July/August 1994, p.2

World Traffic Report

Car Billboards "Adjacked"
A British ad campaign featuring supermodels touting the benefits of Corsa model cars has been appropriated by the local anti-car movement. Guerilla artists have redone the graphics and text on billboards, so, for example, supermodel Tatjana Patitz is now seen wearing a gas mask and sporting a sledgehammer, with the accompanying text: "Tatjana Can't Wait to Trash the Corsa All Round and Go By Bike." Car-free: hip, creative, and sexy.

Britain Scales Back Road Constructions
Britain is cutting back on its plans for road construction, even as it denies that it is reacting to pressures from environmentalists. Apparently, the ruling Conservative Party and some industrial leaders have come to realize that over-reliance on roads, to the exclusion of others forms of transport, is poor economics. Most projects to be cut will be those that cause property blight. Hardly the best way to make decisions, but any decision to cut road construction is a good one.

Swiss Truck Ban Inspires Others
As reported in the last issue, Swiss voters approved an initiative to force all trans-Alpine freight to travel by rail rather than by trucks. The move is being studied by the German state of Saxony (located in the former East Germany) with an eye towards adopting a similar measure. Saxony's economics minister asserts that state investment in intermodal transport will be less expensive than building new roads. European Community officials, who sadly see these initiatives as nothing more than restrictions on the free flow of goods, are also worried that the Czech Republic will lake similar action.

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Low Fuel Prices Boost Summer Car-Mania
Even with modestly increased taxes, gas prices have dropped 3 to 5 cents since last summer. As a result, Americans are expected to take 184 million car trips of more than 100 miles this summer, an increase of 5% from last year. Regionally, World Cup attendees, who have traditionally traveled by train between games, are expected to drive between Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Fortunately, pump prices are expected to rise as crude oil prices increase during the summer.

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