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SUMMER SPECIAL: Meet Mr. Barricade

The War on Cars

Release Date: 08/31/2021

Return of the Vermonter show art Return of the Vermonter

The War on Cars

On July 19, 2020, Amtrak restarted passenger rail service on its Vermonter line after a 16-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You wouldn’t necessarily think that this would be all that big of a deal. The Vermonter runs just one train per day in each direction between Washington, D.C., and St. Albans, a small town near the Canadian border. This train is kind of slow, frequently late, and only serves 100,000 passengers a year — a drop in the bucket compared to nearby Interstate highways. And yet, in the village of Bellows Falls, the return of the Vermonter was cause for major...

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The E-Bike Radicalization of Jessica Valenti show art The E-Bike Radicalization of Jessica Valenti

The War on Cars

Jessica Valenti, the noted feminist writer, was curious about e-bikes. So, as one does, she posted a question about them to Twitter. Thus began her path to radicalization. After buying an e-bike of her own, she quickly found how life-changing it was — a not uncommon feeling among the converted. A lifelong New Yorkers, Jessica found that riding an e-bike changed her perspective on the city and offered her new insight on being a woman in public space. In this spirited and far-reaching conversation, Jessica talks about e-bikes as vehicles of feminist empowerment, means of escaping harassment...

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SUMMER SPECIAL: Meet Mr. Barricade show art SUMMER SPECIAL: Meet Mr. Barricade

The War on Cars

This episode was originally released as a . for bonus episodes, early releases and more. Combine a deep love of cities and urban planning with a penchant for wearing stylish suits, smooth dance moves set to Swedish rap music and a curious fascination with drainage and what do you get? Mr. Barricade, an unlikely TikTok star. Vignesh Swaminathan, who runs his own engineering and design firm in California, has built a huge following on the video-sharing platform based on his unique ability to explain everything from how protected intersections work in busy downtowns to the ongoing impacts...

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SUMMER SPECIAL: Being Gary Fisher, the Interview show art SUMMER SPECIAL: Being Gary Fisher, the Interview

The War on Cars

To celebrate the last days of summer, we're re-releasing our Patreon special interview with the man who introduced the world to mountain biking: Gary Fisher. Sarah talks with Gary about his sometimes psychedelic autobiography, . We also got his opinions on the failed promise of the automobile, the bike boom of the late '70s, and what the world can learn from COVID about building better streets. 

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TEASER: Going Viral With Tom Flood show art TEASER: Going Viral With Tom Flood

The War on Cars

Tom Flood used to work in the ad industry in Toronto on campaigns for clients in the auto industry. Today he's a bit of a rebel and uses the power of social media and smart video editing to poke fun at car companies and the kind of commercials that often glorify reckless driving.   If you've ever seen commercials for cars like the Dodge Carger then you'll appreciate what Tom does. He takes those amped-up ads and edits in images of his cute kids riding their bikes, making the point that fast cars don't exist in the fantasy world of Madison Avenue but on real avenues and streets shared...

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A Word From Our Listeners show art A Word From Our Listeners

The War on Cars

We held our very first War on Cars Meetup in Brooklyn a few weekends ago. We actually started planning this event almost two years ago but, you know... a global pandemic kind of got in the way. After so many months of relative social isolation it was great to gather in person, see old friends, meet new friends, and talk with so many of our passionate, dedicated listeners. Part of what was special about the Meetup was its location. Not very long ago, if you had tried to host a social gathering in the middle of Vanderbilt Avenue, you’d have gotten squashed by a speeding car. In 2006, New York...

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TEASER: Way Too Many Tech Bros show art TEASER: Way Too Many Tech Bros

The War on Cars

It sure was a busy week for our transportation tech bro overlords. Elon Musk announced a deal to build another one of his car tunnels beneath the waterlogged streets of Fort Lauderdale, Florida while also admitting that, “haha” the self-driving cars he’s been promising for years aren’t going to happen any time soon. Malcolm Gladwell launched the new season of his “Revisionist History” podcast with an episode that comes across like a demented advertorial for robot cars. And a tech bro named Jason Crawford spent the better part of a day arguing on Twitter that "cars are one of the...

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God Help Us, It’s Really Infrastructure Week show art God Help Us, It’s Really Infrastructure Week

The War on Cars

Breaking News! Following weeks of negotiations, and as a mind-boggling heat wave settled on the Pacific Northwest, President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of ten Senators stepped out of a closed-door meeting at the White House to announce they’d made a deal. There will be infrastructure! $579 billion worth of it, in fact. The biggest federal investment in infrastructure in more than a hundred years and, according to President Biden, the 21st century equivalent to our historic investments in the Interstate Highway System and the transcontinental railroad. But if you’re a tad skeptical...

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The One Where They Go Back to the Studio show art The One Where They Go Back to the Studio

The War on Cars

We’re vaxxed and we’re back. In this very special reunion episode, Sarah, Doug and Aaron return to the studio for the first time in fifteen months. Fifteen months! The COVID-19 pandemic has been a wild, earth-shattering, world-historic event with far-reaching implications for The War on Cars and pretty much everything else. We revisit some of our predictions from the beginning of the lockdown, take stock of what has changed and what has not, and chatter nervously about the lack of ventilation in the studio. Plus: We review Ford’s new, multi-ton. all-electric, pickup truck, the F-150...

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TEASER: Building LEGO Cities with Sean Kenney show art TEASER: Building LEGO Cities with Sean Kenney

The War on Cars

***This is a quick preview of a bonus episode. for access to the complete episode and all our exclusive content. Plus, we'll send you stickers!*** Sean Kenney, one of the voices in is an artist and self-described “professional kid” who designs and creates amazing sculpture and other works of art using nothing but LEGO pieces. Sean provided the original episode with a highly informed perspective on Lego’s history and design choices over the years. In this extended conversation , Sean explains why he moved his family — as well as his enormous LEGO collection — from Brooklyn to...

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This episode was originally released as a Patreon exclusive. Become a Patreon supporter of The War on Cars for bonus episodes, early releases and more.

Combine a deep love of cities and urban planning with a penchant for wearing stylish suits, smooth dance moves set to Swedish rap music and a curious fascination with drainage and what do you get? Mr. Barricade, an unlikely TikTok star. Vignesh Swaminathan, who runs his own engineering and design firm in California, has built a huge following on the video-sharing platform based on his unique ability to explain everything from how protected intersections work in busy downtowns to the ongoing impacts of redlining and segregation. Doug talks to Vignesh about his viral videos, tricks for successfully fighting racism online and the power of TikTok to help people see and experience their streets and communities in new ways.

SHOW NOTES:

Follow Mr. Barricade on TikTok.

Learn more about Crossroad Lab, Vigesh Swaminathan’s engineering and urban design firm.

Read all about Vignesh in the San Jose Mercury News.

Pick up official War on Cars merch at our store.

Receive 20% off the purchase of stylish rain gear for walking and cycling from our friends at Cleverhood by entering code WARONCARS at checkout.

Buy books from podcast guests and check out The War on Cars reading list at Bookshop.org.