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How to get people out of their cars....
Written on: 24 September 2010 [17:43]
registered since: 20.07.2007
Source and complete article:
Life without a car
All of our national attempts to substantially reduce GHG will fail unless we can change the local aspects, unless we can make walking and taking transit easier than driving. And this will be possible only if the things we need and want every day are within a five-minute walk.
If this five-minute walk brings us to zones where buses and streetcars abound, then it becomes equally convenient to hop on and hop off regularly, until at some point life without a car seems like not such a bad idea.
None of this works without a balance among density, street network, frequent bus and streetcar headways, and even sensible locations for schools. Miss one of these components, and you compromise the others. Streetcar city models provide many lessons for reapplying to other newer contexts, and they impel us to protect these features in landscapes where they are threatened.
Creating new communities and retrofitting old ones for walkability and alternatives to the car will be the challenge of our time. The various monumental pathologies identified earlier have their source in what seems like a humble decision. Should I drive to get that loaf of bread, or can I walk?
That decision amplified and repeated by many millions results in impossibly overloaded freeways and ridiculously expensive and unsustainable patterns of movement. Reconstructing our urban landscapes around the five-minute walk is a key part of restoring their health.
This reminds me of an elderly woman telling me once:
"Men usually choose a home far enough from work to justify a car"
I must admit, she is right. Just stand on the side of the road for a few minutes and look at cars passing by. Most of them are unnecessarily big, over-powered or tuned in some way. Finding: We just love cars and we are addicted to them.
Written on: 01 October 2010 [21:22]
registered since: 14.08.2007
Very good points, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that buses as a form of mass transit, are part of the problem. They still burn enormous quantities of petrol, they're extremely heavy and so damage roads, and everywhere but the East & West coasts in the US (and probably other places) the population is too sparse such that the buses run empty most of the time other than commuting times in anything other than the largest cities. Electric rail is far more efficient and has it's own roads so it's not damaging bicycle and lightweight EV roads...
While necessary for adoption, advocating for more frequent buses exasperates the problem.
Walking, bicycles and eMobility should come before bus. It's hard to carry a family's worth of groceries by walking or even on the bus, though in Chicago they do it by going to the neighborhood bodega with their own personal grocery cart. Add corralling a young kiddo or two with you to the store, and even bicycling gets difficult!
Commute suck? Twike it; You'll like it!
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