...I also worry about how to change the lane when under the "bus."
The same way you change lanes when you have a vehicle either side of you - you don't.
Because Europeans impose massive taxes on fuel. Presumably because they hate poor people.
Seeing as car-ownership amongst poor people in Europe is much lower than amongst rich people, I think you have it backwards.
And exactly where does the government 'heavily subsidise' the EVIL OIL COMPANIES?
Gee, I dunno, spending all those billions of taxpayer dollars on roads and freeways? Building a transport system that is designed for motor vehicles instead of, say, bicycles and trains?
Shouldn't oil companies (or at least their customers) have to pay for their own transport infrastructure, ie, roads?
The argument that cyclists don't pay their way is absurd - the reality is the opposite; public funding of roads is a massive subsidy from those who don't drive a car to those who do. As a cyclist I'd love a system of user-pays for roads.
The article neglects the way that the transportation infrastructure affects how much transport is needed. If you rely on cars and trucks for most transport you end up with low-density sprawl and hence a very high number of miles travelled. If you rely on trains and bicycles you end up with high-density development and hence a much lower number of miles travelled.
In other words, when comparing transport modes you can't assume that the amount of miles will be the same.
Cars are not inherently inefficient.
They are inefficient due to the amount of space they require for driving and parking. It's all that space taken up by roads and parking that stretches out the distance between travel points.
Smaller vehicles such as bicycles require much less road space and parking space, thus making cities more compact, and therefore reducing fuel consumption even for those who drive.
Regarding the US: Mass transit is fine for many but certainly not all people living in urban areas, a lot fewer people who live in the suburbs, and almost nobody who lives in rural areas. The nearest grocery store to my house is 18 miles away. Mass transit would be an extremely inefficient method of transport out here.
If you build roads and no transit you get the US-style sprawl you describe. If you build transit and only minimal roads you get high-density transit-friendly development.
The transport infrastructure "drives" the style of city you get. Build it and they come.
Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too hard to write.