Multi-modal planning to break the pattern of automobile dependency.


“Many current planning practices reinforce a cycle of increased automobile use, more automobile-oriented community redevelopment, and reduced mobility options. There are good reasons to break this pattern.”

What I like about this piece is the way Litman refutes the familiar and shrill “either-or” war-on-cars paradigm by which car-centrists tend to frame the debate.

Multi-modal planning is nothing more than redressing an unsustainable and counter-productive imbalance. As Bluegill noted elsewhere yesterday:

Drivers are often very quick to point out proportionality when they think they pay for all the streets and roads. I like to hook them up with actual facts and then ask which half or so of street space they prefer so other users can have the other half.

It’s important reading.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be walking downtown to get my hair cut.

Breaking the Cycle of Automobile Dependency, by Todd Litman (Planetizen)

… People sometimes misrepresent these issues, implying that the alternative to automobile dependency is a car-free transport system, but in most cases the best system is multi-modal, in which people use the most appropriate option for each trip: walking and bicycling for local errands, public transit on major travel corridors, and automobiles when they are truly most efficient overall, considering all impacts. Multi-modal planning ensures that everybody, including people who cannot, should not, or prefer not to drive receive their fair share of public investments in transport facilities and services …