Mobility Paradigm notes: Personal & Collective

Back in November 22, 2021, I had a great chat with Michael McGinn of America Walks. There were many quotable moments but here I want to share what he wisely and humorously noted while talking about the car as such a deeply ingrained part of the ‘American experience’:

I’ve taken some great road trips, I love a great road trip. But getting to the corner store shouldn’t require a road trip.”-Michael McGinn

I look back on my life, so many chapters of which I did use the car to get to the corner store- sometimes even when a perfectly good sidewalk was available.

I was not part of a culture of walking, culturally or spatially, although years later (as my activities at Pedestrian Space document), I did discover walkability as a central, indispensable value in my life and walking as a daily means of mobility and commuting a practical and appealing lifestyle.

In ‘Asphalt Nation: How the Automobile Took Over America and How We Can Take it Back’, Jane Holtz Kay writes in Chapter ‘Bumper to Bumper’:

“With almost two motor vehicles for every household, the car has become the ship of the highway desert. A multipurpose vessel, the automobile is outfitted to ally our hours sequestered there, a home away from home.”

I remember that life.


Photo: Myself around age 13, by one of the family cars at the time on a road trip to Borrego Desert.