America has long been a car-centric country, but there is growing demand for alternate means of transportation. Walking, cycling, and public transport offer improvements for quality of life, but culture is hard to change. In the competition for public space and resources, how can communities overcome “car culture” to expand their residents’ transportation choices?
Americans may want to travel more by foot, bicycle, and public transport, but the car will remain king as long as government policy makes driving easy, and everything else hard.
Creating a pedestrian culture in our communities is possible, but it takes some creativity.
Copenhagen is famous as a cycling city. How did its city council create this world-renowned cycling culture? By making cycling the easiest option.
The prevalence of cars in the American transportation landscape is not an issue of culture. It’s the result of historical accidents and individual choices.
When we design our cities around cars and subsidize driving, we make life harder for poor residents. Not only does car-centric thinking divert attention and resources away from more affordable means of transportation, it takes up valuable space and makes housing more expensive for everyone.