Auto Addicts - do they mean us? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-21-2007, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
Outstanding Contributor
 
keyhole's Avatar
 
Date registered: Sep 2006
Vehicle: 2004 CLK 240 Coupe
Location: Norfolk. UK
Posts: 10,465
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Quoted: 356 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Auto Addicts - do they mean us?

Auto Addiction - Curing the problem would bring a better life for all

by Jason Montgomery

Addicts devote themselves to satisfying some personal desire. They are happy when they have their fix, but miserable in withdrawal. "Good" addicts, such as music addicts, are harmless, and we ignore them. "Bad" addicts are those who hurt others to feed their habit. Society prosecutes them-unless their addiction is automobiles. Despite their social cost, auto addicts are pampered. For, although cars are convenient appliances, they cost dearly. And, while a few cars are thrilling to drive and a few are beautiful, cars generally bring danger and ugliness.

Auto addiction is detrimental to society. But car addicts don't seem to care about the downside of their addiction. They are too concerned that their car gives them an identity, that it takes them everywhere they want to go whenever they wish to go there. Since they are totally occupied in living the sort of life that their addiction prescribes, we must indicate how we all pay for their addiction. The first place that auto addicts hurt us is the pocketbook. Cars are expensive, and consume money that would otherwise be spent on something of more lasting value. Perverse values are revealed when $50,000 automobiles are as common as hungry children.

Auto addicts choose to live away from their work, and their long commute costs plenty. Auto dependence spreads out the city and increases infrastructure cost. Because auto addicts will not use public transportation, they require expensive highways.

Other costs are less obvious. Valuable land becomes parking lots, and its value decreases. Our perfectly good downtown deteriorates as the auto addicts drive to suburban malls. "No free parking downtown," they complain. To them, "free" means "free to me." Auto addicts do not recognize that someone pays for "free" parking. And "free" roads, too. In his unnecessarily big and expensive car, the auto addict commutes for hours every week. But, commuting is inefficient and unproductive. It costs the commuter, the commuter's family, and society.

Auto addiction reduces the quality of life. Urban highways are ugly, parking lots are ugly. Automobiles offend other senses, too: fumes stink, cars pollute the air, they are noisy. Commuters reduce the quality of life in communities through which they pass. Inner-city residents must either fight to protect their neighborhoods or put up with danger, pollution, noise, and unsightliness. The auto addicts lose out, too. They lose because commuting is both stressful and isolating. Alone in their cars, they have no chance encounters with friends or neighbors. These connections are vital to personal and social well-being.

Auto addiction is a tough problem to solve because the addicts won't accept responsibility. A part of being an addict is to hold others accountable for the painful results of your habit. When all the car freaks exercise their addiction during rush hour, they sometimes create a traffic jam. Who do they blame for the jam? Not themselves; not other addicts. They blame the city or unyielding communities.

Auto addicts refuse to accept that the traffic problem results from too many cars, not from inadequate roads. So, we cannot look to the addict to voluntarily cure his or her addiction. However, we can help them to consider alternatives. We can restrict the city's expansive growth. We can refuse to widen streets where such widening diminishes community life. We can protect inner city communities from commuter pollution to the extent that we have protected outlying areas.

We can tax auto addicts so they pay for their addiction. We can increase gasoline taxes, and we can base registration fees on the size of the car being registered. We can make inner-city communities more attractive to those who now just drive on by. We can improve our public transportation system and be more innovative in improving its quality and convenience. Implementing such changes is difficult because there are so many auto addicts.

And yet, we must act because a city of auto addicts is not sustainable. Sooner or later, auto addiction will end because of its costs, its inefficiency, and the ugliness it creates. If we all begin to take the cure, we will have a more livable city now and in the future.
keyhole is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-21-2007, 03:14 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
mcbear's Avatar
 
Date registered: Apr 2004
Vehicle: E500Es
Location: The BlueGrass State
Posts: 29,579
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Typical URBAN writer, who thinks that everything centers around "the city".

I am guessing he will feel a bit different when he wants a safer environment, a bit of quiet, and finds that perfect place "just a 30 minute commute in".

Do you have a link to post up for this article?

EDIT: Here is the only link: Auto addiction is detrimental to society

The author was a Family Studies teacher at Univ. of Alberta.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.

Last edited by mcbear; 08-21-2007 at 03:25 PM.
mcbear is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-21-2007, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
Outstanding Contributor
 
keyhole's Avatar
 
Date registered: Sep 2006
Vehicle: 2004 CLK 240 Coupe
Location: Norfolk. UK
Posts: 10,465
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Quoted: 356 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
keyhole is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
     
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode



    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    C320 Auto vs 330i Auto - Race Results Turbo6 W203 C-Class 0 04-03-2006 02:51 AM
    question re: 2000 ML320 - auto door lock and auto window up and down boomie W163 M-Class 12 11-22-2005 05:17 PM
    Auto Hi & Auto Lo - Intermittent Blowing d2e W123 E,CE,D,CD,TD,TE Class 3 09-04-2004 06:06 PM
    Tip for oil change addicts gwhite General Mercedes-Benz 2 01-05-2004 06:57 AM
    Very Serious Piece of Advise for Mod Addicts and Rim/Wheel Shoppers, Please learn from my experience Man-Du-Ru-Gas W163 M-Class 13 12-03-2002 11:04 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On

     

    Title goes here

    close
    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome