Imagine what would happen if, starting tomorrow, all motor run vehicles were banned in the United States
There numerous social, cultural and economic social workable benefits of automobile as opposed to renounce its usage, but the main reason why various countries are advocating for vehicle-free environments falls upon the consequences to the surroundings. Today the motor-run vehicles pose as much threat to social lives as the advantages.
How would one consider a situation where most of the urban streets lack driveways or garages for vehicles due to current renovations that ensure maximum utilization of available space? Some states have taken a step to bun driveways, home garages and street parking spaces to ease congestions.
Current government policies allow car ownership, but harsh conditions such as existence of few large garages or parking lots away from the central business districts and implementation of costly parking fees are a clear indication that it is time to consider elimination of automobiles (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, p.133).
Effects of Car-free Environments
Even amidst the escalating fuel prices, loosing a car would not go down easily in America. It is one of the strategies for enhancing the go-green campaigns, but major social effects include the immediate loss of a sense of time and navigation. The environment is not in favour of people without cars, due to the much-needed efforts to navigate from one point to another. Lack of a vehicle can turn what was a thirty minutes shopping event to a two hour and tiresome ordeal.
To most American owning an automobile is an intrinsic affair since it assists in planning events and performing majority of the personal tasks within the least time possible.
According to (Fox, p.106), a car is a desire for any teenager in America, since it is a luxury and driving to school is linkable to a certain rite of passage. Mobility defines the sedentary lifestyles of most Americans than priority. Global warming is definitely a de facto among most people, but urban lifestyles and jobs seem daunting due to needs for easy movements from one point to another.
The challenges of not having cars are causing a drastic change of social behaviours such as giving up some luxuries for instance comfort (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, p.133). It calls for more budge of time to cater for walks and moments to memorize routes. Daily life without automobile is cumbersome, tedious and dull. The cars are a source of freedom for travelling among people of all classes in United States.
However, the cars cause some negative social problems. Currently, there is more crime related to car theft due to increase in numbers. It is also an avenue for moral laxity since young people are able to escape and find scapegoats for parental supervision. Immorality associable to automobile such as drunken driving is causing preventable deaths through accidents (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, p.133).
Economically, automobile is a huge support to the fuel and tire industries. Mobility also has a strong impact on fast food industries. There are thousands of drive-in fast food restaurants and theatres near gas stations, which would suffer economically from the car-free environments.
Automobile manufactory industry has a wide range of profitable products and is a support to millions of professionals. Doing away with cars would mean loss of job to many people. Roads improvement from the gravel to the smooth surfaced concrete tarmac is also for the reason of situation demands due to more vehicles (Fox, p.106).
Culturally, the automobile changes lifestyles for instance change of the traditional role of women from the house-based woman to a working class woman. On the other hand, currently women are not producers of well-prepared food today but consumes of ready-made or refrigerated foods, which negatively affects health of the family (Fox, p.106).
Possible Car-Elimination Procedures
There are various harsh conditions or laws that would indirectly convey a message that, car-ownership are more costly, too demanding and stressful in comparison to life without. There is urgent need to separate the suburban lifestyle from automobile usage as a way of planning smartly on the social-economical needs.
Advantages of Automobile Elimination
There is a huge fight for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the car exhaust systems. This measure would contribute to the clear necessity to reduce global warming. Statistics by the European Environment Agency indicates that private cars are responsible for 12% of the greenhouse gases emissions in Europe (Herzog, p.90).
The studies also indicate that 50% of the gas emissions are from car intensive regions in United States (Herzog, p.90). Therefore, one of the special advantages of car-free environments is reduction of emission. According to Herzog (p.90), “emissions from an increasing number of private cars owned by the burgeoning middle class are choking cities.”
Getting rid of cars decreases the density or congestions in cities as well as suburbs and provides better and healthier spaces for walking. The areas will also be easily accessible through more effective and environmental-friendly means such as public electrical trains with less emission and occupy fewer parking spaces (Herzog, p.90). The product stores will also be easily accessible due to possible placements on the walkways of main streets, other than in shopping malls, which are often at distant highway localities.
If forced, would Americans make adjustments for automobile-free conditions?
Majority of the world activities are based on the functionality of automobiles, therefore people highly depend on them. Mostly the government has to utilize various ways of influencing people choice to in favour of automobile-free environments. Majority of the users or owners understand the hazardous risks automobile pose, but ignorantly do nothing to reduce the effects.
If the government would emphasis on the need for environmental-friendly practices such as avoiding automobile usage, then some people would make the necessary adjustments. Hundreds of groups such as environmental activists in the United States formed a coalition called ‘Transport for America’, to promote new automobile-free communities (Stave et al, p.221). Their campaign policy is that the amount of driving must depend on whether one has a hybrid vehicle.
The ‘Environmental Protection Agency’ also promotes the car reduction policies. Majority of the American citizens would not comply with such emphasis, but on the other hand would never break laws. If worse comes to worse, then the government must implement prohibition by-laws to all road sectors. New government provisions may rationalize scales by ensuring all the newly developed structures are accessible through public transport systems, as a comprehensive effort to discourage car ownership and usage.
Some of these major developments include designing easy access to shopping, jobs, leisure and other necessary services. The public service transport system ought to be the only realist way of access majority if not all residents. New regulations can turn down operation permits for restaurants, fast foods or shopping malls that fail to implement housing designs that support automobile-free environments. Narrowed roads and passageways may also discourage automobile usage or ownership.
Some of the possible adjustments Americans would need to make in order to facilitate automobile-free environments include provision of community-based malls or shopping-stores villages, that people are able to access without need for cars. Rapid and reliable alternative transports systems should also come in handy in major public utilities such as hospitals, campus or schools. Current home designs should moreover assist in elimination of cars (Stave et al, p.221).
Americans would need to bring down the old buildings and erect stylish ones. A building should have a couple of stories and stylish balconies as opposed to the freestanding homes that support ample garage and parking spaces.
With such measures in place, people would find other appropriate means of quicker and easily accessible means of transport other than walking, such as bicycles with hauls for shopping. Communally rented hybrid cars may also be an alternative for various activities such as shopping. If children got accustomed to an implemented automobile-free environment, then the next generations would have an easy time in enhancing some of these necessary adjustments.
Major effects over implementation
Most mortgage firms are still worried about compromising the value of houses especially those meant for resale. They therefore fail to implement designs meant to curb automobiles. Home without provisions for cars are therefore not practical for most mortgage firms. Majority of the state laws in the U.S. still support existence of two parking garages spaces per residential house.
People have high suspicion over implementation of automobile-free environments, thus the reason why no major projects are in place today (Fox, p.106). Secondly, it is not easy to share hybrid automobiles in some communities due to high rates of transfers. Some people move in and out rather quickly for an enhanced sharing.
Lastly, the main reason to give up the automobile ownership or usage depends on the need for quality and healthy lifestyles. How would it feel to know that your children are safe form automobile related accidents, which are possible occurrences even by the doorsteps? The decision depends on specific personal reasons.
Disadvantages of Automobiles
Cars have various negative effects such as reduction of revenue on the railroad due to reduction of passenger trains. The cities transport systems that use electric lines also fell out due to availability of cars as a cheaper, comfortable and easily accessible means (Aldrich, p.213). Cars also affected the trolley system. Problems of congestions and pollution are definite indications that America is better off without automobiles. We should advocate for better, healthier automobile-free environments.
Aldrich, Mark. Death rode the rails: American railroad accidents and safety. New York, NY: JHU Press, 2006. Print.
Fox, William. International commercial agreements: a primer on drafting, negotiating, and resolving disputes. Netherlands: Kluwer Law International. 2009. Print
Herzog, Lawrence Arthur. Return to the center: culture, public space, and city building in a global era. Texas, TX: University of Texas Press. Print. 2006.
Stave, Bruce., Burmeister, Laura., Neagle, Michael., and Papa, Leslie. Red brick in the land of steady habits: creating the University of Connecticut. England: University Press of New England. 2006.Print.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Elimination of TRIMs, the experience of selected developing countries. New York, NY: United Nations Publications. 2007. Print.