Parking the car... for good!

IssueApril 2012
Feature by Matt Wilson

ImageWhy do we accept the domination of private motor cars when we know they make no sense in the long term? How has our society become so entwined and dependent on car culture? What steps can we take to free ourselves from this deadly embrace?

The negative side of car culture is huge yet largely out of mind: obesity, lung disease, climate change, strip mining, three million lives cut short every year on the world’s roads, largely the young and the poor.

As a radical cycling collective, Bicycology has dealt with the realities of car culture for many years: fighting for space with motorised traffic on roads all over the country; talking to cyclists, transport campaigners and drivers; and exploring the links between cycling and the big environmental and political issues that we all face.

This year, we’ve decided to set our sights on the elephant in the room, the fundamental obstacle to cycling, the evil that even veteran cycling campaigners often dare not name... the car.

Tackling car culture

We ran a few workshops on car culture last year, including a particularly lively and useful one at Peace News Summer Camp. For 2012, we’re continuing to develop the workshop idea, but we’re also developing a wider programme of activities, including making a film about car culture.

We’re very pleased to say that we’re also getting back on our bikes for another tour, cycling from town to town with ideas, passion, energy, a soundsystem, and a bike trailer full of food!

May days

From 10–14 May, Bicycology is carrying out a whistlestop tour of the Midlands, with no motorised support, taking our critique of car culture to three major cities, bringing together cyclists and drivers, transport activists and community leaders, provoking discussions, and reclaiming space from cars with Bicycology’s unique brand of creativity and educational direct action. We’ll be taking over car parking spaces to create temporary spaces for activity and discussion.

Please do join us in May (details on the website below), or at other events throughout the year (including Peace News Summer Camp!), and help us to map out and make real a safer, saner future free from the dominance of car culture.

Topics: Transport