Long live the pedestrians. / Länge leve fotgängarna.

New tactic from our fellas across the border. Volvo pander the motorists worst enemy, the pedestrians, in their ads for a new (orange!) car. “Long live the pedestrians”? Are they making fun of us? (Enlighten me please.)

Volvo anno 2010

Anyhow, by reading more about the thoughts behind the ad, apparently they’re thinking outside the shell (literally). Some how this car detects pedestrians hidden from the drivers view while driving slowly around the city. “…driving slowly…”? I think we already found a fault. Even worse, they hope to improve the urban environment by adding this new wonderful car…

And did James Dean ever imagine he would front a Swedish car-campaign?

Nostalgic moments

Who’s street?

A street is a paved public thoroughfare in a built environment. It is a public parcel of land adjoining buildings in an urban context, on which people may freely assemble, interact, and move about. –Wikipedia

How wonderful… But wait! I hardly remember last time I moved about freely in the streets of Oslo. It seems like ages ago when I acted like the king of the road, fearing no one. And yet it was just the very early 90’s. The pedestrians were the majority, and embraced their position for a brief while.

A road’s main function is transportation, while streets facilitate public interaction.

Even with the distinction between roads and streets I cannot say todays streets meet the function they’re entitled in theory. So how would an explanation according to practice be? Probably ending somewhat like this…

(…) on which cars may freely move, people may interact where there are no cars, and all other forms of personal transport should occur elsewhere.

The streets have changed, that’s for sure. I’ve been noticing how motorists are getting less and less observant. Is it because the roads are improved and pedestrians act more careful in the city traffic? Are there simply too few obstacles? At one point, someone got too comfortable…

It’s our street, and apparently we’ll need to take it back! How can we reverse the trend?