Bike Saint Paul

Some Recent CARtoons

In honor of International Car-Free Day (September 22), here’s a few recent cartoons on the subject of transportation and urban planning.

A lot of folks, including myself would like to see cities and towns get rid of parking requirements for new building construction. The goals are to reduce traffic and increase density and the supply of affordable housing. So why not combine these goals and change building codes from requiring parking to requiring low income apartments? For every two parking spaces that used to be required, you could require builders construct one low-income apartment…

 

Parking Versus Low Income Apartments

 

Sometimes I think we’re making progress on stuff like this. Other times, I think the Motorheads are more entrenched than ever…

 

No Exit Nraaa

 

For example, back in the early 1990s, our drive-thru society looked like this–

 

(no Exit) It's A Drive Thru Life!

 

We got rid of the drive-thru theaters but now many of our big protests are on freeways or freeway overpasses because it’s the only way to reach people. Similarly, poor folks rarely panhandle on sidewalks anymore because there are fewer walkers to ask for money, especially in the Midwest. Instead, panhandlers increasingly beg at highway off-ramps or big intersections because that’s were the people are. In the last 25 years, police car chases have also become a daily television spectacle in big cities like Los Angeles and on various “reality” TV Shows …and terrorists have started using motor vehicles to kill people, taking a cue from American drivers.

 

Our Drive Thru Life Version 2

 

When it comes to Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s proposal to convert half of Ayd Mill Road to a bicycle and pedestrian trail, I still see a few DOT contractors on social media arguing for more highway lanes.

 

How Many Highway Lanes Does It Take To Alleviate Congestion?

 

So, if you live in Saint Paul and haven’t done it yet, e-mail your city council member and tell them that you support the mayor’s proposal for Ayd Mill Road.

 

(no Exit) Community Garden Car

 

…And remember…

 

Bike Saint Paul

Andy Singer

About Andy Singer

Andy Singer is doing his second tour as volunteer co-chair of the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition. He works as a professional cartoonist and illustrator and has authored of four books including his latest, "Why We Drive," which examines environmental, land use and political issues in transportation. You can see more of his cartoons at AndySinger.com.

11 thoughts on “Some Recent CARtoons

  1. Elizabeth Larey

    Streets.mn has sunk to a new low, attempting to tie the NRA to cars. For someone who has no choice but to drive to Mpls when I have to go, ( no transit options where I live ) you couldn’t have insulted me more. I am one of the most anti-gun individuals in this country, having a person I was close to killed by gun violence. This was not funny in any sense of the word.

    1. Sean Hayford OlearySean Hayford Oleary

      I think you can compare advocacy organizations without comparing the utility of the actual object. Cars do kill, but it’s almost an unintended (if negligent) secondary effect; guns killing is their key purpose.

      I think Andy citing the AAA is the main unfair thing in that comic. AAA is relatively balanced as an org. What he should have called out is the National Motorists Association, which seems to be directly mimicking the style of the NRA.

      Like the NRA, they oppose life-saving legal strategies because they may theoretically chip away at the memberships’ rights. For example, NMA opposes red light cameras, school bus camera enforcement, reduced speed limits, and hands-free laws. They provide a national database of “speed traps” to help drivers evade legal consequences. And they provide guides for fighting tickets.

      The parallel to the NRA in this case seems to be almost deliberate.

    2. Andy SingerAndy Singer

      Actually, I’m tying the AAA to the NRA, based largely on the AAA’s anti-environmental and anti-transit history of lobbying. Here’s the short version from the Natural Resources Defense Council– https://www.nrdc.org/media/2000/001116
      …and a longer version that appeared in their monthly publication “The Amicus Journal”–
      http://www.transalt.org/sites/default/files/news/media/2001/010101amicus.html
      …and, lest you think AAA has reformed themselves since 2001, here’s what they’ve been up to in Oregon–
      https://www.climatesolutions.org/article/1568668871-aaa-gets-triple-f-climate-policy
      …and it was partly due to all the above history that some folks started “The Better World Club” to compete with AAA. BW keeps tabs on AAA’s atrocious environmental (and safety) lobbying record– https://www.betterworldclub.com/competition/aaa

  2. Ryan

    Andy these are great. You should frame the DOT one and send it to Tim Walz’s office, and I might as well just get the parking lot one tattooed on my back.

    Do you do any merch? I think the biking Hamm’s Bear is charming as hell and deserves to go on some shirts/water bottles/mouse pads/etc.

    1. Andy SingerAndy Singer

      Thanks, if you want high-resolution versions of any files, just e-mail me from my website and I’ll send them to you.

  3. Tim

    I’ll quibble with the parking space vs. apartment comparison a bit, in that two people in a 324 SF apartment is going to be very tight for long-term habitation. Something that can accommodate two people in any degree of comfort will be more like three and a half parking spaces (I live with one other person in a 700 SF apartment, and it’s fine, but I wouldn’t want to go much smaller).

    1. Cara Anthony

      Sure, 65% of MN households are families, but 35% are not — and with a MN average household size of 2.5 there are plenty of folks who live alone. I could see 3-4 parking spaces for a 2-person household. I lived very happily in 500 sf with my significant other for many years. Data source: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/MN

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