164 episodes

The War on Cars is a podcast about car culture, mobility and the future of cities. We bring you news, commentary and stories about the worldwide battle to undo a century's worth of damage wrought by the automobile. The War on Cars is waged by three leading voices of the livable streets movement, Doug Gordon, Sarah Goodyear and Aaron Naparstek. Liberate your city. Enlist today in The War on Cars.

The War on Cars The War on Cars, LLC

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 847 Ratings

The War on Cars is a podcast about car culture, mobility and the future of cities. We bring you news, commentary and stories about the worldwide battle to undo a century's worth of damage wrought by the automobile. The War on Cars is waged by three leading voices of the livable streets movement, Doug Gordon, Sarah Goodyear and Aaron Naparstek. Liberate your city. Enlist today in The War on Cars.

    TEASER: Super Bowl Extra

    TEASER: Super Bowl Extra

    ***This is a preview of a Patreon-exclusive bonus episode. For complete access to this and all of our bonus content, become a Patreon supporter of The War on Cars.***
    In this bonus episode, we continue the conversation we had in Episode 120 about the car ads from Super Bowl LVIII. These two didn't air during the big game, but one is a bit on an antidote to the excess of the typical U.S. automobile commercial while the other is part of a series that ran during NFL postseason games and lots of other big televised events.
    The first, from a famous Dutch beer company, shows the world as we'd like it to be. The second, courtesy of Korean automaker Hyundai, shows the world where it might be headed.
     

    • 4 min
    Super Bowl LVIII Roundup

    Super Bowl LVIII Roundup

    In what’s become an annual tradition, we take a critical look at the car ads that aired during the Super Bowl and consider what they say about driving, culture, consumerism, and the United States… which is all the same thing, right? The big story this year is not so much which car companies chose to spend $7 million for 30 seconds of air time but which chose not to and why. (There were zero ads from the Big Three U.S. automakers; that’s the first time that’s happened in 23 years.) Still, there were still some notable commercials featuring beloved movie stars, reckless driving, and stories that tugged at our heart strings. It’s all here in episode CXX of the podcast.
    ***Support The War on Cars on Patreon and receive access to ad-free versions of all our episodes, exclusive bonus content, merch discounts, stickers, and more.***
    LINKS:
    Watch all the 2024 Super Bowl commercials. (USA Today)
    None of the Big Three U.S. automakers ran a Super Bowl ad this year. (Detroit Free Press) 
    Pick up official War on Cars merch at our store.
    Buy books by podcast guests at our Bookshop.org page. 
    Follow and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps people find us!
    This episode was recorded by Josh Wilcox at the Brooklyn Podcasting Studio. It was edited by Yessenia Moreno. Our special Big Game theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear and Michael Hearst.
    https://thewaroncars.org/
     
     

    • 41 min
    Should SUV Ads Be Banned?

    Should SUV Ads Be Banned?

    Did you ever see a car advertisement that you thought was so ridiculously irresponsible it should be banned? Well, the people at Adfree Cities, an advocacy group based in the United Kingdom, did, and they decided to do something about it. They went up against Toyota over an ad for the Toyota Hilux SUV that shows drivers ripping through sensitive natural areas and cities—and they won, getting the ad taken off the airwaves and the streets. We talked with two members of the organization, Veronica Wignall and James Ward, about how they’re tackling the auto industry’s most egregious marketing campaigns, as well as their larger mission to create “happier, healthier cities free from the pressures of corporate outdoor advertising.”
    ***Support The War on Cars on Patreon and receive access to ad-free versions of all our episodes, exclusive bonus content and stickers.***
    This episode is produced with support from Cleverhood. Listen to the episode for the latest Cleverhood discount code.
    LINKS:
    Check out Adfree Cities and their partner organization, Badvertising.
    See the Toyota Hilux ad that UK regulators deemed “had not been prepared with a sense of responsibility to society.”
    It’s not too late to register for the Winter Cycling Congress, February 22 – 24 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It will be freezing and we will be there!
    Get your merch at The War on Cars store.
    Find us on Instagram, Threads, Bluesky, Mastodon and Facebook.
    Follow and please review us on Apple Podcasts.
    This episode was produced by Sarah Goodyear. It was edited by Ali Lemer. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear.
    TheWarOnCars.org
     

    • 26 min
    TEASER: Delivering the Goods with Shawon and Fokhrul

    TEASER: Delivering the Goods with Shawon and Fokhrul

    This is a preview of a special bonus episode for Patreon supporters of The War on Cars!
     

    In the last episode of the podcast we spent some time with Baruch, Shawon, and their battery-swapping startup company, PopWheels. When I started working on that episode, I figured I was going to learn a lot about e-bikes, batteries, and the delivery app business. And I did. But over the course of more than a half dozen interviews and conversations between May and December 2023, I also learned a lot about Bangladeshi politics, immigration, and life in New York City as an e-bike delivery worker.
     
