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Opinion: Why American motorists are walking away from automobiles

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    Opinion: Why American motorists are walking away from automobiles

    Filed under: Car Buying, Etc.
    What's Leading Us Away From Our Love Of Cars


    There are a number of signs that Americans are rethinking their century-long love affair with the automobile.
    While it was arguably a more minor occasion than the launch of the first moving assembly line, another world-changing event took place outside the old Ford Motor Co. plant in Highland Park, Michigan, 100 years ago, when Henry Ford himself dug out a spade full of dirt on what would soon become the first mile of concrete roadway in America.

    At its peak, there were more than 500 miles of rail lines running through the Motor City and its suburbs, but trolleys last ran in 1956, a situation repeated in cities across the US as more and more Americans abandoned mass transit for personal transportation, a dramatic transformation fueled, in part, by the Eisenhower Administration's Interstate Highway Act that spurred the growth of the nation's suburbs.

    Within the next year, however, a spade full of dirt will again be turned on Detroit's Woodward Avenue, this time to begin the process of laying a 3.3-mile stretch of trolley line. It's not much, but it is a sign of the times. Across the country, more and more cities are building or expanding their mass transit systems. Chicago just launched a new bike rental program, much like a wildly successful one in New York City. Meanwhile, there are a number of signs that Americans are rethinking their century-long love affair with the automobile.


    Paul A. Eisenstein is Publisher of TheDetroitBureau.com and a 30-year veteran of the automotive beat. His editorials bring his unique perspective and deep understanding of the auto world to Autoblog readers on a regular basis.

    Continue reading Why American motorists are walking away from automobiles
    Why American motorists are walking away from automobiles originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 13 Aug 2013 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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