In the wake of Tuesday’s terrorist attack against bikers and pedestrians in lower Manhattan, a BuzzFeed contributor has a solution to stopping further instances of vehicular violence: ban cars from cities.
“You can’t stop crazy. But you can reduce the number of people allowed to drive their 4,000 pound machines into city parks, along city beaches, past playgrounds, and alongside the sidewalks of the most pedestrian-packed places in the nation,” contributor Jessie Singer wrote in an opinion column. “If we banned cars from every city in the US tomorrow, we would stop vehicular terrorism overnight — and save thousands of lives.”
Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov killed eight people and injured several others when he plowed a rented Home Depot truck down a bike lane in New York City, stopping abruptly when he collided with a school bus. This form of attack has become the new normal in the West, as ISIS attacks in places such as Barcelona and London have often been a result of large vehicles ramming into crowded areas.
While President Donald Trump increases calls for extreme vetting of immigrants, Singer advocates a far different position, relating the New York City attack to the calls for gun control that resurfaced after gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas.
“The truck that was used to kill eight people on Tuesday is no different, except unlike firearms, cars are still welcomed unconditionally in every city in the US,” Singer wrote. “Gun ownership has its own constitutional guarantee — there’s no equivalent for cars — but imagine if cities embraced guns the way they do vehicles: Free gun storage outside your apartment! A designated lane in the park for concealed carriers!”
Singer was quick to point out that such a change cannot happen overnight, but added that cities around the world are becoming more and more car-free. The U.S. would be wise to adopt that model, she claimed.
“Terrorism is not predictable or preventable. But the threat of cars in cities is in our control,” Singer wrote.
“A hundred years ago, when cars first became an accessible purchase for city dwellers, and the idea of a pedestrian being killed by a car was still shocking, the City Club of New York published a ‘municipal murder map,’ which exclusively listed locations where people had been killed by cars.”
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