by Kaid Benfield, via NRDC’s Switchboard
As most readers know only too well, the US pales by comparison to the rest of the world when it comes to getting around by anything other than single-occupancy cars. Starting in the 1950s, we fell in love with spread-out living and with automobiles in a way that other countries didn’t, at least not to the same degree. (Even Canadians and Australians don’t drive as much as we do.) We soon simply (and wrongly) assumed that everyone could and should drive to do most anything, and built our suburbs accordingly, guaranteeing that the trend would perpetuate.
Slowly but surely, the trend is now beginning to reverse as the hot markets are in downtowns and walkable neighborhoods, with the ones having good transit service commanding the highest premiums on a per-square-foot basis. But we have a long, long way to go.
(Disclosure: As my enviro colleagues know, I am not a purist on these matters. I have a very nice car, thank you very much, and I happen to love it. But I am also fortunate to live somewhere that allows me to leave it parked much of the time. I get to choose ...