Wednesday, October 18, 2017

“The end of walking”

“There are vast blankets and folds of the country where the ability to walk — to open a door and step outside and go somewhere or nowhere without getting behind the wheel of a car — is a struggle, a fight”: Antonia Malchik writes about “The end of walking” (Aeon).

[Found via Daughter Number Three.]

comments: 3

Chris said...

Mike Wallace's Greater Gotham, just out, has an interesting chapter on the advent of the automobile in New York City. Beginning in 1901, he writes, "motorists killed about a thousand children as they played in the streets." Public opinion was initially hostile towards motorists, who were largely wealthy, but as motoring expanded into the middle class opinion shifted; the Times "began blaming pedestrians for accidents and urging mothers to keep their children on the sidewalks." Motorists were successful, for a while, in opposing laws criminalizing leaving the scene of an accident, arguing that forcing the driver to stay was unconstitutional, as it amounted to self-incrimination.

Michael Leddy said...


When we had a (winning) fight against the construction of a local “thoroughfare” (that would have saved cars about forty-five seconds of driving time), I brought up Vincent Scully’s distinction between “town speed” and “highway speed.” Elaine and I are anomalies every time we’re on foot.

Michael Leddy said...

Or it might have been Robert Venturi’s distinction. But looking for it now, after reading an obituary for Vincent Scully, I find no source for these terms.