By Dom Nozzi
A revolution is occurring in the transportation field. After nearly a century of a transportation paradigm that has — as its imperative – the premise that the key to a better future is making cars happy, many are now increasingly seeing the essential need to leave that thinking behind. To beneficially transform our communities by taking the opposite approach: making people, not cars, happy.
But these oftentimes heroic transportation revolutionaries face an enormous dilemma: We have been so thorough in making cars happy for the past several decades that much of our world is designed in such a way that it is impossible to travel without a car.
Tragically, convenient, easy car travel we have bankrupted ourselves in creating is not conducive to creating safe, lovable, human-oriented, sustainable, enjoyable places that induce civic pride (indeed, it is utterly destructive of a better place to live). Those of us who have discovered this, then, are stuck with the enormous task of trying to point out that the path to a better community – to a better future – lies in doing something that at least initially, seems harmful to our happiness: inconveniencing car travel and car parking (and making car use more costly).
How do we make the following message resonate?…
“You have one way to travel, and we propose to improve your community by making that form of travel more difficult and expensive.” This is, of course, not what we actually say, but what we say is generally translated by many to be this message.
Perhaps we transportation revolutionaries are the modern-day equivalent of those who pointed out long ago that the blood-letting thought by the entire medical community to improve human health was actually HARMFUL to a person’s life…
My latest book, The Car is the Enemy of the City (WalkableStreets, 2010), can be purchased here: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/the-car-is-the-enemy-of-the-city/10905607
Visit my urban design website read more about what I have to say on those topics. You can also schedule me to give a speech in your community about transportation and congestion, land use development and sprawl, and improving quality of life.
Or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org