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43. Victory?

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As cities around the world have gone into lockdown and instituted social distancing measures to slow the spread of the covid19 pandemic, something unexpected has happened: We’ve gotten an impromptu demonstration of the benefits of living with fewer cars and less driving. Seething gridlock has vanished, smoggy skies have cleared, global carbon emissions are way down, and forward-thinking mayors are rapidly re-programming their streets to give human beings the space that once belonged to motor vehicles. Is the world witnessing the wrenching, difficult birth of the car-free city? Or are we merely living in the brief moment before cities snap back into even deeper automobile dependence, the car serving as the ultimate personal protective equipment? Plus: We hear from City of Oakland Transportation Director Ryan Russo.

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42. “Driving While Black” with Gretchen Sorin

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Historian Gretchen Sorin has written a fascinating new book, “Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights,” that dives into the role the car played in the 20th-century African American experience. Sorin talked with Sarah about how in the Jim Crow era, when riding public transportation was often humiliating and downright dangerous for black Americans, the automobile provided a way for black families to get around with safety and dignity. She also explains how cars played an instrumental role in building the civil rights movement, and why white etiquette expert Emily Post wasn’t so comfortable with the rising popularity of the automobile.

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TEASER: PODAPALOOZA for COVID-19 Relief

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The War on Cars is taking the stage for Podapalooza, a virtual podcast festival for the benefit of COVID-19 relief, on April 25th and 26th. We’ll be releasing one of our favorite old episodes to introduce the podcast to new listeners and hopefully give fans a chance to catch an early one they might have missed. 

Purchase tickets here: plza.org. You’ll get access to an outstanding lineup of some of the biggest names in podcasting, yours to listen to as they’re released. Over 100 podcasts are participating and tickets are pay-what-you-want. It’s a great deal and a great cause!

All proceeds of your purchase of a Podapalooza Pass go to GiveDirectly, which delivers cash payments of $1,000 to vulnerable households in areas affected by COVID-19.

 

It’s Zero Percent About Transportation with Alex Brook Lynn

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This episode was recorded and originally aired, November 2018. 

When is a car not a car? When it’s a source of solace and comfort, a curbside living room and a personal aesthetic statement. This episode is brought to you “live” from the interior of a 1987 Cadillac DeVille as we hear from Alex Brook Lynn, the producer of FAQ NYC, about why she escapes to her car for a little private time amidst the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. What would it take for Alex to quit her car?

Support The War on Cars on Patreon.

Rate and review the war effort on iTunes.

Buy a War on Cars t-shirt at Cotton Bureau.

EPISODE NOTES:

Follow Alex Brook Lynn on Twitter and find more of her work at Racket Media.

FAQ NYC is an outstanding local news and politics podcast in New York City produced by Alex Brook Lynn.

Follow us on Twitter: @TheWarOnCars

Aaron Naparstek @Naparstek, Sarah Goodyear @buttermilk1, Doug Gordon @brooklynspoke.

Questions? Suggestions? Complaints? Talk to us: thewaroncars@gmail.com.

 

41. Cars, Climate and Cities with Bill McKibben

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From his 1989 book The End of Nature, which was the first to explain global warming to a general audience, to co-founding the climate-change activism group 350.org, there are few people with more experience in taking on powerful interests to create change than Bill McKibben. In this interview, Bill talks to Doug about divestment from fossil fuels, what the worldwide response to COVID-19 can teach us about fighting climate change, and how to build successful movements to make cities work better for people who aren’t in cars. Plus, Bill tells the story of a determined Brazilian mayor who took on an angry car lobby using the power of open streets and adorable children.

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40. Field Dispatches from Four Continents

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In this, our second episode of the COVID-19 era, we hear from listeners around the globe about how their cities look and feel. Is it safe to ride transit? How does it feel to walk through towns and cities as people protect themselves and others by wearing masks? There’s been a surge in the number of cyclists — and speeding drivers — on city streets. But will people keep biking when this ends? Listeners in Bogotá, Paris, Los Angeles, Taipei and Washington, D.C., let us know how it’s all going. Plus, Aaron tells us why car ownership has taken over his brain, Sarah explains the concept of an “emotional washing machine” and Doug is hearing things in Brooklyn.

