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The New York Times Doesn't Know What Car Culture Is
Jalopnik ^ | July 1, 2013 | Matt Hardigree

Posted on 07/01/2013 4:19:46 PM PDT by jjotto

The New York Times ran a piece this weekend with the foreboding title "THE END OF CAR CULTURE" (and people accuse us of clickbait). Here's why you should take that claim with a grain of yellow cake uranium.

What New York Times environmental reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal is getting at is what most people are calling "Peak Car." This is the idea that car ownership and usage has peaked in the United States and is never coming back.

There's ample data to support this theory, although the most recent look at the data suggests that while the recession may have put a permanent peak in per-household ownership, car sales will probably continue to go up in the near-term.

Rosenthal does nod to the recession which, as Karl Henkel pointed out, is probably the single biggest reason why young people aren't buying cars.

But let's grant the premise. Let's say that we've reached the peak number of vehicles we'll have on U.S. roads. Let's say more kids won't get cars and the number of vehicle miles driven each year will drop.

This is not the "End of Car Culture." It's the death of "Commuting Culture," which, I'd argue, is the greatest threat to car culture.

What are the most popular vehicles in the United States? They're not Miatas or Mustangs or sports cars. They're relatively dull commuter vehicles like the Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, and Ford Fusion or work vehicles like the Ford F-150 and Chevy Silverado (although in many places trucks count as both).

The NYT piece leads with a photo of teenagers hanging out at a drive-thru in 1959. They're not all driving the then contemporary equivalent of a mid-size cruiser (seen in the background), they're all driving stripped down sports cars or older, we assume modified, hot rods.

After the Suburban boom that followed a combination of white flight and the massive investment in the interstage highway system, we changed into a commuter driven culture. People had to own cars and we've been suffering from the environmental, social, and congestion-related consequences ever since.

A highway full of boring econoboxes does not create a car culture, it destroys it. A long commute causes people to hate their vehicles and leads to them buying something that compromises a sportier ride or more power for comfort and fuel efficiency. There might be a "Camry Owners of America" club, but I doubt it has the membership of the Mustang Club of America.

The fewer beige Camrycordusionltimas appliances on the road the better off everyone is.

As a car enthusiast, I believe people should take public transportation when it makes sense. They should not use their cars to get the mail from the end of the street. They should take better care of used cars instead of rushing out to buy something new every few years. They should not work a million miles from where they live thus wasting time and gas sitting in traffic.

While car sales dropping may be bad for automakers, it's not bad for auto lovers. When car ownership becomes more of a choice than a necessity, people will buy cars because they desire them, which will make the cars automakers build more desirable.

Since the recession, cars haven't gotten worse, they've gotten better. They're sportier, more attractive, more powerful and, yes, more fuel efficient all at the same time.

When we empty the roads of commuters, we free them up for the kinds of people who get in a car just for the joy of it.

That won't kill car culture, that'll help save it.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Hobbies; Society; Travel
KEYWORDS: cars
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Cameras and radar. Black boxes. Road rage. High vehicle beltlines. Not enough fun anymore.
1 posted on 07/01/2013 4:19:46 PM PDT by jjotto
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To: jjotto
I just bought a 1970 Olds HO 442 that is almost identical to the one I drove inverted over a barbed-wire fence in 1973.

That makes 7 drivable vehicles for me and I'm only one driver.

2 posted on 07/01/2013 4:25:29 PM PDT by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: jjotto

I hate the Prius. They infest the CA freeways like mosquitoes at a Summer picnic. They’re boring.


3 posted on 07/01/2013 4:25:43 PM PDT by Signalman
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To: jjotto

How in the world can your realistically expect the NYT to understand car culture?

The only way to get a parking place in NYC is to buy a car that’s in one.

Sorry, old joke. But really, cars are the least of a Manhattanite’s worries.


4 posted on 07/01/2013 4:26:06 PM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely expressed as advice)
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To: Veto!

New Yorkers are jealous of everything they can’t have. And there’s very little they can have.


5 posted on 07/01/2013 4:29:40 PM PDT by duckworth (Perhaps instant karma's going to get you. Perhaps not.)
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To: jjotto

Price. Of. Gasoline.