    One of my favorite interviews for this episode took place on a crisp, sunny, Tuesday morning last October. I biked out to East New York, Brooklyn to meet Shawon and his friend Fokhrul, a Bangladeshi delivery worker who uses PopWheels battery-swapping network. (Shawon and Fokhrul asked me not to use their last names because they have asylum-seeker cases working their way through the legal system). We found a park bench and spent the morning talking about the political oppression they faced in Bangladesh, their arduous, months-long journey to the United States, and what their lives are like here in New York City. It was super interesting and I enjoyed it a lot. But, as often happens with these things, only tiny bits of this conversation made it into Episode 118. So, for this special bonus episode I wanted to share more of my interview with Shawon and Fokhrul with you. I also had some fun additional bits and pieces of tape with Baruch that never made it into the last episode. So, you'll find some of that woven in here too. I hope you enjoy hanging with Shawon, Fokhrul and Baruch as much as I did.
     
    You can join us as a Patreon supporter to listen to the whole thing.

    -- Aaron

    • 11 min
    The Future of Transportation Has Arrived With Your Pad Thai

    The Future of Transportation Has Arrived With Your Pad Thai

    Baruch Herzfeld is the CEO and co-founder of PopWheels, where he is working to develop New York City’s first e-bike battery-swapping network. PopWheels aims to solve the growing problem of e-bike battery fires. The company believes that giving e-mobility users a quick, convenient, and safe way to recharge their batteries is absolutely essential to pushing gas-burning cars and trucks out of cities once and for all. But Baruch’s really big idea is this: He is betting that the light, clean, electric transportation fleet of the future is already up and running on the streets of New York City. And it isn’t being brought to us by Big Tech, Big Auto or Elon Musk, it is being driven by tens of thousands of immigrant e-bike delivery workers. What if there is a high-tech urban mobility revolution happening right under our noses, but we can’t see it because the people who are bringing it to our city are mostly invisible to us?
    ***Support The War on Cars on Patreon and receive access to ad-free versions of all our episodes, exclusive bonus content and stickers.***
    See The War on Cars LIVE at Caveat on NYC on Wednesday, January 31st. In-person tickets are sold out but you can still catch the livestream! 
    LINKS:
    Baruch Herzfeld’s battery-swapping company, PopWheels: Stop Charging, Start Swapping
    Mayor Adams Launches Lithium-ion Battery-Charging Pilot for Delivery Workers to Safely Charge in Public, NYC.gov, December 5, 2023
    When will NYC do something about e-bike fire deaths? Nicole Gelinas for the New York Post, November 19, 2023
    F.D.N.Y. Commissioner Blames E-Commerce Giants in Deadly Battery Fires, by Michael Rothfeld for the New York Times, November 13, 2023
    E-bike charging stations coming to NYCHA in wake of deadly lithium-ion battery fires, New York Daily News, June 25, 2023 
    Opinion: E-bike Battery Regulation Isn’t Anti-immigrant or Anti-worker. It’s Common Sense. By Baruch Herzfeld in City Limits, November 14, 2022
    Brooklyn’s Bicycle Man Uses Two Wheels To Bring Hasids and Hipsters Together, by Nathaniel Popper for The Forward, August 29, 2009
    *****
    Register for the Winter Cycling Congress, February 22 – 24 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It will be freezing and we will be there!
    Get your merch at The War on Cars store. 
    Find us on Instagram, Threads, Bluesky, Mastodon and Facebook. 
    Follow and please review us on Apple Podcasts.
    This episode was reported, produced and edited by Aaron Naparstek. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear.
    TheWarOnCars.org!

    • 37 min
    Fixing America's Car Culture with David Zipper

    Fixing America's Car Culture with David Zipper

    Happy New Year! We’re kicking off 2024 by bringing you our conversation with David Zipper, one of the hardest-working analysts on the transportation scene today. You may be familiar with David from his writing at Bloomberg CityLab, Slate and Fast Company, where he relentlessly covers road safety, climate change, and the future of micromobility. 
    We talked with David about the excesses of the auto industry, our road fatality crisis, the absurd way speed limits are determined on American streets, and whether we might ever be able to swap out our bloated SUVs for electric golf carts. Or if that’s too much to ask, will cities at least start charging people more for driving massive glacier melters?
    LINKS:
    You can find out all about David Zipper’s work, along with links to his writing, at his website.
    See David on NBCDFW’s excellent series about why Dallas is such a deadly place to drive.
    ***Support The War on Cars on Patreon and receive access to ad-free versions of all our episodes, exclusive bonus content and stickers.***
    This episode is produced with support from Cleverhood. Listen to the episode for the latest Cleverhood discount code.
    See The War on Cars LIVE at Caveat on NYC on Wednesday, January 31st. Tickets are going fast!
    Register for the Winter Cycling Congress, February 22 - 24 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We will be there!
    Buy official War on Cars merch at our store. 
    Find us on Bluesky, Mastodon, Instagram, Facebook and Threads.
    Follow and review us on Apple Podcasts. 
    This episode was recorded by Josh Wilcox at the Brooklyn Podcasting Studio. It was edited by Ali Lemer. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear.
    TheWarOnCars.org
     

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
847 Ratings

847 Ratings

Firejoeman ,

Best Urbanist Podcast… or any kind

I look forward to new episodes of this podcast. They always have thoughtful and nuanced arguments and they make it interesting.

nogracias77 ,

Great pod, even in the early days

Listening to the early episodes 4 years later is a reminder of how progress often is slow but also how big things can be done with consistent effort.

mspassell ,

55457 stars!!!!

Why hello, I also hate cars. The War On Cars makes me hate them more! Academic, philosophical and funny. They take fun creative risks, too.

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