From the Voice of San Diego, 06.17.07:
Traffic. It affects all of us, every day, either because we're wasting our lives away commuting on the concrete mausoleums we call freeways, or because our elected officials are squandering our precious "transportation" tax dollars on highway widening instead of investing more heavily in mass transit. What's it going to take to get us out of our cars? (Read more.)This article by environmental attorney Marco Gonzalez is primarily directed to the local audience, dealing with specifics of the San Diego region. But the argument against auto-dependent transportation can be made in any community: highway construction doesn't ease traffic congestion, yet destroys habitat, encourages sprawl, and traps people in cars. My joke has been: Building freeways to fight traffic congestion is like building cemeteries to fight a pandemic disease.
Enhancing alternative transportation modes--like transit, walking, and bicycling--is the best strategy for fighting traffic congestion. Having these modes as the priority is also the best way to encourage more livable communities rather than sprawl.
The environmental and social costs of an automobile-dependent transportation are many. In addition to the to the costs indicated in this article, I discussed some other detrimental impacts of car culture on a recent episode of Radio Parallax.
Image: Web capture.
Visit: San Diego County Bicycle Coalition
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips Site