The suburbs are build cheap, this is the idea behind all the design choices across all the nations suburbs. Cheap for every design reason that exists in the suburbs, that is why so many suburban roads only have space for cars and absolutely no other mode of transportation can be used when the cars threaten every other mode off the road. And the subject of this thread further threatens other modes. This mono-modal situation is not normal, I know this because you have a pair of legs underneath your computer, so you were born to walk. The one and only normal means of transportation is walking, walkers populated the world walking does work (unless they took a boat to cross the ocean South of the Bering strait, but that was a small part of the trip).
There are many modes of transportation: walking, roller blading, skate boarding, bicycling, motorcycling, sailing, parachuting , driving a passenger car, driving an SUV/light pick-up, trucks, trains. I’ve used all of the above, myself, at least once or twice, except for trucks, I’ve never driven a double-clutch. Some people live with the mono-modal idea of transportation, and then try to ban every other mode of transportation, I’m not one of them. I wish this thread was called: When are the mono-modal people going to learn to share the road?
And no you couldn’t parachute to work everyday… humm… or could you?? I just might be able to…
I find that on two wheels, you just can’t get away with all the distractions that the drivers are getting away with, you really do have to pay attention to the road.
Why should the heavy mass vehicles still be allowed when their crashes, distracted driving, and significant contributions to global warming have proven so harmful. Those things surround you in glass, they are so much more massive than what you really need, that excess mass is so much more dangerous in a crash a threat to everyone and everything around the car, they’re full of toxic and noxious fluids some that can soak right through your skin into your blood stream I hear, some of those fluids are highly flammable and their fumes are even explosive, they do crash into buildings at times (I have seen that more than once, in person), the big SUV trend has only increased the mass in a crash (do that math people Force equals Mass times Velocity squared, so more mass means more force, that’s why crash tests divide the vehicles into different weight classes). Why should people be allowed to impose all those threats onto others? When a bicycle, a train, a motorcycle can get you where you’re going, why allow cars?
I admit that more massive vehicles have more durable and protective structures surrounding you to protect you during a crash, but don’t forget people the goal is not really to survive a crash, but it is to prevent crashes. And don’t go adding more junk in your trunk to make your vehicle more massive, because that’s not the structural mass that I’m talking about. I also admit that in the mix of transportation modes, the more massive vehicle do protect the driver more during a crash than the light-mass vehicles do, but does that justify the threat the more massive vehicles impose on others? I say no, be considerate of others and use a light-mass vehicle. I do like trains to, but they are a different category because they are rapid mass transit, not a personalized mode.
The safety features in cars do help the occupant(s). One crash I was in, the other guy crossed the center-line, my fender crunched like a aluminum can at a football party, I hardly felt the impact while inside the car, so I guess the “crumple zone” worked to cushion the crash. He hardly felt the impact either, and his car didn’t crunch, so I think that my crumple zone protected us both. Afterward I asked him “Why didn’t you stay on your side of the center-line?”, he yelled back “What center-line!” as I stared at the quarter-inch wide seam in the pavement just behind him with no center-line painted on the road, my stomach with a pit of disgust in it because of all the waste. But its the features that prevent a crash that are the really good ones, like anti-lock brakes, traction control, and more to come. Computers coming to the rescue, just in the nick of time.
And no, the big fat loud oversized Harley 880cc, 1200cc+ motorcycles are not what I mean by a light-mass vehicle. A motorcycle needs more like 100cc or 200cc to get you up the hill and to your destination and back. Brain buckets, and half-helmets… give me a break! Rationally it makes sense to wear Cordura on a motorcycle, filled with polystyrene foam peanuts enough that you look like a balloon, but Cordura is pricey. Emotionally people love that sense of freedom, and elation from an open vehicle.