Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Road rage is nothing new...

What is it about getting behind the wheel of a car that seems to affect the behavior of some otherwise generally well disposed, kind people? I assume it has something to do with the anonymity driving in major urban area (or anywhere far from home) seems to provide. The safety of a two ton-plus cage of steel around them probably plays a role as well.

In any case, this Disney video from 1950 shows that the ugly behavior often associated with some motorists is nothing new.

Please note the repeated use of the term "some drivers". In no way do I mean this post as an indictment of an entire class of road users. Just a segment thereof. Just as most drivers in the film are kind and respectful, I find that 95%+ of drivers take care to make sure they can pass safely and are willing to wait the five extra seconds it will take them to get around a cyclist safely.

It's interesting that the video is over 60 years old, yet still so pertinent. You may be thinking, were the roads really like that already in 1950?! The answer is yes, in many places they were. 

The battle with congestion is nothing new, even in its suburban incarnation. GM naturally hailed the massive expansion of the road network and a reliance on cars as the greatest thing since sliced bread at its 1939 World's Fair at the Futurama exhibit/ride. 

From GM's 1939 World's Fair exhibit/ride Futurama
YouTube Futurama video (pt. 1/2)

YouTube Futurama video (pt. 2/2)

Decades letter, victims of our own sprawl and poor planning, we know better, or at least we should. But, apparently some things are very slow to change.

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