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America’s Love Affair With Great City Streets

People crave interaction with other people. Given the choice, we'll gravitate to places where we can socialize or just be in the presence of our fellow humans.

It's not in our nature to spend hours each day isolated inside a car, but for much of the 20th century we shaped our streets and cities to make driving inescapable. In a few short decades we all but designed walking out of our lives. The good news is that by now, many cities have recognized that mistake and are working to fix it. We're falling in love with our streets again.

In this Streetfilm, four American mayors talk about why they're working to make their cities more walkable, bikeable, and sociable, and you'll hear from advocates and experts who are leading the movement to reclaim streets for people.

Clarence Eckerson Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • iSkyscraper

    "He's never had a driver's license and never will."

    That's sort of a provocative tagline that will just bait the auto lobby. Besides, you know who else never had a driver's license? (Hint: rhymes with 'Robert Moses').

    Why not say something like: Clarence Eckerson, Jr. lives in NYC. A user and appreciator of all modes of transportation, he has been opening eyes since the 1990s with his fantastic media creations about the urban condition.

  • tbatts666

    I'd hate to criticize Clarence Eckerson Jr. He is one of the great heroes of the safe streets movement.

    I bike almost everywhere, and only got my driver's license recently. I am proud of that.

    But I think you have a point. By including that factoid in his bio he might be alienating people who are car dependent. Car dependent people who we need as allies in the safe streets movement.

  • tbatts666

    I love the title of this video! Thanks Clarence!! Keep up the awesome work!

  • http://www.streetfilms.org/ Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Thanks. That is the tag line in my bio I have used for nearly 10 years and these are the first comments I have ever come across. Frankly, I don't think many people actually even see the signature the bottom. :)

    My wife does drive and has a car since she needs it to commute to her job where transit doesn't run. But when she comes home she walks, bikes and uses transit for all her other trips.

    People that know me and watch the videos know while I do demonize some driver behavior and rightfully so, cars will always be needed in society even in biking and walking Utopias (there are still plenty of cars in Copenhagen and Groningen, for example).

    My sentence is the truth. I never will have a license. I just don't want one. I don't think that has ever stopped anyone from watching a video. Thanks for the feedback.