New World, we can greatly reduce carbon emissions, save lives, and eliminate economic diversity of our cities in one swift blow.


Axe meet grind. Boring and myopic. Get real Matt.


@23: 'Bright Young Things in city government are urging that we all abandon our cars and find other ways of transportation, using words like "vibrant", "walkable" and "world-class". Transit, biking and walking works when it works, but it mostly doesn't work, especially if you have obligations that involve hauling children or old people around.'

Most of my time in Seattle, I lived in places we would now say have "high walk scores," and had no need for a car. This includes the first few years of my child's life; we bought a car only after COVID meant we could no longer take mass transit. (There were cars everywhere in those eminently walk-able neighborhoods, of course.) Those Bright Young Things are mostly trying to prevent outcomes like the one Matt has described here.

"The city is giving developers a big sloppy kiss by letting them build housing that has little or no parking. This does not solve the affordability crisis, as this housing goes for market rate, but it saves the developers millions of dollars, all of which is our profit."

Twenty years ago, when I lived in Pike-Pine and we were trying to increase density, we discovered that developers HAD to build 1.5 times as much parking as the residence required: if your proposed building could house 300 human beings, you MUST build 450 parking spaces, or else no new building. This made new buildings much more expensive -- for what, exactly? Developers can now build as much or as little parking as they like. This helps somewhat with affordability, as there are now more homes available. (And no, dear, developers do not collect rent money; the companies they sell their buildings to do that.)


Tensor dear, it's simply grand that you had the resources to raise a child in a Seattle neighborhood that had abundant transit, and that you could then could afford to buy a car when Covid got too scary for you. Privilege is wonderful, isn't it?

And I think that your binary sense of the world is fascinating: It's either build 1.5 times as much parking, or no parking at all? That really has made housing more affordable, hasn't it?

(Not to mention your naiveté at thinking that developers don't build with an eye toward who they are going to sell that property to. )

Promise me that you'll never lose that childlike sense of the world. It warms the heart of an old cynic like me.


Uhm, The Horse was phased out as the car came in to view. A choice was made.. The car!..There was no other choice.. and as humans do, we went with it.. That said, people are feeling the lack of law and or traffic enforcement. Every time you turn around we are being told there are no cops, they only pull you over if its a big deal. Well, as humans do, we are going with it.. Driving habits with no retribution or accountability? sounds familiar. Kind of like Crime with no retribution or accountability.. Same problem, different subject.


My mother and I recently drove back from a family reunion in the countryside near Bend through the suburban hell that is Eastern Portland. We have our hells as well - most of the south sound is an enternal driving hell, as is the giant blot of Lynnwood to Smoky Point and due East. Somehow when I see a new suburban driving hell that I don't know, its insanity is more palpable to me. I have a visceral reaction to never wanting to live there.

It's ALL driving based, there is ZERO chance of getting anywhere as a pedestrian and as a cyclist you are asking to be run over. Remember the trucks in TX who deliberately ran into bikers? That's the level of rotted right-wing brains America has slumped to. Right now, there are millions of Americans who want to throw away their democracy for ANYONE who will bring back the cheap gas prices when there really is little chance gas will ever be THAT cheap again. The entire history of America's rubber, gas, and auto industry destroying the rail industry, which America pioneered is well documented. China has so much high speed rail, it makes us look like an infant. Turkey, a country that still has people farming with donkeys, has more high speed rail than we do.

I'm borrowing a car currently, because my last car was stolen by addicts and destroyed. (addiction is bad for the environment also, sorry to rain on that parade). However, I live in the city and know people in the city. Remember how Bori Monson, that hack at 710 and then Mein Kampf radio, RAILED against LIGHT RAIL for over a decade because NO ONE WOULD RIDE IT. WHAT AN ASSHOLE! Light rail is doing great. There are Mariners and Seahawks fans, many NOT known for their liberalism, riding the light rail unmasked and proud. Oh, I guess it is more convenient (and affordable) than being stuck in your stupid truck eternally and paying through the nose for parking after all? Rail might even be fun. Anyone who's ever travelled on a REAL RAIL system knows it's WAY better than driving a day or two. You meet people, you sleep, you eat, you do work, you play guitar for people and play cards and get drunk. Trains are a PARTY. America USED to have trains you could put cars on! And now, the ENTITLED US airline industry CONTINUES to want Americans to suffer at airports and cramped tin cans instead of taking trains, like they've built all over Europe and Asia. Folks, America is an uncivilized dump, face it.

