Friday Afternoon Cartoon: T-Rex Nails It on Auto-Centric Urban Design


Thank you, Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics, for this righteous and oddly poignant look at the dangers — and drudgery — caused by auto-centric urban design. Bravo, sir. You should get an honorary urban planning degree for this.

24 thoughts on Friday Afternoon Cartoon: T-Rex Nails It on Auto-Centric Urban Design

  1. So what? You could say the same thing about biking — which requires even more concentration, more physical labor, and has even worse consequences if you mess up. So in this T-Rex world, I suppose the only good options are walking and letting someone else drive.

  2. I’m cool with that. Read a piece on how to retrofit Istanbul for biking because mode share was so low. Why? Because 49% of all trips were by walking! Wanted to figure out how to integrate biking into all these pedestrian streets.


  3. What are you talking about? The only reason biking is dangerous and requires such concentration is because of cars and our bad road designs.

  4. I was reading that when you combine the deaths all over the world motor vehicles kill more people than war and famine combined, but just barely. Infectious diseases aren’t even in the same ball park.

  5. If driving is so bad, why do so many people do it (and usually manage to get to and from work and run errands without killing themselves or anyone else)? Has the average American been brainwashed by the motor vehicle and real estate industries to believe that “Real Americans” drive cars and live in suburban houses? As far as “letting someone else drive”–during rush hours this can mean “standing room only” on a bus or train, and sharing the ride with people whose standards of hygiene and/or behavior are a lot lower than ours.

  6. It’s what happens when you don’t know anything else; you think what you have is the best. Sure, riding public transit has the trade-off that you have to plan around a schedule or wait more, but the advantage is that you don’t waste your time driving because you can read, zone out, sleep, eat (on some public transit systems), etc. On Caltrain in the SF Bay Area, you can not only eat but bring alcohol … really nice to have a beer after work. You also are much less stressed because you aren’t dealing with driving.

    And your example is extreme, and even if it does happen, if we didn’t spend so many resources on the most inefficient form of transit, we could easily add enough capacity so the vast majority of public transit isn’t way overcrowded.

    The point is, it’s hard to argue that letting somebody else do the “driving” for you is inherently better for day-to-day trips. Sure, for some road trips or heading to places not served well (if at all) by public transit, cars are where it’s at. But we’re talking about the day-to-day urban grind in traffic. It’s not fun, and we only think it is because it’s all we know.

  7. No, you definitely can’t say the same thing about biking. I have never come close to falling asleep while biking, and I doubt anyone else has. And I would characterize it as exciting and freeing rather than dull and uninteresting. It’s also a lot harder to kill someone else while riding a bike than while driving a car or other motor vehicle.

  8. Because of Destruction of Bus System their is more Vehicles on the road. Its all about Ridership on Trax, FrontRunner & Streetcar so Utah Transit Authority Executives Earn their Excessive Salaries & Bonuses at Taxpayers Expense. UTA just does not get it if there was a Frequent & Convenient Bus System Trax, FrontRunner & StreetCar Ridership would Improve.

    There to be a Full Investigation into Utah Transit Authority.

  9. If you fell asleep at your handlebars, maybe you should step out of the gym or get rid of those training wheels.

    Because you are doing your biking freakishly wrong.

  10. The closest I might come to falling asleep cycling are the rare times I’m on roads where I can go for miles without stopping, and with little traffic. In such cases I tend to “zone out” a bit, meaning time seems to pass by much more quickly, but I’m still at least peripherally aware of everything going on around me. It’s sort of like my body is on autopilot so my brain is free to wander elsewhere. But fall asleep on a bike? I never heard of that happen to anyone who wasn’t either on drugs or very drunk. In those cases such a person really isn’t fit to walk, let alone bike.

  11. You do have a point–if our country’s transportation resources were more like some European countries where “petrol” is the equivalent of $8.00 a gallon, cars are taxed on a basis of engine size and tax revenues go to support the railway and transit systems, we’d probably be a lot better off. America sold its soul to Henry Ford, GM and the oil biz a long time ago, and redemption is going to be rough.
    Regarding the aspect of “fun”, I have an issue with Consumer Reports–they’re OK when it comes to quantifiable measurements of cars, such elements as stopping distance and fuel mileage, but they lose me when they bandy about more amorphous terms like “fun to drive” and “sporty handling”.

  12. This honestly very well may be the stupidest cartoon ever created in the history of the world.

  13. The bottom line is that cars represent freedom and liberty that folks can use to escape the ‘utopias’ liberals create. Why do you think all of the glorious socialist utopias need walls to keep their citizens in? It is because liberalism is unnatural and must be forced on people using the iron fist of government. That is why our glorious new socialist healthcare system has mandatory participation. Without the mandate, no one would participate.

  14. If railways and public transportation systems were actually viable, they would exist without the government confiscating private citizens earnings to create them.

  15. What happens when you factor in the 1.3 million American babies that are killed in Planned Parenthood clinics each year? I thought we had a serious, planet killing overpopulation problem we needed to deal with? Now we want to save everyone?

  16. If roads and highways were actually viable, they would exist without government confiscating private citizens earnings to create them.

  17. I dont know of any roads like that.

    Also my building doesnt have parking, can we keep the sidewalk in front of it?

  18. “Freedom and liberty” that requires hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. The gas tax doesn’t even cover half of Interstate State maintenance, let alone new construction; the rest comes from taxpayers including those who don’t drive or own cars. Glad to hear you’re so proud of being a moocher.

  19. I’ve never fallen asleep on a bicycle commute, but I’ve come pretty close on long endurance rides (15 hours+). It can happen, just not nearly as easily as it can in a car.

  20. Drivers do “manage ” to kill 35000 people in the US every year. Not to mention millions in property damage and less than fatal injuries.

  21. It would be best to save the people who we have invested years of effort into. It’s worth saving people who have had years of upbringing and education, a huge investment to try to make the world a better place.

    It isn’t worth saving a blastocyst. 50% of them abort spontaneously anyway.

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