Cars Kill Cities « Progressive Transit:
Contrary to how it may sound, I do not want to rid the earth of cars. I just want to use them smarter. Do you really need a 2-ton vehicle to pickup your dry-cleaning? Probably not. Although I do see the appeal in loading a family of 6 into an SUV and traveling to Florida for vacation. That is a totally reasonable use of an automobile. What I really want is clean, walkable, safe, affordable, and family-friendly cities and towns.
[I was just talking to my wife about the impact of living far from work and school. We have no easy solutions at the moment, but we’re thinking about what we can do…]
Source: Dave WIner
2 thoughts on “Cars Kill Cities « Progressive Transit”
In the US they time the lights so you will make them if you drive the speed limit. In many European cities they time the lights so you will miss them almost no matter how you drive. More and more pedestrian only streets so cars are inconvenienced. They are encouraging mass transit and discouraging autos. Of course their mass transit systems are light years better than ours.
Kinda sorta, thinks I. The old standard used for the suburbs of two firetrucks passing each other at 50 MPH is what makes for those wide streets, lack of sidewalks where necessary, and excessive speed from drivers feeling like they have an open road and wide curves. I’m not discounting the need for fire safety, but this seems like a lot.
But I’m sort of starting in the middle because in truth a lot of design decisions around how people were told they should want to live enter into the picture. The dream of everyone living in their own home is false economy—and I say that having grown up in a house, and other than high school, time spent in the woods, living out of my car, or the like, I’ve always lived in a single family dwelling. But I see the diseconomy of it and the expense of not living near the everyday resources we need. If we could walk Noah to school, walk or bike to work, and pick up groceries all without getting in a car… that alone would save of us 10s of thousands a year. A year. But there’s no simple solution to that for us at the moment. So we take it bit by bit.
As another example, they could take the nearly useless stop signs away from the single ended cross street near my home and replace them with some traffic furniture. It would have far greater traffic calming impact and thus would accomplish something other than annoying any one who watches car after car blow through the sign. (I admit, it’s unexpected, and therefore poorly placed. Makes me wonder who got it placed there…)