Yesterday’s New York Times article on Europe’s efforts to shore up transportation alternatives at the expense of driving stirred up a lot of conversation around the net – including right here on The Source. Our informal poll asking readers whether the agree with European transportation policy racked up over 170 votes since it was posted.
The overall feedback from readers? The majority (72%) agree that it’s worth inconveniencing the private car to encourage more alternatives.
A smaller percentage (26%) think that we should invest in more transportation alternatives – but not at the expense of cars. Of course, that begs the question: is it possible to make alternatives attractive when policy makes driving super convenient?
Only 2% feel that the U.S. way is the automobile, and it’s best to leave it that way.
Of course, our readership is biased – according to our Reader Survey, over 70% of our readers are regular transit riders. Opinions may vary on L.A. hot rod enthusiast blogs.
The poll is still open, so please feel free to add your two cents. And after the jump, a few highlighted comments from readers.
Y Fukuzawa thinks that the argument forgets one important element: not-quite cars, aka scooters and motorcycles.
Why is it that these articles always suggest a black-and-white approach of cars vs public transit? Why not take a step-by-step approach to help get people off of cars for their daily lives and instead, use something more cost efficient like a motorcycle or scooter before going to an all public transit model?
In response, The Dude Abides links to this video of some wild scooter traffic in Taipei:
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Connor Gilliland thinks there needs to be another option in our poll because he doesn’t feel cars should be inconvenienced with hostility (as the Times article put it) but only if it serves to improve transit.
The goal here should be, not to directly hurt traffic as an intention, but to improve transit, with a possible side effect of affecting traffic because it then means transit can be maximized. Not prioritizing transit over cars would be the wrong approach and yet that is what LA has been doing for decades despite already having thousands of miles of paved roads and a colossal freeway network.