Traffic Life : Passionate Tales and Exit Strategies
Edited by Stephan Wehner
An Anthology
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 72        Declaration of the Right to Walk and Roll  women's suffrage, concepts the signers may not have en- visioned. The Declaration of Sentiments was condemned by many; it mimicked the Declaration of Independence and in so doing was seen to trivialize a revered past social and political revolution. In hindsight, nearly everyone in the U.S. now accepts and takes for granted the truth and right of what both documents say.       Inspired by this example of what can be accomplished- monumental progress in social consciousness through ar- ticulating and defending a right not previously committed to writing and using the document to overcome opposition by itemizing the abuses of a little respected right and ap- pealing to the profoundly convincing core belief in human freedom and dignity...    IN AUSTIN, TEXAS, MARCH 22, 1997       We, the members of WALK Austin do             now unanimously make this   Declaration of the Right to Walk and                             Roll        When in the course of human events, it becomes neces- sary for one portion of the family of humankind to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied in recent memory, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature's God enti- tle them, a decent respect to the opinions of others requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.       We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all human beings are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to se- cure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever
                         WALK Austin                          73  any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new govern- ment, laying its foundation on such principles, and orga- nizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, in- deed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accord- ingly, all experience has shown that humankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves, by abolishing the forms to which they are ac- customed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpa- tions, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to reform or throw off such government, and to provide new safeguards for their future security. Such has been the pa- tient sufferance under this government of the men, women, boys and girls not in motor vehicles, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal sta- tion to which they are entitled.    The history of city-building since the takeover by auto- mobiles earlier in this century is a history of repeated in- juries and usurpations on the part of a partly callous, partly thoughtless, partly shortsightedly 'modernist' controlling majority in positions of power in government, design, con- struction, and industry, particularly automotive manufac- turing and retail, and the press, toward people in cities who are not in motor vehicles, having in direct object the estab- lishment and proliferation of an absolute proscription from streets and roadways of people inconvenient to speeding motor vehicles. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world:       This controlling majority has never acknowledged      or permitted pedestrians to exercise the inalien-      able right to walk and roll in safety and comfort      along and across all streets.      It has compelled pedestrians to submit to laws      and designs, in the formation of which they have

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