92. Welcome to Muscle Car City

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You see a lot of muscle cars on New York City streets these days. And with their modified mufflers and overpowered engines, you hear them too. Co-host Aaron Naparstek began noticing that a lot of the muscle cars he was seeing around town had stickers on them with the names of car clubs and their own Instagram accounts. He was intrigued. The Instagram account was, after all, an invitation to see inside the car — to pierce that bubble of privacy and anonymity that lets drivers get away with so much. So, Aaron began following muscle cars on social media. Pretty soon, he was immersed in New York City’s underground car club scene. And his once-sedate Instagram feed was transformed into a barrage of burnouts, donuts, takeovers, car meets, and crashes. Then Aaron decided he wanted to do more than just watch on his phone. He wanted to bring The War on Cars to the biggest car club event of the summer. If you thought Driving Under the Influence was a problem, wait until you meet the guys who are Driving to Become Influencers.

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Tickets are on sale now for War on Cars LIVE at Caveat on Tuesday, November 1 @ 7 PM. 

This episode is sponsored by Cleverhood. Receive 20% off anything in the Cleverhood store using the special coupon code in this episode. Good for a limited time only! 

Support The War on Cars on Patreon and receive exclusive access to ad-free bonus content.

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91. The War on Cars Heats Up

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Summer is over, but honking season is just getting started. After a short delay — due to circumstances described in this episode — The War on Cars is back to celebrate our fourth anniversary and describe why the show’s title seems to be in the news a lot these days, partly thanks to one U.S. Congresswoman. The hosts also catch up with each other and provide updates on what we did on our summer vacations, including treks through idyllic European landscapes, e-scooter rides in Charlottesville, and a visit to the Most Magical Place on Earth. Plus, as New York debates a plan to toll drivers entering Manhattan, what will the success or failure of congestion pricing mean for transportation in other cities across the United States.

This episode is sponsored by Radpower Bikes and Cleverhood.

Support The War on Cars on Patreon and receive exclusive access to ad-free bonus content.

LINKS:

Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) really thinks there’s a war on cars. (YouTube)

Randall O’Toole thinks we should give up the war on cars. (Colorado Springs Gazette)

In Canada, the suburbs strike back against the war on cars. (Financial Post)

This British columnist thinks the war on cars is a war on ordinary people. (Spiked)

Pick up official War on Cars merch at our store.

Follow and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps people find us.

This episode was recorded by Josh Wilcox at the Brooklyn Podcasting Studio and edited by Ali Lemer. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear. Our logo is by Dani Finkel of Crucial D Designs.

TheWarOnCars.org

 

Better Living by Bicycle with George Hahn

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Photo: Dmitry Gudkov

Our first episode of the month is running late so here’s a bonus from earlier this year to tide you over. We’ll be back soon!

It’s kind of hard to pin George Hahn down. He’s a fashion icon, design aficionado, actor, social media star and a fearless defender of cities. The man the New York Times calls an “urban raconteur” joins The War on Cars to talk about efficient living by bicycle, how driving into a densely populated area is a loser’s game and why giant SUVs need to be decoupled from conventional notions of masculinity.

***Support The War on Cars on Patreon for access to more bonus content like this.***

LINKS:

Learn more about George Hahn and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

“How George Hahn, Urban Raconteur, Spends His Sundays.” (New York Times)

George to motorists: “Stop driving your car in the city.” (Streetfilms)

Scott Galloway asks George Hahn about what it means to be a man. (CNN+)

Pick up some official War on Cars merch at our store.

Follow and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps people find us!

TheWarOnCars.org

 

TEASER: ‘Shade of Trespass’ with Garnette Cadogan

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***This is a preview of a bonus episode for our Patreon supporters. Become a Patreon supporter of The War on Cars for ad-free access to this and all our exclusive content. And we’ll send you stickers!***

We talked with essayist Garnette Cadogan, currently the Tunney Lee Distinguished Lecturer in Urbanism at MIT,  about his essay “Walking While Black.” Some of that conversation was featured in Episode 83, “The Pedestrian,” inspired by the classic Ray Bradbury story of the same name. In an extended edit of our full talk, Garnette talks about how walking in the United States as a Black man forced him to radically recalibrate his mindset as he moved along the street, dismantling his innocent pleasure in wandering. He talks about fearing the police, who so often assume that he is the one at fault in any situation. But the most insidious and poisonous thing he encounters is the way that white people in American cities so often fear him, just because of the color of his skin—a color too often judged, as he says, to be “the shade of trespass.”

 

90. All Bodies on Bikes with Marley Blonsky

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Photo: Fontaine Rittleman

Marley Blonsky, a bike adventurer and advocate for inclusive cycling communities, is the co-founder of All Bodies on Bikes, a group that aims to help people of all sizes and abilities to get out and enjoy riding. Marley talks about getting some major bike brands to address the needs of riders in larger bodies; the power of putting the words “fat” and “cyclist” together; and why her new home of Bentonville, Arkansas (headquarters of Walmart), is “a Disneyland for bicycles.”

You can find the full transcript of this episode here.

This episode is sponsored by Radpower Bikes and Cleverhood.

Support The War on Cars on Patreon and receive exclusive access to ad-free bonus content.

You can find out more about Marley on her website, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter

Watch the All Bodies on Bikes film on YouTube.

Check out the All Bodies on Bikes community on Facebook

Pick up official War on Cars merch at our store.

