Roland Dürre
Thursday January 31st, 2013

For Free: Eight Work Days …

I am sitting in my office. The spring sun is pouring in and the window is open. A copy of the Motorwelt magazine found its way to my desk.

Here is some information for all those nerds who do not know it: the ADAC is Germany’s most important association. It is the car drivers’ association. With 18 million members, it is the second biggest automobile club of the world (after the US’s  AAA). The “Moborwelt” is the monthly tabloid and central organ of the ADAC.

Formerly, the ADAC was mainly the lobbyist of the “car-drivers’ community”. Today, the ADAC is an organisation that mainly tries to get hold of their members’ best: the money. One of the means to this end is the “Motorwelt”. Through numerous adverts, it tries to seduce the ADAC members (and others) into buying marge-strong “special bargains” (often from highly profitable ADAC subsidiary enterprises).

The focal topic of the current edition (No. 2, February 2013) is “TRAFFIC JAMS”. It demands massive investments for extending the road system.

Here are a few citations from the magazine:
“Germany needs an all-enveloping street modernization program.”
As early as the title page, we are informed that:

“Nothing but TRAFFIC JAMS – 595,000 kilometres of cars standing in line – chaos on German streets.”

On page 20, I read:
“Et an average, every German citizen spends eight work days each year sitting in a traffic jam”.
And a little later:
“Citizens and the economy suffer from street conditions getting worse and worse. The politicians witness the strong increase in traffic but do nothing about it.”

For me, this is again something that stuns me. Because I believe we in Germany have more serious problems than the condition of our streets (education, demographic data, society, climate, …). In my opinion, the chaos is not caused by the standstill, but by all this mobility. To me, it seems that not only the German car drivers, but also the citizen “with foreign roots” is stuck. I am in favour of a soft but constant reduction and de-emotionalisation of individual traffic.

And speaking of myself, I am glad to no longer belong to the species “German car driver”. After all, I won eight work days, didn’t I? And when I also take into consideration how many hours the ”German car driver“ spends not sitting in the traffic jam and instead having to work behind the steering wheel, I feel truly happy. Some way or other, I seem to save a lot of time and energy. And then I can use some of what I saved for writing an IF blog article.

(Translated by EG)

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