The subhead says it all:

But the author lives in Baltimore, and transit isn’t ‘robust,’ nor does she have carshare, isn’t comfortable on a bike, and the post-war city isn’t designed for much else than motordom.  The point: it’s not just about the technology, it’s about having choice.  Five of them: walk, roll, transit, taxi or, yes, drive.  And transit should have integrated choices too, from disability services to metro rail, all accessible by a single card.  Put them together, and Dharna wouldn’t need a car.

Here’s the whole article, and its conclusion:

My partner and I are going to keep our car for right now, but I wish we had no reason to. In a better world, a car wouldn’t be of much use because we’d have robust bus and train systems to get around and out of the city. Even if that’s not our present, there’s no reason that can’t be our future.

Building that future is not just about adding new technologies and building choice-serving infrastructure (though it’s about that too).   Rather, it’s how we use what we’ve got to make those choices realistic.  Like this – the School Streets pilot program, making it easier, safer and more fun for kids to travel to school:



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  1. This is a false choice. For the past 80 years our cities have been built so exclusively to suit cars, we don’t know the difference between driving and having to drive. They are in fact two very different things. There’s nothing wrong with owning a car, or heaven forfend, even driving it sometimes. They can be very handy. The problem is shaping our lives so that we can not function without one. That is also the author’s choice to live and work in areas without transit, and simply blame “poor” transit on her unwise choices. Most of us have this choice but don’t exercise it.

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