6 posted on 07/01/2013 4:29:42 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: Veto!

7 posted on 07/01/2013 4:31:03 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: Veto!
Free Parking is what made America great.

Where's one has to pay to park, it's likely a 'rat hell hole.

8 posted on 07/01/2013 4:31:16 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: jjotto

Plymouth Roadrunner. Pontiac GTO. Oldsmobile 442. Pontiac Firebird. Plymouth Cuda. AMC Javelin. AMC AMX. All gone.


9 posted on 07/01/2013 4:31:52 PM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Signalman

A “Related” story at the link shows the favorite new vehicles in each state. The Pious is indeed the Cali favorite.

Subaru Outback in Washington state. Flyover land mostly picks F150. NE surprisingly goes big for Tacomas.


10 posted on 07/01/2013 4:34:01 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto
i see the stooopid ass knows as much about the car culture as he does the gun culture...
11 posted on 07/01/2013 4:34:38 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Chode
the Times that is...
12 posted on 07/01/2013 4:35:11 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: jjotto

Since I left the USSA, I have never needed or wanted a car.
Public transportation outside of the US is often as good as one could want. This is especially true in central Europe.


13 posted on 07/01/2013 4:36:02 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: Chode

hehe

I was wondering if Hardigree wasn’t slipping into ‘Cars Are For Rich People’ mode.


14 posted on 07/01/2013 4:36:51 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Signalman

I hate Prius drivers far more than I hate inanimate cars. Prius drivers sneer at everyone else like they’re the new priesthood of environazis but then when my family drives on I-80 what do we see? We see lots and lots of Prius drivers pulled over on the side of the road by Wyoming and Utah state troopers for SPEEDING!!!

Curious, what kind of mileage does a Prius get at 100mph?

(No, I really don’t care)

I just hate the hypocrisy of the people who own those cars to think they’re so much better than everyone else that it gives them a license to speed. Jerks.


15 posted on 07/01/2013 4:38:59 PM PDT by MeganC (A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don't have one, you'll never need one again.)
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To: AlexW

Ten times the population density of the US makes a lot of things different.


16 posted on 07/01/2013 4:40:18 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto
High vehicle beltlines.

Yeah, what's up with that? Must be a safety thing. My mid '80s BMW with its low beltline and tall greenhouse really stands out as being from another era, which is one reason I like it.

17 posted on 07/01/2013 4:44:17 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: jjotto
if the cost of a new car keep going up at the rate they are now, and with less and less people working, it may almost come to pass...
18 posted on 07/01/2013 4:46:02 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Yardstick

I’m seriously considering a Land Rover just so I can stick my elbow out with the window down.


19 posted on 07/01/2013 4:47:26 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: jjotto

20 posted on 07/01/2013 4:51:49 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: jjotto

A Ka and K band radar jammer (a real, illegal one, not the kind they scam on boxes, but one with a real antenna that you place in your bumper is an easy fix.

You need a radar detector calibrated to ignore it, then brake when you get a cop and turn off your jammer.

Costs maybe $800 and a weekend.

There are kits on the interenet, or there were. The FCC was trying to shut them down.


21 posted on 07/01/2013 4:52:01 PM PDT by Jewbacca (The residents of Iroquois territory may not determine whether Jews may live in Jerusalem.)
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To: jjotto

Enjoyed my road trip to PA this past weekend in my gas guzzling new Hemi Challenger. Oh wait, I got 27.1 mpg average. Never mind!


22 posted on 07/01/2013 4:53:34 PM PDT by TheRhinelander
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To: jjotto

You don't really think this thing knows how to drive do you?! Especially since it doesn't look like she knows how to wash her hair.

23 posted on 07/01/2013 4:54:04 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: Chode
i see the stooopid ass knows as much about the car culture as he does the gun culture...

You're right. I think some of it is wishful thinking, and trying to push a subconscious idea generating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Don't like guns and freedoms they bring? Put out the meme that gun-culture is dead, bad, backward, etc.

Don't like private cars and the freedoms they bring? Put out the meme that car-culture is dead, gone, backward, etc.

Oh yeah, the NYT is soooo progressive, so forward, so cutting edge in their thinking. {snort} (that's so obviously sarcasm, I don't have to put the emoticon on it, right?)