Support The War on Cars on Patreon.

 

Rate and review the war effort on iTunes.

 

Buy a War on Cars t-shirt at Cotton Bureau.

 

Special thanks to our sponsor, Spin Scooters: Working to make streets safe, livable and just.  

SHOW NOTES:  Read More

39. Riding Out the Pandemic

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Recording from their makeshift home studios, Sarah, Doug and Aaron check in with each other, field listener voicemails and reorient themselves to the new normal of the coronavirus crisis. Not a lot of answers in this episode, but plenty of questions: How is the social distancing going? Where would you rather be right now, the city, the suburbs or a remote rural place? And what does a global pandemic mean for The War on Cars? Plus: Treason! 

Support The War on Cars on Patreon.

Rate and review the war effort on iTunes.

Buy a War on Cars t-shirt at Cotton Bureau.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Spin Scooters: Working to make streets safe, livable and just.  

SHOW NOTES: 

This episode was edited by Ali Lemer.

Find us on Twitter: @TheWarOnCars, Sarah Goodyear @buttermilk1, Aaron Naparstek @Naparstek, Doug Gordon @BrooklynSpoke.

Drop us a line and let us know how you’re doing: thewaroncars@gmail.com

https://thewaroncars.org

 

38. On the Bus with Pat Kiernan and Jamie Stelter

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Pat Kiernan and Jamie Stelter are the dynamic duo of local TV news. As two of the hosts of “Mornings on 1” on Spectrum NY1, Pat and Jamie do more than just wake up early to deliver the latest updates on current events or the daily commute. They experience New York City as New Yorkers do: by subway, bus, bike, taxi, and foot. Pat, who may be familiar to non–New Yorkers as TV anchor Pat Kiernan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has been on NY1 since 1997. Jamie has been the traffic—and subway and bus—reporter since 2010. Their time on the air has spanned some of the most significant transformations to the city’s streetscape, including the expansion of bicycle lanes and pedestrian plazas, the launch of Citi Bike, the deterioration of subway service, and the rise of Uber and Lyft. For this episode, recorded in February, Pat and Jamie join Doug on board the M14 crosstown bus to talk about their perspective on a changing city, their own travel habits, what they’ve seen in cities around the world and how they listen to and learn from the “bike people” on Twitter.

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37. Finnish Lessons

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What can cold cities, where people nonetheless bike year-round through snow and seemingly endless hours of darkness, tell us about what it takes to make better streets? In this episode, Sarah reports back from her trip to Finland and the the 8th annual Winter Cycling Conference, held in Joensuu and Helsinki in early February. How does active transportation figure into Helsinki’s goal to become the world “most functional city”? What’s the right way to prioritize transportation modes? And why are most fully grown Americans less rugged than the average Finnish 11-year-old? 

Support The War on Cars on Patreon.

Rate and review the war effort on iTunes.

Buy a War on Cars T-shirt at Cotton Bureau.

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36. Live in Denver!

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For our first live episode, The War on Cars heads to Denver, Colorado to check in on the Mile High City’s battle against automobile dominance. From the announcement that the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure will install 125 miles of bike lanes by 2023 to the recent closure of B-cycle, the city’s bicycle sharing system, it’s been a year of good news and bad for Denverites. And there’s no one better to comment on the news than our guest, Kyle Clark, the host of “Next with Kyle Clark” on Denver’s 9 News. When Kyle, in a forceful on-air editorial, pushed back against a bout of NIMBYism in his own backyard, the clip swept the Twitterverse and brought the issue of bike-friendly streets to a general television audience. Kyle joins us to talk about the role TV news plays in the fight for a better city and how people waging their own war on cars can work with, not against, reporters. 

Recorded February 10th, 2020 at the Moving People Forward Conference in Denver, Colorado presented by Bicycle Colorado.

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