“Can you give me a ride?” is one of the key phrases that exemplify my experience in the States. This total loss of mobility has a tranquilizing effect on me. Reading Antonia Malchik’s account over at Aeon put my feeling into perspective.
Jaywalking was once a semi-derogatory term referring to country bumpkins, or ‘jays’, who inefficiently meandered around American cities; by the 1920s, the term was being used to transfer blame for accidents from motorists to pedestrians. Making jaywalking illegal gave the supremacy of mobility to those sitting behind combustion engines.
Since I was last in the States, I feel like no other invention has made its way into American life than Uber. And it fits so well: With cities and infrastructure totally unfit to move people you need that individual-public-transport. And what better way than doing it through an individualized app.
I found myself in Washington, D.C. which has a pretty good, though extremely expensive Metro-System. Getting to and from the Stations means getting in a car. So in many instances driving or ubering it alltogether might be a better choice. But aside from environmental issues, problems with physical health or it just sucking not being able to get around without a car there is something else about it: It creates cities where walking not just becomes difficult, its – as Malchik writes – boring!
Go read it, it’s really good: Step by step, Americans are sacrificing the right to walk