Follow and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps people find us!

This episode was edited by Yessenia Moreno. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear. Our logo is by Dani Finkel of Crucial D Designs.

TheWarOnCars.org

 

TEASER: Tech Won’t Save Transportation with Paris Marx

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***This is a preview of a short bonus episode for our Patreon supporters. Become a Patreon supporter of The War on Cars for ad-free access to this and all our exclusive content. And we’ll send you stickers!***

In a new book, Paris Marx argues that Silicon Valley’s vision of our transportation future – from autonomous vehicles to flying cars – is a threat to basic notions of community and conviviality. Weaving connections between the early history of the automobile and the development of the personal computer in the 1970s and 1980s, Marx examines how the individualized view of transportation merged with the mythos of Silicon Valley to create a world that’s easily distracted by promises that this one cool innovation will finally solve traffic congestion. Paris Marx, the host of the podcast Tech Won’t Save Us, joins The War on Cars to discuss their new book.

 

89. Distracted to Death

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Traffic fatalities in the U.S. are at a 16-year high. One reason? Driver distraction. Today’s automobiles are loaded with an almost cinematic level of screens, featuring apps and infotainment systems that blur the distinction between car and smartphone… and that overload the brain’s cognitive abilities to a level not even trained military pilots can handle. Russ Mitchell, a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, joins us to discuss his recent story on the deadly consquences of carmakers’ and tech companies’ race to turn the inside of automobiles into what one researcher called “a candy store of distraction.” Plus, why you should never talk on the phone — even hands free — when you’re behind the wheel of a car.

You can find the full transcript of this episode here.

This episode is sponsored by Radpower Bikes and Cleverhood.

Support The War on Cars on Patreon and receive exclusive access to ad-free bonus content.

LINKS:

“‘We are killing people’: How technology has made your car ‘a candy store of distraction.'” Russ Mitchell in the Los Angeles Times.

Take the “Selective Attention Test” before you listen to this episode.

Read more about Dr. David Strayer’s research on distracted driving, via the Applied Cognition Lab at the University of Utah.

Apple’s CarPlay is “the smarter, safer way to use your iPhone in the car,” according to Apple.

Pick up official War on Cars merch at our store.

Follow and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps people find us!

This episode was edited by Ali Lemer. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear. Our logo is by Dani Finkel of Crucial D Designs.

TheWarOnCars.org

 

88. Tesla is a Fraud with Ed Niedermeyer

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Journalist Edward Niedermeyer has been reporting on the automobile industry — and its blind spots — since 2008. He co-hosts the Autonocast podcast, focusing on the future of transportation. And he is the author of “Ludicrous: The Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors.” In his book, Niedermeyer chronicles the electric car maker’s rise and lays bare the disconnect between the popular perception of Tesla and the day-to-day realities of the company, its products, and its peripatetic, billionaire CEO Elon Musk. Musk, Niedermeyer argues, is a huckster with a particular genius for selling implausible products and making old ideas feel futuristic and new. But his overwhelming wealth, influence, and cult-like following is making him a danger to the rest of us. 

You can find the full transcript of this episode here.

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This episode is sponsored by Cleverhood. Receive 20% off anything in the Cleverhood store using the new coupon code in this episode. Good through the end of July. 

Support The War on Cars on Patreon and receive exclusive access to ad-free bonus content.

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87. How to Save a Planet with Kendra Pierre-Louis

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Kendra Pierre-Louis, a climate reporter and co-host of the Gimlet Media podcast How to Save a Planet, joins us to discuss storytelling in an age of crisis. How can we effectively communicate that better streets, better cities and a better world are possible? How can we point regular citizens toward solutions that can not only fight climate change but improve their day-to-day lives? Plus, what was up with that Kia ad featuring the dude who drives on a beach to save sea turtles?

You can find the full transcript of this episode here.

This episode was made possible in part by our friends at Radpower Bikes and Cleverhood.

Become a Patreon supporter of The War on Cars for exclusive access to ad-free bonus content.

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86. Two Wheels Good with Jody Rosen

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According to Jody Rosen, a contributing writer for The New York Times, we live on a bicycle planet. Across the world, more people use bicycles — for transportation, recreation, and their livelihood — than any other vehicle. In his new book, Two Wheel Goods: The History and Mystery of the Bicycle, Rosen attempts to “de-quaintify” the bike, from its invention in 1817 to its current status as a virtuous machine that can save cities and the environment. Spanning centuries and hopping continents, Two Wheels Good weaves connections between various bike booms and asks readers to consider an expansive and inclusive definition of “bicycle culture.” Plus, was there really a War on Horses?

You can find the full transcript of this episode here.

This episode is sponsored by Radpower Bikes and Cleverhood. Receive 20% off in the Cleverhood store using the coupon code mentioned in the episode.

***Support The War on Cars on Patreon and receive exclusive access to ad-free bonus content.***

LINKS:

Buy Two Wheels Good and books by other podcast guests at Bookshop.org.

Follow Jody Rosen on Twitter.

Read Sidewalks by Valeria Luiselli, which contiains the essay Manifesto a Velo Jody mentions in the episode.

Pick up official War on Cars merch at our store.

Follow and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps people find us!

This episode was recorded by Walter Nordquist at the Brooklyn Podcasting Studio. It was edited by Doug Gordon. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear. Our logo was designed by Dani Finkel of Crucial D Designs.

TheWarOnCars.org