DEMOCRACY CAME LATE TO OUR STREETS (AKA, Drivers as Victims)

* Wanted: Curators, sentinels and contributors for World Streets “Drivers As Victims” Department.  Contact eric.britton@newmobility.org

Drivers as Victims

After a century of fearless and uncontested domination, peace and pandering, here we are in 2019 and to our great surprise as car/owner drivers around the planet suddenly find themselves in the midst of a raging process of transition to a very different world of privilege and limitation, laws and enforcement, economics and free rides. And unsurprisingly in their own eyes they see themselves as victims: having their territory limited step by step to ever-growing parts of the city-scape where they have long been uncontested kings and queens.

Nobody Likes To Trade Down

Suddenly they are finding themselves having to face a brave new world of access limitation, lowering speed limits, fuel, toll and road charges for what was always their free range. Constrained in the New Mobility Agenda to give way to cyclists, pedestrians, and numerous forms of active,  public and shared transport. Increasing parking charges in parallel with steadily shrinking availability of convenient and near parking. Slowed down by a variety of speed and access control devices, physical and electronic. And in that being subject to more laws and more and more aggressive law enforcement.

As Gilbert and Sullivan put it so well: The driver’s (policeman’s) lot is not a happy one. (Happy One!).

Then there are the M2Ws

But that is not all: then there are the other drivers. And more specifically the growing hordes of honest citizens of all ages, conditions and sexes who are figuring out that for them the best way to get around in their city is on the seat of a motorized two-wheeler. But they too are being confronted with increasing pressures for change, both when in motion and when parked. And you can bet that they are in the main not happy at all with these new constraint.

But if we are in a democracy, we need to lean to listen to all the citizens’ voices. Not to crumble before the opposition, but to listen, listen actively, and explain. And one good way to do that is through stories of what is actually going on in this process of transition to a more sustainable and more just city. What works and what does not. What is at best grudgingly acceptable, and what in their view!) is outrageous, unfair and unacceptable.

Better Choices

The surest way to “modify behavior” . . . is to give people more and better choices.

What are the factors that influence our choices and our mobility behavior and choices? Why do we do what we do when it comes to getting around? Why do we avoid walking? Or not get on a bike? Why do we choose to drive? Or not? Alone? Or with others? Does the act of being behind the wheel modify our values and behaviour? Why do we not take public transport? And how can we explain the behavior and choices of our policymakers? And what do we need to do to modify them? World Streets is inviting articles and postings on these important matters, in the hope of better organizing our own thoughts and eventual positions and recommendations.

But there also the no less important other half of the behavioral coin that also needs to be investigated and understood. And that is the behaviour, motivations and choices of those responsible for public policy and planning in our city? What makes government and politics tick? All too often conversations about behaviour focus entirely on transport users, but if we are to move toward wiser, more efficient and fairer mobility arrangements – and Better Choice! – we need to keep close track of government and the concerned administrations as well.

PS. Also check out the search possibilities at . . .
* World Streets on Behavior/Change (and why people do what they do). at https://www.facebook.com/World-Streets-on-BehaviorChange-and-why-people-do-what-they-do-1517374241635622/
* Better Choices at https://www.facebook.com/NewMobilityAgenda/
* World Streets: Battles of Ideas at https://www.facebook.com/BattlesOfIdeas/
* World Streets Online at https://www.facebook.com/WorldStreetsOnline/

– – – – > 2 April 2019. Listing to be updated and completed. 

Join us

So here today we have World Streets’ Drivers as Victims Department, which up to now has not received much attention, so what about joining in and sharing with the group your stories, pictures, videos, reports and articles on the process of change, of mutation that is being engaged in cities that care. The good, the bad and the ugly. In the hope that we might learn from each other.

Home base: https://www.facebook.com/Drivers-As-Victims-Sounding-off-and-learning-to-listen-435421299985667/

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About the author:

Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, mediator and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: climate@newmobility.org) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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