Are cars so last century?

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If you’re tired of seeing more and more of the planet paved over, and those surfaces clogged with oversize, inefficient vehicles that leak oil, pollute the atmosphere, disrupt the climate, and kill and maim people by the thousands, you are not alone.

And in some places, the whole car thing has gotten so tiresome that they are just closing up the roads, and saying, find another way, people! And guess what? People find another way, and adapt.

London, of course, has done this by imposing fines on cars that drive into the city. In Seoul, South Korea, they’ve done it by turning their freeway into a park. Individuals everywhere are choosing to live without a car, or switching to ZipCars or the occasional rental for their transport needs.

I have this fantasy that someday soon we’ll have tiny one or two passenger electric vehicles that are simply parked at every corner, just like some cities now provide free bicycles. Or maybe they’ll be parked at some central spot, and come when you call, guided by their own internal GPS. You could punch in the address of your destination, and the vehicle would take you there, safely, while you read or relax or talk on the phone. They’ll be part of the infrastructure, just like roads or trains. Then everyone can get where they’re going, we won’t have to deal with the safety issues of little cars vs. monster SUVs, we won’t have millions of cars spending 95 percent of their time sitting around in a parking spot, and we can get over this silly and wasteful obsession with automobiles.