Europe and Asia figured practical human city planning out centuries if not millenia ago. There are other places in the world that have followed the American sprawl model to their regret but their fuel and social costs made them abandon these places also. America is still building sprawl that has to adhere to no laws but private land developers creating utterly impractical and ultimately miserably lonely suburbs with the promise that those scary urban people can't get to you, even though your neighbor might accidently kill you with their beloved firearm. Their children are forced to be social in parking lots of convenience stores or malls. There are abandoned malls across the country covering ground that could be growing food. City planning is socialism. No one tell anyone what to do, because freedom (for the people with the guns on the stolen land and no one else - roger).

America is a long-stupid country, It's not easy to move, but it's preferable if you can. What's the point of spending any more years fighting the gravity of rotting empire? The methane (natural gas, yet another bullshit clean fossil fuel story) is coming out in giant clouds in the entire arctic (and at drilling wells across the Permian -which CNBC loves to tout as a marvellous profit center Biden would prefer to ignore, as if they ever listen to Democrats). All this methane is 99% going to end us all. Not sure how to get ready for it, but good luck to all who try.


@34: "developers HAD to build 1.5 times as much parking as the residence required"

That is going to look amazingly prescient. Soon, for the sake of the environment, many of us will switch to electric cars. We will need somewhere to plug them in. Many people living in residences with garages are already finding outlets being installed. Those in zero parking buildings are left to compete for on-street parking. No charging is available, because in unsecured areas, all this does is provide a convenient source of copper wire for the neighborhood meth addicts.

Those that whine about "why should I pay for parking I don't use" are overlooking the income potential of subletting a spare space to a building tennant with multiple cars. At current parking prices, there's good money to be made.


So, here are the alternatives :

. We can sit in our two-ton chunk of steel ( or more likely, chunk of plastic and alloys ) and burn fossil fuel, wreck the atmosphere, send global warming through the roof, make multi-national oil companies richer than they already are, and get where we're going at approximately the same speed that Ben Franklin and Paul Revere traveled, when they were not waiting at a red light.

Or :

. We can go to the nearest street intersection, note the sign that says "This Bus Stop Is Closed", walk an hour or two to a bigger intersection, and wait 5 to 15 years for the light-rail train to arrive, so we can stand up for an hour or two while it takes us where we want to go.

Life in America


@39: "That is going to look amazingly prescient."

No, it was just bad urban planning. Developers are now free to build as many parking spaces as their customers, the future owners of their buildings, want. If providing parking for electric cars (which still create environmentally damaging waste, traffic jams, the demand for asphalt parking lots, and other problems caused by every type of car) looks profitable, developers will build it. They're no longer required to do so, which is actually a good thing.

@35: A homeowner in Seattle -- with guaranteed employment AND retirement, no less! -- talking about someone else's privilige is just so precious, dear. Just thinking of the goodwill it simply must get you from so many of the Stranger's writers and readers must bring warmth to even your heart!

"It's either build 1.5 times as much parking, or no parking at all?"

That's actually your position, dear, when you harrumphed about the lack of parking required of new residential buildings in Seattle. And yes, you're correct, your position does lack a certain reality quotient, but that does not seem to bother you, now does it?

And yes, the thought of my young child catching a potentially-fatal disease was, indeed, "too scary" for me. (Your empathy just continues to amaze!) So I did what I needed to do to protect my child. (I've obviously lost you now, and so will stop.)

Please wait...

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