Should cities cater to autos or humans?CBC Radio's The Current has an interesting discussion on moves in Canada's two largest cities to facilitate commuting by bicycle. Both Toronto and Vancouver shut down a car lane on one of their main streets and turned each into two bike lanes. Not surprisingly, the move to expand transportation options has proved controversial. But as Toronto's mayor rightly pointed out, the purpose of roads is not to move cars, but to move people. I suspect Jim Kunstler would agree.
In addition to the obvious environmental and quality of life costs of society's fetish with the automobile, one of the guests points out the huge economic opportunity costs of so many cars. Expensive urban land that's devoted to ever expanding roads and parking lots is land that's not being devoted to something that produces economic wealth. So we're spending money in order to reduce the possibilities of making money.