Although I have been driving for 10 years I never was a fan of urban driving. Driving in Bucharest is in my opinion the worst case of urban driving. With average speeds of 11 km/h it is in my opinion a waste of energy , fuel and time (and mental sanity ).
Still every morning when I go to work and every evening I return home I go past hundreds of mostly stopped cars that struggle to get somewhere. They accelerate to high rpm 20 m before the traffic lights only to hit the brakes violently at the lights. No car was designed to run like this whatever manufacturer it was.
People seem to have lost their minds in this city. I have seen plenty of 200 H.P. cars ans SUVs blocked in traffic. I have heard of people actually fighting in traffic or for a parking spot. This is insane.
Still on the bike paths I can only find myself and maybe 10 other cyclists during my commute. My commute takes about 35 minutes for 9km (about 6 miles) and I do listen to my MP3 player. I have heard of people needing 2h for the 9 km in question.
Is it all about social status ? I guess it is . Whenever I get to work during breakes all I hear is cars , cars and more cars. I have been a reader of car magazines (http://www.auto-motor-si-sport.ro/) for 10 years and I know more about cars than most people .
Still the hype around cars is huge and beginning to upset me. Do people really imagine they can truly use a 242 H.P. Audi A6 on the streets of a crowded capital at rush hour ? Sure you can hit it on the highway at 120 Mph or on other national roads but in the city this is insane. Nonetheless I thought so too when I was younger .. and less mature.
Well it is their money after all and I really could not care less except that they will be polluting my air , destroying my health in a city that is already polluted.
Here are my incity vehicles (the one in the background is my wife's but I use it in Bucharest , the other is my touring machine (about 2500 km and several metric centuries on it) that I use in my hometown.
Do people really think a man is worth less if he is not driving all the time ? Do people really need to carry a briefcase and themselves (for a total of 80 kgs ) using a 1200 kg car ?
I stand by these guys when it comes to cars and they do make sense to me.
PS: I wonder what would have happened if it weren't for the economic downturn ?
“Before you speak, listen. Before you write, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you invest, investigate. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try. Before you retire, save. Before you die, give.”