Today’s Post Gazette had an article on the decline of home phones, and in it, the survey showed that 86% of Americans believe that a car is a necessity. Even though I’m a regular driver, I thought the number would have been lower.
When you get out of larger metropolitan areas, I would think the number would be higher still. When I lived in South Georgia, I would wager that number to be in the high 90s. There is no public trans of any kind and nothing but sprawl. Not even good sidewalks.
Its not that Americans “believe” operating an auto is a necessity. It IS. We’ve designed a country with no other transportation. People, little kids mainly, “believe” in Santa Claus. The auto culture is embarrassingly real. How many people on this message forum drive cars? I’d wager around 86%.
yeah, 86%… and the remaining 14% live in NY, close proximity to BART, and half of Metropolitan Oregon. And Bike PGH members.
90% of all statistics are made up, distorted, or based on psychologically loaded questions. Pew’s never asked me a thing – ever. So who are they asking? I’d also be concerned for the 21% of people who don’t understand how soap, water, and a sponge work to remove detritus from dishes.
Or did they bother to define “necessity” for the respondents? Because a lot of people I encounter confuse “necessity” with “really don’t want to live without”. To be fair, they were provided with no half measure – it’s either a necessity or a luxury, nothing in between.
Probably higher than that. On this board, you might find a few percentage points lower than the general population who have zero car instead of one, or (like me) one car shared by multiple drivers.
I’m quite a ways into the ‘burbs, and I guarantee you, with the rare exception like me, there is a virtual guarantee that any trip out of the suburban house is made by car, and even to suggest doing any differently is considered heresy, at best, and taking your life in your hands and/or insanity, at worst.
Yeah, what is a “necessity”? For example, I need a computer at home for my job. I suppose that one could say that it’s unnecessary to keep my job, but I’d really prefer to do so. Same thing for the mobile phone for many people.
Having spent time in rural, isolated places with absolutely zero public transportation, I’d argue that for 86% (or some other arbitrarily large statistic) of Americans, access to a car really is necessary.