Cars are fuelling our isolation from strangers – Guardian
Letters Fri 16 Jul 2021
In his otherwise insightful article about how our interactions with strangers have changed (Remember hand shakes and small talk? The lost art of living with strangers, 10 July), Joe Moran omits to mention another important influence: cars, and our relationship to them. In the suburban neighbourhood where I now live, it is virtually impossible to encounter the strangers who are my neighbours, apart from those immediately next door.
Almost everyone else is only ever seen stepping from their front door to their car, parked a couple of feet away in what was the front garden, driving off, and then returning later to scuttle from car to front door. Few people walk to the local shops. One 88-year-old resident I chatted to at a community event confirmed this impression. When I asked why she didn’t know as many people in the street as she had in the past, she gave a one-word answer: “Cars.”
Isabella Stone Sheffield