From pre-car cities to post-car cities

It looks like our friend Brian (AKA Indiana Hickey) is out of town, in Jordan this time.

Good time to mention Jennifer Keesmat, who just stepped away from her role as Toronto’s Chief Planner. Brian is not one of her fans. She is an opponent of cars in cities and Brian is a car guy.

Personally, I am pleased to be able to remain in contact with Keesmat’s ideas, thanks to her active Twitter account and her podcast channel.

I am even more pleased to see her tweet, “I have every intention of coming back.” 😉

From Keesmat’s Twitter feed, here’s an informative summary of 7 Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free. Madrid is on the list, and that stuck me as significant, because Brian was very impressed by what that city has done for its car drivers. He described a massive 5-year tunnelling project that produced a marvel of modern autoroutes. Poor, bumbling Toronto cannot even dream of such an accomplishment. We are still too backward.

The Madrid example, and others on the list of 7, underscore the need to address urban congestion on many fronts, not simply by crudely clubbing car drivers while providing crappy transit alternatives.

As a 72 year-old, I am resigned to the possibility that I may not outlast Toronto’s prolonged adolescence, but I am glad to know that people like Keesmat are still going to help us through this immature period.

3 thoughts on “From pre-car cities to post-car cities”

  1. For the record, I respect car drivers’ dissatisfaction with half-baked road-sharing infrastructure changes as they are often implemented in Toronto.

    We tend to do things on the cheap, without detailed planning, and make compromises that don’t work particularly well for anyone. Multiple agencies fail to coordinate their routes with each other and seem to value competition over cooperation. Nobody dreams of reducing fares, let alone of eliminating them.

    Transit in Toronto is nowhere near where it will have to be, to be an attractive, viable alternative to the single passenger car. For drivers, things are going to get slower and more expensive. No wonder they don’t like what’s happening.

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