The political costs of driving.


Around one out of five people in this city move by car, but it often seems like politicians cater specifically to this minority of commuters when it comes to promises and spending.

After all, the two things Obrador will be remembered for as Mayor of Mexico City will be the elevated ring road and the elderly pension program he created... out of hundreds of things he did. My new mayor isn’t any better either. Although she ran, alike pretty much everyone, on reducing congestion and improving public transportation, she also ran on giving drivers more “freedom”


Which means that Mexico City doesn’t have speed cameras anymore, and in January illegally parked cars won’t be clamped anymore, nor will we ever need to take a driver’s test (even if it was scheduled to begin) in order to get a license. In this month alone four cyclists were killed by rouge drivers here... Not sure that de-regulating driving is helping.

Specially since driving a car inside a city is fucking horrible for everyone. They take up lots of space, the use way too much fuel, and they are antisocial in pretty much every way. Why is this mayor giving us more rights? We’re a minority that uses the most resources to do the least!

Maybe it has to do with the fact that if you own a car, you might have a lot more time to go and check out what candidates offer you, and since one of our most controlable sources of stress is our morning commute, politicians can really milk that fact: It’s a lazy way to earn votes since typical automotive infrastructure is a lot cheaper than public transportation infrastructure.

Raising the speed limit from 50 to 70km/h, what will that do? Nothing! Your commute will shorten by like five minutes at best. But when you can’t do it you feel like you must do it. That visceral feeling that if it weren’t for that one thing (speed limit, lane, pothole, whatever) you’d be able to get home faster... that’s where they clamp on to.


But in the end it explains why protests occur the way they do. I always complain about them for making my commute longer, but truthfully I get it now. For a year no one cared about the parents of a school with structural damage, yet they stopped the flow of the aforementioned ring road for three hours (only three hours) and they cut a deal with the government on the very same day. Three fucking hours got them what a year of requests didn’t.

which is kind of sad... 20% shouldn’t be the people that matter to politicians.

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