March 20, 2000 at 12:00 am #33614
I agree that an important reason that cars are used more in North America than in Europe is the lack of good public transportation here on this side of the pond. Only in the major U.S. cities (New York, Boston, Chicago, etc.) do you find public transportation systems that even come close to rivaling the excellent systems in Europe. If you live anywhere other than a major city here, you need a car. There's no way around it, unfortunately. Let me propose another theory. In North America, especially the U.S., we have a love affair with our cars because of the freedom they represent to us. This is a huge country that was settled by pioneering people who had to travel thousands of miles to create new lives for themselves and their families. We drove wagon trains into the great unknown to make things better for ourselves or to escape tyranny and hardship. Modern Americans still have some of that pioneering spirit left inside and we like thinking that we can just pull up stakes and move across the country if we want/need to do so.