24 posted on 07/01/2013 4:54:42 PM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: Paladin2

You’re definitely onto something, Paladin2. Free parking rocks.

In beautiful downtown Spokane, there are many empty buildings where businesses used to be. Predictably the city mothers decided what they needed to do was raise the parking rates. So fewer people shop there now.

Naturally, businesses are moving to city outskirts, mowing down lovely trees and animal habitats to put up ugly shopping centers, bringing more congestion to residential streets. Target just did that in my ‘hood. — may allah frown upon them :( — Why in the world couldn’t they have purchased a couple of downtown buildings, remodeled them into a nice big shiny store with a nice big shiny free parking structure next to it. We’re not talking a long commute...ten minutes max from my place on the outskirts to the middle of downtown.

Actually Spokane is not a rat hole, a bastion of conservatives in this liberal state.


25 posted on 07/01/2013 4:55:46 PM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely expressed as advice)
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To: jjotto

Two practical solutions for higher fuel mileage are
1. Hybrid, 2. Diesel.

Toyota made the biggest commitment to hybrid, hence Prius, Camry hybrids.

Ford is serious about hybrid, also.

VW/Audi made the biggest commitment to diesel.

Big three American brands are following, not leading like they once did.

At long, long last Chevy introduced their Cruze diesel sedan.


26 posted on 07/01/2013 4:56:09 PM PDT by truth_seeker
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To: duckworth

I don’t think you read the article.


27 posted on 07/01/2013 4:57:45 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: truth_seeker
I already did go to Turbo-Diesel 7 years ago (when gas went over $2).

The only place to go now is Flintstone.

28 posted on 07/01/2013 5:01:29 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: wideawake
MINE was Agenta Teal Blue

(yes, that's a tach on the hood)

29 posted on 07/01/2013 5:02:51 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: AlexW

I thought you rode your bike most of the time :<)


30 posted on 07/01/2013 5:03:20 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: Veto!

Target “moving to the City outskirts”? Hah! Their new location is no more the city outskirts than Shopko across the street. Look at Browne’s Mountain to the east, and Anywhere along Regal Street to the south. Hardly downtown, but not rural by a long shot. “Outskirts” is now out to Baltimore Road.

Target only got the site that Home Depot couldn’t get the tony-class neighbors to bless because HD “would’ve brought the wrong kind of traffic”.

As for not going downtown: (a) Location; (b) Location; (c) Location. It’s a crappy location if (a) you can’t afford it; (b) there’s no parking, free or otherwise, (c) no one sticks around to go shopping, even at the competition. Stand-alone Target stores only ever have about 2 complete city blocks worth of parking spaces, at minimum.

I know. I’ve watched the tussles over that site for 20 years.


31 posted on 07/01/2013 5:06:41 PM PDT by castlebrew (Gun Control means hitting where you're aiming!))
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To: jjotto
My next vehicle purchase will be a 60's to early 70's model pickup truck. I'll take either a Chevy or a FORD but prefer the latter I want no AC or electric anything no standard on the column but a floor shit is OK. I want the engine to have one job and that is to turn the back wheels.
32 posted on 07/01/2013 5:09:06 PM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: steve86

“I thought you rode your bike most of the time :<)”
______________________________________________________

Yes, in town I use only my bicycle.
My wife and child go by C-cad (pedicab) or “tricycle” (motorbike powered cab that caries 4-8 people).
For long distance, we catch an aircon bus from anywhere out on the highway. We rarely wait more then ten minuets to catch one.
The highway is only a five min. walk from our beach house.


33 posted on 07/01/2013 5:11:52 PM PDT by AlexW
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To: Mad Dawgg

I’d do almost exactly that for a daily driver if my wife would allow it (she sells upscale cars).

I can get away with a ‘93 GMC pickup on weekends.


34 posted on 07/01/2013 5:14:50 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: ThunderSleeps
100%
35 posted on 07/01/2013 5:15:21 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Veto!
Actually Spokane is not a rat hole, a bastion of conservatives in this liberal state.

