BOGUS ALTERNATIVES

Discussion of the means to reduce car's impact is clogged with ineffective options: "green-cars" , "smart cars" , "intelligent traffic/transport systems (ITS)" , market mechanisms to make car users pay the full cost of cars through fuel/vehicle taxes, appeals/rewards for voluntary restraint or car-pooling, exhortations to walk or cycle, "new urbanist" neighbourhood design to minimize car use or "softly, softly" gradual, often non-advertised changes to urban praxis by city governments to slowly phase out car dependence. Some are simply cynical refusals to face the problem, some, such as "car sharing/clubs" are relatively sincere. Some are partially successful, many are both expensive and almost useless.

The only current measures worth affirming and proliferating are those that explicitly ban the car from areas of the city: compulsory car banned city centres, streets and neighbourhoods, car banned days, pedestrian malls and dedicated bus and cycling lanes.

Car traffic is a tragedy of the commons; all restraint measures that are left voluntary engage the "self eliminating conscience" dynamic, in status and power if not literally as extinction, and anyone who walks or cycles in the car traffic may sense the imminence of the latter (note 1). Voluntarism encourages and makes life easier for the conscienceless driving group, increasing their power without fostering alternatives, that's why it's a tragedy, doing right encourages the wrongdoers, consequently voluntarism achieves nothing and is discredited; a law must compel all to abandon car use.

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