The car represents the highest stage of liberal individualism: automobility.
The current traffic hierarchy, with the car on top and with public transport, bikers and pedestrians at the bottom, manifests itself in the fact that these means of conveyance are given different amounts of space and resources.
The car is pitching us towards each other. Who has not experienced the feeling of putting oneself in a car and suddenly being transformed into a motorist? The pure act of putting oneself behind the wheel seems, for almost everyone, to lead to egotistic behavior, a situation where everyone is trying to gain something on someone else’s behalf. While driving a car, one’s fellow human beings (other drivers, public transport users, pedestrians, bikers) become nothing more than obstacles. Who cannot, honestly, recognise the almost aggressive and competitive feeling that the car produces in oneself?
Through the analysis of the traffic hierarchy there's a line of thinking that desires to link together various hierachies of power, like gender, race, class, “ableism” etc. and see how they are expressed in the area of transportation.
Presented by Malte Max Roed Lundén in York at the conference on Traffic Hierarchies summer 2010.
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