People believe that the car is an efficient and economical mode of transportation. By calculating the effective speed of the car it appears that this believe is false.
Over the past fifty years the car has dominated the Dutch physical and imaginary landscape. More than 3 percent of the land area in the Netherlands is covered by roads (adding up the surrounding area that is affected (air quality, noise, nature) the space that roads take up rises above than 10%), people are spending more and more hours in the car and many cannot imagine having to do without it.
We think that the car due to its speed saves time. But when you are traveling by car, you not only lose the time it takes to go from A to B. You also have to work many hours to pay your car tax, insurance, maintenance and fuel. Moreover, you spend many hours in traffic jams and it often takes some time before you find a proper parking lot. Let alone the costs to society (medical care, construction and maintenance of roads, police, air pollution, etcetera).
The effective speed is calculated on the basis of the price of the car (costs per kilometer) and income (nett income). The amount of hours you have to work to drive your car (taxes, insurance, fuel, etcetera) is added to the average speed of a car driver in the Netherlands. (35 km/hour - 20 miles/hour)
Ivan Illich (1926 - 2002) was a philosopher, priest, and historian who looked at the modern world with a critical eye.
According to him, the modern world is defined by mighty institutions that make the individual dependent and give her/him a feeling of impotence.
Because a lot of money is invested in the acceleration of transporation, the distances between facilities increase. People cannot do without a car to go to a hospital or a shop. This is what Ivan Illich calls the "radical monopoly" of fast transportation.
The human being becomes a slave to the car. Instead of helping the human being in getting somewhere faster, it obliges the individual to use the car more often and longer.
According to Ivan Illich the individual has to live this myth, even though the car never delivers the time savings it promises.