Any serious reduction in American driving will require more than this — it will mean changing how and where many of us live.
To see what I’m talking about, consider where I am at the moment: in a pleasant, middle-class neighborhood consisting mainly of four- or five-story apartment buildings, with easy access to public transit and plenty of local shopping.
It’s the kind of neighborhood in which people don’t have to drive a lot, but it’s also a kind of neighborhood that barely exists in America, even in big metropolitan areas. Greater Atlanta has roughly the same population as Greater Berlin — but Berlin is a city of trains, buses and bikes, while Atlanta is a city of cars, cars and cars.
And in the face of rising oil prices, which have left many Americans stranded in suburbia — utterly dependent on their cars, yet having a hard time affording gas — it’s starting to look as if Berlin had the better idea.
According to a May 1 news release from Barbara McCann and the National Complete Streets Coalition, there are some important developments in the US House and Senate on Complete Streets bills.
Wednesday, June 4
New Albany Library
180 W. Spring St., New Albany
5 - 7 p.m.
Thursday June 5
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 – 7 p.m.
Wednesday June 11
Bon Air Public Library
2816 Del Rio Place
11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Thursday June 12
St. Matthews City Hall
3490 Grandview Ave.
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Metro Louisville Central Government Center
7201 Outer Loop
5 p.m. - 7p.m.
Peak oil talks about the amount of oil produced. It doesn't tell us anything about the future price of oil. A short paper at the Oil Drum looks at the price of "mined" commodities through their peak and decline years.
They mayor & Barry Barker took time out from the ped summit banquet to address our current situation with TARC funding.
Recall that as fuel prices rise yet occupational tax stays flat, TARC is cutting routes. For example this year they're trying to decide between two options, both of them hitting working people squarely in the chest:
It is National Bike to Work Week, and I've been hard at work co-creating a website full of bike commuter lore (bicyclingforlouisville.org/commuting). Check it out!, it's got safety videos, an online poll, a gas savings calculator, and a mailing list about bicycle commuting in Louisville.
"With the price of gas approaching $4 a gallon, more commuters are abandoning their cars and taking the train or bus instead." -nytimes article
The Ped Summit has been realized. A big round of applause for the Built Environment Committee and especially Nina Walfoort for seeing this through.
Now brace for random rambling...
During the course of the many break out sessions, I finally realized something about the "public participation process", which is the most important part of the process is not the power-point, or the brainstorming. The most important part is making lateral personal connections at water fountains and doorways. Many such opportunities arose today.
Another big advantage we had today was getting officials to sit down and listen to Mark Fenton gently nudge them in the right directions on stuff. He's good with language and speaks with experience that more insular residents of Louisville can't summon.
The TARC Board of Directors today gave tentative approval of a $68 million budget for Fiscal Year 2009 that includes a combination of fare increases and service reductions. The board considered several options for making up a $4 million shortfall resulting from rising gas prices and other costs before giving tentative approval to the budget proposal.
Under the proposed budget reviewed today, the base fare of $1.25 would increase by 10 cents and $1 million in service would be cut. The board recommended considering an increase to 25 cents and reducing the amount service that would be cut. If the fare increases to $1.50, about $500,000 in service cuts would be made.
“We don’t like increasing fares and we don’t like cutting service. It’s not the direction we want to go in,” said TARC Director J. Barry Barker. “But when you don’t have enough revenue, you have to do something.”
CART To REACT,