It's a pretty town but I'm observing more and more liberal creep in eastern Washington and everywhere. Worst where Redmond and Seattle (Amazon) vermin are accumulating. Wenatchee and Ellensburg are Silicon Valley in spots (in terms of liberal infiltration if not quite in real estate prices).

May be driving up your way this weekend to show the kids the "Bowl & Pitcher" and other sights.

36 posted on 07/01/2013 5:16:18 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: Mad Dawgg
"I'll take either a Chevy or a FORD but prefer the latter I want no AC or electric anything no standard on the column but a floor shit is OK."

Don't ya hate it when that happens ;)

37 posted on 07/01/2013 5:16:54 PM PDT by West Texas Chuck (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. That should be a convenience store, not a Government Agency.)
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To: castlebrew

Interesting but a matter of perspective.

I lived in South Florida, which is paved over to the max. Had to drive for miles and miles and MILES to see any significant green space. Also in LA. For me, Spokane is a small town where I can drive a couple of miles to lovely open spaces. As recently as yesterday, walked around the grounds of the retreat center on Ben Burr. Nature without traffic means a lot to me. Peaceful, quiet.

Target means zilch. I won’t shop there. I miss the birds and ducks on that land. It was nice to see them there...and I think some farm animals too. The scraped-off site looks like a war zone.

Meanwhile, downtown with some architecturally nice but now abandoned buildings is full of low-life dopers. Urban renewal just might force them out. But nobody seems to care.


38 posted on 07/01/2013 5:27:02 PM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely expressed as advice)
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To: steve86

Ja, ja, liberal creep even in North Idaho.

Bowl & Pitcher is beautiful. Enjoy :)


39 posted on 07/01/2013 5:29:30 PM PDT by Veto! (Opinions freely expressed as advice)
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To: Veto!

Don’t believe I had heard of the Immaculate Heart Retreat Center before your comment and looking it up. We have another destination. Thanks!


40 posted on 07/01/2013 5:39:41 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: Veto!

106-108 here along the Columbia. Will be looking forward to a few degrees cooler in Spokane and CDA. Looks like they are literally only a few degrees cooler at the moment.


41 posted on 07/01/2013 5:46:03 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: knarf

Could you actually see the tach ?


42 posted on 07/01/2013 5:59:19 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

There will always be an automoblile in the drive way!
I don’t care if the bus stops in the front yard!


43 posted on 07/01/2013 6:15:14 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: Conserev1

‘02 Carerra in my garage...


44 posted on 07/01/2013 6:33:52 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

94 Z28 Lt1 here, will always have a vert with HP!


45 posted on 07/01/2013 6:41:14 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Yes ... very distracting sometimes .. but cooler’n SHIT !!!


46 posted on 07/01/2013 6:44:21 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof, but they're true.)
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To: jjotto

When I was in school one of the biggest identity groups was the “gearheads”. Talking to my kids and their friends, I haven’t seen any evidence that “gearheads” still exist. Course they may just not hang out with that crowd....


47 posted on 07/01/2013 6:53:30 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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To: MeganC

I hate Prius drivers far more than I hate inanimate cars. Prius drivers sneer at everyone else like they’re the new priesthood of environazis but then when my family drives on I-80 what do we see? We see lots and lots of Prius drivers pulled over on the side of the road by Wyoming and Utah state troopers for SPEEDING!!!

_______________________________

Had a Prius guy want to race me on the turnpike. Really. I drove a Golf TDI. We ran fairly closely until we came to a looooonnnnggg uphill. He was a bug in my rearview.
I smoked him!


48 posted on 07/01/2013 7:02:11 PM PDT by Chickensoup (200 million unarmed " people killed in the 20th century by Leftist Totalitarian Fascists)
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To: truth_seeker

Lots of diesel in Europe. States wont let them in.


49 posted on 07/01/2013 7:04:06 PM PDT by Chickensoup (200 million unarmed " people killed in the 20th century by Leftist Totalitarian Fascists)
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To: Some Fat Guy in L.A.

Same here.

There are a few young guys into older cars, not so much into anything recent with mods. More likely to drive in parades than on a drag strip.

Seems to be younger Mexicans and some Orientals into cars like small-town white guys used to be.


50 posted on 07/01/2013 7:04:38 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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