The Sunset of an American Icon

The car as the ultimate American icon, as represented in literature, cinema and all types of media, seems to be on its way out. And that’s a good thing, too.

Transportation is one of the biggest sources of emissions in the world, and a lifestyle based on cars is not healthy for environment. And not for people either, since it leads to a sedentary lifestyle.

So, it was with a smile on our green faces that we read that young Americans are replacing the car with public transport and bicycles. According to a recent New York Times article, since 1983 the number of 18-year-olds who own a driver’s license has decreased from 80 to 61 percent. Also mileage per person is below the historic peak by almost 9 percent.

The recession helps, but the exodus back to city centers, improvements in light rail connections, costs of parking space, bike sharing schemes, etc have played a role in convincing a new generation of Americans to get out of cars and into the world.

This is great news because it signals a change in behavior and this is when things really take off.

Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.

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One comment on “The Sunset of an American Icon

Sabrina Hill

I don’t know WHERE this person got their raw data, or how badly it was skewed, but out here in RURAL AMERICA, There is ZERO Public Transportation, the Post Office is a 52 mile trip away, as is the closest Gas Station, Food and Hardware Stores. Private vehicle ownership may be on the decline in the cities, but out here in Farm country, EVERYONE has their OWN Pickup Truck, or they never go anywhere.

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