This morning on my way to work I almost got run over by a bus. I was crossing on a sidewalk. When I stepped off the curb the little man was lit, and a few steps later the red hand began to flash. I thought – naively, apparently – I was still safe to cross. A bus, coming the opposite direction, took a right hand turn directly in front of me. I kept thinking he’d stop when he saw a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Nope. He started gesturing at me to get back to the sidewalk. I wish I had flipped him the bird. Instead I pointed out the green light. I was amazed at his incompetence and his self-righteous anger. He really thought he was right. Well, I’m here to tell you that he was wrong.
Cars are indirectly killing us all. They are slowly suffocating us with their evil emissions. They will eventually contribute to the end of life on this planet as we know it. Say what you will about the dinosaurs’ evolutionary skills, at least they didn’t commit species-wide suicide.
Worse still, cars kill people directly by running us over in crosswalks.
I am hereby submitting my proposal to every city in the nation: ban cars from your downtown. Whether your downtown be a single road with one traffic light or one hundred blocks of intersecting road, do not allow cars to drive there. Emergency vehicles, buses, taxis, and delivery vehicles will be excepted (restrictions apply). Think of all the space you’ve just created for yourself. A lane for bikes, a wide promenade for pedestrians. Maybe an avenue of trees. Don’t these things sound better than dirty, loud, smelly cars?
I admit to owning a car. Road trips have long been a way to explore this grand country. But there must be limits. Since none of our governors is man enough to draw a line in the sand, I will be the one. No more cars downtown. No more needless deaths, either from carbon emissions or from physically being hit by that tangled mass of steel.