In another excerpt — albeit a much shorter one — from the book, The Death Of The Automobile, author John Jerome wondered if, twenty-five years on, our car obsession would force us to rethink the auto-centric transportation choices we’d been making for the previous twenty-five years. The book was written in the early-70s. Taking us to the mid-90s. That would be twenty years ago. Arguably, very little had changed in the 90s and not whole lot has changed since then. Private vehicle use still sits atop the hierarchy of our transportation system. We’re still having the same arguments about what, if anything, we should do to deal with that. It seems Mr. Jerome underestimated the kind of death grip cars have on our imaginations.
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A more rational approach would have us think about transportation problems a little less apocalyptically. Twenty-five years of experience in living and coping with irreducible congestion would seem to remove the urgency from our road-building plans. It isn’t going to get any better as long as we have automobiles as the sole basis of our transportation system, and twenty-five years of experience has pushed us to no cleverer solution than to build more roads to hold more cars that we’ve built and bought. But twenty-five years have kept the pressure on; maybe with another twenty-five under our belts, we will begin to think of new ways to go. Or maybe we won’t go at all. On examination, the latter course seems much more probable. The question seems to be whether we will choose that course or be forced into it.
— auto(matically) submitted by Cityslikr