Cars-first transportation has brought with it a veil of bogus, sponsored claims about its pristine popularity, past and present.
In reality, transportation history is much more interesting and conflictual than the powers-that-be would have you believe.
According to historian Norman Pollack’s classic book, in the 1890s, populists and labor leaders were calling for public ownership of all transportation infrastructure, including the Robber Barons’ railroads, which had, of course, originally been built by means of public giveaways of land and crucial technical assistance.
In the pivotal year of 1900, there was also this lost marvel in Los Angeles, about which DbC has just learned:
Let a thousand Silver Comet Trails bloom!
Indeed, let them be even nicer than this example, which is located, of all places, in the U.S. State of Georgia, hardly a Mecca of alternative culture! Let us have bikes-only roadways, with pedestrian paths alongside but protected by barriers! Let us have coffee and food carts and bathrooms and bookstalls and medical providers and art installations and performance venues all along their routes! And let the routes be converted not from abandoned rail lines, but from conquered and re-purposed automobile roads and highways!
Workers of the world, unite, and forge your (bike) chains! You have nothing to lose but your suburbs and oil wars and heedless, predatory overclass!