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Episode 10: Whoops! The Liberal Blind Spot for Cars

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When New York City mayor Bill de Blasio went on ABC’s “The View” to discuss universal health care, little did he know he’d be on the receiving end of an epic anti-bike-lane rant courtesy of Oscar-winner and daily car commuter Whoopi Goldberg. Whoopi’s fact-free diatribe exposed one of the biggest obstacles cities face as they try to modernize their transportation systems: The liberal blind spot for cars. In this special episode of The War on Cars, we discuss why it is that even the most liberal people in the most progressive cities are so often unable to see the problems wrought by automobiles, much less support alternative forms of transportation. Plus, as civilization faces a looming climate catastrophe, can the Green New Deal offer some hope or will Baby Boomer talk show hosts doom us all?

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Episode 9: Cars Versus Guns

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Which is more destructive? Cars or guns? A recent study showed that guns are now the second-leading killer of children in the U.S. But what does it say about our culture that the press seemed to gloss over the first? (Spoiler alert: It’s cars.) In this episode, we discuss the similarities between these two threats to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Plus, what can safe streets advocates learn from gun control advocates, and vice versa?

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Episode 8: Why So Serious? The Lighter Side of The War On Cars.

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Improv Everywhere’s Phone Booth Coworking.

The stakes are literally life and death, but can humor be an effective weapon in the war on cars? In this episode we talk to Charlie Todd, the founder of Improv Everywhere, about how using the city as a stage for elaborate comedy scenes can help people see public space in a new light. What’s the connection between turning parking spots into parks and unleashing hordes of pants-free people on the subway? Plus, how does a father of two become radicalized against automobiles?

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Episode 7: Nice Legs, Dude

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Why is driving a car seen as masculine and riding a bicycle seen as feminine? Is it even possible to look like an adult while riding an e-scooter? Our experience of moving through public space is deeply affected by our mode of transportation and our gender identity; the mode we choose affects not only how we are seen by others, but how we see ourselves. In this episode, we cover biking while female, taking the Metro in Mexico City and what The 40-Year-Old Virgin has to say about guys who bike.

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Episode 6: Quit Your Car: It’s Zero Percent About Transportation

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Alex Brook Lynn and her 1987 Cadillac DeVille

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?

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Episode 5: If E-Bikes Are the Future, Why Are They Illegal?

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From coast to coast, electric-bikes are having their moment. But a New York City Police Department crackdown on delivery cyclists who rely on e-bikes to do their jobs has some wondering if a double standard isn’t at play. At a time when big companies are jumping on the e-bike bandwagon, are the immigrant men who deliver food being unfairly punished? We discuss the murky laws surrounding e-bikes and what the future has in store with Helen Ho of the Biking Public Project.

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Episode 4: Cars and the Culture Wars

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In 2009, soon-to-be Toronto Mayor Rob Ford declared that he would end the war on cars. His remarks were the opening shots in a battle that would come to signify more than just how people get around. How did cars and the urban/surburban divide become a cultural flashpoint? And did you know that a “War on Autoists” was front-page news a century before the War on Cars?

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Episode 3: Mayors: The Good, the Bad and Bill de Blasio

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With cities on the front lines of the war on cars, can mayors muster the courage to put automobiles in their rightful place? Not to name names, but does it matter if elected officials are driven twelve miles to the gym every day in a three SUV convoy just to jog on a treadmill? Plus, Doug announces his candidacy for mayor. Can he withstand the inevitable barrage of dark money attack ads?

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Episode 2: Attack of the Robocars!

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Take the driver out of the car and what do you get? Heaven or hell? Will the rise of the robocar lead to a revolution in safety and change how cities allocate public space? Or will pedestrians and cyclists get pushed aside to make way for Skynet? Aaron, Sarah and Doug tackle these questions and more as we anticipate the imminent arrival of our autonomous vehicle overlords.

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Episode 1: Why the World Needs The War on Cars

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In this pilot episode, we discuss why the world needs a War on Cars and ask if tech — specifically tech companies — can save our cities from the car. Are e-scooters, Lyft buses and self-driving Ubers running through Elon Musk’s tunnels the wave of the future or are they a harbinger of dystopia?