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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 12:28 PM
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Smart Transit By Choice

from YES! Magazine:

Making smart choices easy: In Seattle, the light rail is the cheapest option from downtown to the airport.

Smart Transit By Choice
Richard Conlin: Green urban travel shouldnt be about guilt trips or prohibition, but about making the good choices easy.

by Richard Conlin
posted Aug 05, 2011

Increasing density is a key strategy for achieving carbon neutrality. However, it requires a significant level of effort and planning to ensure that dense neighborhoods include good schools, parks, public safety, and many other factors that make communities work.

Dense communities reduce climate impacts through energy efficiency and conservation. They also can reduce transportation emissions and automobile use by bringing jobs, housing, recreation, and shopping in closer proximity and offering the opportunity to connect urban villages and centers via efficient transit and ped/bike systems.

But, while it is important to develop the transportation infrastructure and choices that help reduce automobile use and emissions, changing peoples travel patterns and behavior requires a deeper understanding of how those choices are made as well as the social and cultural context for those decisions. Then the conditions that support change can be developed.

So, why do we travel? Our home-to-work commutes mimic many traditional cultural patterns, from the pattern of daily travel in settled villages surrounded by agricultural lands to seasonal migrations from lower to higher elevations or dry to wet areas (transhumance) that are characteristic of many cultures built around livestock. And even the poorest contemporary societies are linked by large numbers of overcrowded buses carrying people to and from market centers and on family visits. People like to travel, and mobility is a basic human drive. If we are going to positively affect peoples travel choices to emphasize low-carbon options, we have to work with peoples desires, not against them. ............(more)

The complete piece is at:

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