SOURCE: Mother Jones
Could the Infrastructure Bill End Drunk Driving?
Technology historian John Mohr says that mandates for driver-monitoring tech could make it nearly impossible for an impaired driver to start and operate a car. The question is whether the auto industry will follow a historical pattern of resisting safety mandates or see them as a chance to innovate.
SOURCE: New York Times
You Can't Unsee the Truth About Cars
by Andrew Ross and Julie Livingston
Despite cultural mythology, cars are actually un-freedom machines, and drivers of inequality, particularly for racial minorities. It's a mistake for the Biden administration's infrastructure agenda to further enshrine the car as the dominant means of mobility.
Considering the Automobile's Influence on Society—Before the Next Influence Takes Over?
by Bryan Appleyard
The story of the car—a story of genius and folly in equal measure—is the story of the making of the modern world. A new book weaves the threads of the automobile's influence through landscape, war and peace, mass production and individualism, and the environment.
SOURCE: Bloomberg CityLab
Documentary Shows the Choices that Led to Deadly Streets
Blaming distraction—by drivers, pedestrians or cyclists—for climbing road fatalities is a cop-out, says Jennifer Boyd. Americans need to be willing to question the basic design of roads and the priority they give to moving cars fast if they are serious about reducing road deaths.
SOURCE: The New Yorker
What Does an Electric Makeover Mean for the Car of the Counterculture?
by Jill Lepore
The new electric VW bus seems to lack the charm of the vehicle of the counterculture, reflecting changes in technology and society.
When Cities Put Up Monuments to Traffic Deaths
by Peter Norton
Rising pedestrian and cyclist deaths in American communities are a call to question the primacy of the automobile and stop accepting roadway carnage.
SOURCE: The New Yorker
Can We Stop Cars from Killing People?
American cyclists and pedestrians are the victims of a century-long political campaign to reorganize public space around the needs of drivers, according to historian Peter Norton. Activists including the families of traffic victims are fighting to change that.
SOURCE: Wall Street Journal
Man Restores a Ford Model T His Grandfather Built a Century Ago
"When I think about my childhood memories of this car—and how tough it was—and I think about how much I enjoy driving it now, I can understand why this little model is the one that put the world on wheels."
Children Versus Cars: The First Road Safety Campaigns (Excerpt)
by Tom Sandage
As outrage over road deaths gave way to laws clarifying expected behavior by street users, pedestrians surrendered much of their free access to the street to drivers.
SOURCE: The Atlantic
How Parking Destroys Cities
by Michael Manville
A long line of historians and urbanists from Lewis Mumford to Jane Jacobs have warned about the negative impacts of building cities around cars. Why have urban planners ignored these warnings? And will things change?
SOURCE: Car and Driver
Author Mia Bay Talks About Traveling Black: A Story of Race and Resistance
Mia Bay's new book examines how the forces of Black freedom and White supremacy collided over freedom of movement.
SOURCE: Made By History at the Washington Post
Her Crazy Driving is a Key Element of Cruella DeVil’s Evil. Here’s Why
by Genevieve Carpio
The depiction of Cruella DeVil as a dangerous and deranged driver in the new prequel to "101 Dalmatians" draws on deep-seated sexist tropes that recognize driving and mobility as aspects of women's social freedom.
SOURCE: USA Today
A Look Inside the Green Book, Which Guided Black Travelers Through a Segregated and Hostile America
UCLA historian Scot Brown calls the "Green Book" a "Black GPS" for the Jim Crow era in an overview of the publication that helped African Americans exercise the freedom to travel.
SOURCE: The Progressive
The Nobility of Mobility: A Road Trip Through Racism
Historian Chris West notes that “driving in a racist society” persists as a “gut-wrenching horror" in a new PBS documentary "Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America."
SOURCE: Washington Post
How Mask Fights Echo Seat Belt Fights: ‘The Right To Be Splattered All Over Their Windshields’
Elizabeth Dole’s fight for seat belt laws in the 1980s inspired the sort of rhetoric and division America is seeing today over government mandates to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
SOURCE: The Conversation
New York Opens Traffic-Clogged Streets to People During Pandemic, the City’s Latest Redesign in Times of Dramatic Change
by Amy D. Finstein
The COVID-19 pandemic presents large cities with an opportunity to remake public space around different priorities, putting people before automobiles.
"Faster" Author Neal Bascomb on the Jewish Auto Racer who Defied Hitler
by Neal Bascomb
Rene Dreyfus, a former top driver on the international racecar circuit, had been banned from the best European teams—and fastest cars—by the mid-1930s because of his Jewish heritage.
Blower Bentley heading to auction was modified
An extremely rare Blower Bentley will cross the auction block at a Bonhams sale scheduled for Aug. 16 in Carmel, Calif. Experts agree on its rarity, but differ on how pristine an example this machine truly is.In the 94-year history of Bentley Motors, perhaps none of its creations is held in more esteem than the Blower Bentley.The more powerful supercharged version of the 4.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine was the idea of Tim Birkin, who along with Dudley Benjafield and Woolf Barnato, comprised the original “Bentley Boys” team of racers. The Blower was fast, but it consumed profligate amounts of fuel and was not particularly reliable. Ettore Bugatti derided the Blower Bentley as “the world’s fastest truck.”...
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