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So, I’m creating a post-apocalyptic world set 97 years after nuclear war, in the former state of California, AD 2059. The Californians, compared to the rests of the wastes, have done good for themselves, creating lawful cities and towns with advanced infrastructure. Their society compares to ours at around 1880s-90s level.

A few technophiles have even gotten some cars up and running again, and use them to travel quicker in between cities. But not inside of them. Motor vehicles have been outlawed for use within city gates, so my question is, what would be a logical basis for cities in post-apocalyptic California to outlaw motor vehicles?


marked as duplicate by L.Dutch Mar 26 at 15:16

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • $\begingroup$ Ideally, you should have modified the old question and let it flow through the VTR queue (correct path: delete this Q, edit the old Q). Though not preferable, you could delete the old Q before people figure out what's going on (the SE good-behavior-automatics will count this against you). I've seen "you've asked the question again" questions closed very quickly, so I suggest you choose quickly. $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 26 at 2:48
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH: But the old one was closed? $\endgroup$ – DT Cooper Mar 26 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ Closed doesn't mean you can't edit it. Nothing stops a question from being reopened. A diamond-mod could do it with a single vote. $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 26 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH --- So, is this question a duplicate or something??? $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Mar 26 at 3:29
  • $\begingroup$ Related question: Why wouldn’t they try to re-invent automobiles? $\endgroup$ – Jasper Mar 26 at 4:30

The legal basis would depend on what kind of government they have set up. If it is similar to what exists currently, it would be "the legislature took a vote on it".

Now, you just need the logical reason why the legislature would vote that way. Three decent ones come to mind:

  1. Pollution. The oldest people California remember what it was like before the apocalypse, and some of the middle aged know what their parents told them about it. While a lot was better, they are clear that the smog was bad, and we have an opportunity to not repeat that particular mistake.

  2. Resource conservation. Motor vehicles, the parts to maintain them, and the fuel to run them are still relatively scarce. Ergo, they should only be used when they're actually needed.

  3. Traffic control and public safety. Again, the oldest people remember what it was like before... but more importantly in this case, the youngest don't. Cars are dangerous to pedestrians as is, and far more dangerous to pedestrians who aren't used to them, who think of city streets as places for walking, and maybe dodging horses and wagons. Best to keep motor vehicles out where they are unlikely to run anyone over.

Note that options 1 and 3 correspond to real-world reasons why various real-world municipalities in the present day have already banned cars, or simply designed their city centers to naturally exclude them.


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