The car has been a symbol of the American mainstream culture since it’s prominent introduction to our society by Henry Ford with his mass-produced Model T, a car built for the masses. From the numerous countertops, hotels, and souvenir stands that dot the scenic landscape of Route 66 to cars speeding their way down the elevated West Side Highway the effects of the car culture although initially meant to be positive have come with more than monetary costs to our planet, and the United States with externalized costs from the social implications to the environmental crisis we are facing due to the production and disposal of the automobile.
The car has provided us with benefits throughout its presence within the mainstream American culture, and our daily lives. In the mainstream American culture the car gave way to access to some of our most inaccessible natural spaces for the enjoyment of the American public who could afford an automobile. National recreation areas stretching from the Atlantic Coasts far out from New York City, on the South Shore of Long Island, to National Parks in states as north as Maine, and as west as Arizona, and California have been personally accessible to me because I was doing an internship/program or traveling with family to access these areas. My time in these areas where I was able to find peace away from the city was made accessible with a vehicle.
The automobile also gave way to the expansion of art deco architecture throughout cities that were made inaccessible by public transportation from the architecture of heavily driven Mi...
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...se of cars has caused national, state, and local governments to allocate exponential amounts of tax payer dollars in order to maintain our nations road system leaving insignificant amounts of money to be used to provide mass transportation. One negative aspect of driving is that the dependence on cars undermines our transportation system. Kay documents the ordeal of Alice Furlaud returning to her area of residence in New England from a summer abroad in Europe where she states “we waited, standing up, for an hour in the Peter Pan bus terminal it was cold. The same sense of rural America as a place where people without cars have a shadowy shamefaced existence pervaded her arrival.” (Kay, p.27, 1997) Americans are so disconnected from mass transportation that there is now a stigma about the individuals that are forced to take mass transit. In New York City there is less
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