Saturday, March 14, 2015

Putting the driving increase "in perspective"

Driving those devilish motor vehicles is increasing in the US again. The folks at Streetsblog are desperately trying to spin the reality shown in the graph above:

Phineas Baxandall, a researcher with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, says the increase needs to be put in perspective: This doesn’t look like a return to historical driving trends. Prior to about 2005, traffic rose at a fairly steady rate, with some fluctuation around recessions. But this latest increase doesn’t signal a return to that path of constant growth — the kind that has been continually used to justify highway projects.

Yes, just because people are driving more than ever, why should they need highways?

When this story was posted on SF Streetsblog, it got no comments from its apparently disheartened readers.

The Great Recession is the only thing that slowed this "historical driving trend" down.

And it's an international trend. 

Streetsblog has always had a hard time dealing with transportation reality. Their story on how the Chinese are giving up their bikes and buying cars caused some gloom in Anti-Car Land. 

They like to talk about transportation choices, but when people choose cars the "perspective" spin is frantic.

Also see The Antiplanner on the subject.

Labels: ,


At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's really creepy about the Anti-car crowd is how many of them actually own and use cars themselves. I have "anti-car" friends get away with claiming to be "car free" because the car is "registered in their wife's name", or "they HAD to buy a car because their children attend a school on the other side of the city", etc. etc. Also, I attended some of the Polk Street meetings and MTA officials were seen showing up IN CARS. I just cannot figure the anti-car crowd's reason for the hate. Is it because they want the roads all to themselves so when they drive "their wife's car" they will have less traffic from the rest of us?

At 11:20 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

No, it's because they're in the grip of an ideology that's fashionable among planners and their fellow travelers, so to speak, in other disciplines. Cars, oil, sprawl and suburbs, the shortcomings of public transportation, etc., are all to be cured by bicycles, trains, and smart(sic) growth.

But when you take a close look at their proposed projects---bike lanes for a small minority on busy city streets, a crushingly expensive high-speed rail project and trains in general, dense development, and anti-carism in general either these proposals are too expensive or have little popular support.

Many people like the mobility cars provide---many with families even find it essential---they like having a home in the suburbs, and they don't want to start riding a bike.

It's all about a widespread intellectual fad that is already fading as it's forced to come to grips with reality.

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home