Sunday, 29 March 2009

The Right To Drive And To Park - Part 2

(continued from Part 1)

Now if we consider ourselves entitled to freely use public surfaces for walking or cycling, then logically it would have to apply to cars, too. There is no logical argument that a car should be an exception. To say ‘city provides with public transportation so it’s not obliged to provide you with additional roads and free parking spaces’ – is not a valid argument.

The same could be applied to sidewalks and bicycle lanes – why should the city spend money maintaining them if you could, instead of walking/cycling, travel the same distance by using the bus line/underground train the city has already provided? People legitimately expect to have a surface to walk on or cycle as they go about their errands around the city, but take into consideration that some people want (or even have to) use cars. Why should they be discriminated?

The additional argument is that walkers and even cyclists do not provide nearly as much tax income as motorists do. Anyone can walk, without having to pay anything to anyone. Cycling is also very cheap. But motorists have to buy their cars (and pay the sales tax/VAT, etc), pay for registration of their vehicle (to use the roads), pay taxes every time they fill up at a petrol station and so on... They are such important contributors to public budgets that the least they could expect from the public authorities would be to provide them with (free!) roads and (free!) parking spaces. After all: the more cars there are – the more money for the budget.

So, with all that in mind, cities around the world should change their current anti-car policies and embrace cars as a symbol and, more importantly, as a source of progress and general wealth – which they are.

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