Saturday, December 4, 2010

Quotation for the day: Owen D. Gutfreund

[D]espite the New Deal largess, highway boosters pressed for further expansion of government programs, demanding more and better roads.  In 1937, as the next step in this relentless push, the auto industry launched the strategically misnamed Automobile Safety Foundation to promote more highway construction under the guise of safety-advocacy.  The Safety Foundation, which was funded by the Automobile Manufacturers Association, was routinely invited to testify at legislative hearings as a consumer-oriented safety group.  It also regularly put out press releases, but its testimony and press statements consistently and invariably argued that the solution to all auto-related safety concerns was the construction of newer and wider highways.

Owen D. Gutfreund, 20th-Century Sprawl: Highways and the Reshaping of the American Landscape (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) 31.

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