This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

In the article I linked below, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, “this is the sound of freedom we hear,” referring to the massive 18-lane highway below him.

But of course, roads are the farthest thing from freedom. They’re massive social engineering projects that tell people where to go and where not to go. The U.S. Highway System offers no more “freedom” than the average Habitrail offers your pet hamster.

This becomes very clear when watching this time lapse video of a Toronto intersection (via Streetsblog):

Scramble from Sam Javanrouh on Vimeo.

The people, the cars, the buses: they’re all moving where they’re told, when they’re told. The system isn’t as apparent when you’re sitting behind the wheel, but it’s there all the same, whether you’re on the road, on foot, or on a train. There are small differences, to be sure, in when you can leave, how long it takes to get there, etc. But they’re small when you consider the controls imposed by the overall system.

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