Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Too many cars on the road

Does it bug you to see how many single occupant cars there are on the roads these days? Maybe I differ from some of my fellow BTer's, but I think we really need to change how we live... not so much for Kyoto, but for sanity's sake. You can't get anywhere in a decent time anymore! The roads are packed, the air is getting worse, the noise, the costs, it's out of control!

From my chair, I think we need to do three things...

1) Revamp our mass transit strategies, because they're not working. I don't ever use it because they're inefficient in how long it takes to get anywhere, and because they often don't get me where I want to go. Perhaps we need some smaller buses on more routes, using larger buses only when and where the numbers warrent... and we need more of them.

2) Carpooling. Same number of people on the road, fewer cars.

3) We need to get the message out to the auto-makers and get them to change the market. I've said it before, and I'll say it again... the first auto-maker to come out with a sub-$10,000, small (maybe even a 2-seater), reliable, safe, fuel-efficient car will get a huge market share. Two car families could have a van or SUV for the family, and a "mini" (for lack of a better catchphrase) for the daily commute. Cut the costs of owning a second car in in half. Re-invent the VW Beetle craze of the 60's, or the K-Car of the 70's-80's. The perfect car for the commuter, the student, the young professional, etc. Add to it a strong marketing aspect, and I'm sure it would be a winner. I think that had Toyota done this with the Yaris, it would be the number one car right now, and might just be enough to put them over the top for the world's biggest auto-maker. Then open new plants and build them right here in SW Ontario, and it's a win-win-win deal for everyone.

There, that one's off my chest. Stay tuned for my next eco-rant, prompted by my brother-in-law. (in a good way)


  • At Tue. May 29, 04:10:00 p.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I would only add that I think many cities do a horrible job of road planning and town design. That's part of the reason why roads get so jammed up. Where I live in BC this problem is clearly evident.

    And remember that developers and those that finance development couldn't give a darn about traffic because they are all living in the best neighbourhoods close to all the services they require.

    As for public transit, when I lived in TO many years ago it took me nearly an hour to get from the downtown Royal Bank office to where I lived in North York. And if I wanted to work late, say until 8:00 PM, it would sometimes take even longer. Had to catch a bus, then the subway, then another bus, then another bus. Yuk. So I agree 100% with your point #1.

    Small cars would help reduce pollution but not conjestion on the roads, if anything it will get worse if the cars are very inexpensive.

    One thing that would help is if people simply tried to drive less by being more organized, rather than taking the minivan down to the store just to buy a bag of chips and milk.

    Back to my first point, if cities put more emphasis on proper town planning things would be much better. I would love to be able to walk to a pub for beer and dinner on a Friday night as people can do in many parts of the UK, but no such luck in most Canadian cities because most services are centralized which means lots of driving for everyone.

    Cities created the suburbs, but didn't insist that developers put something other than just houses in those suburbs.

    Schools are another good example. Most schools are not optimally placed based on the location of students attending the school. They are often placed on the edge of catchment areas, where land is cheap, and on busy roads, etc., all of which discourages kids walking, riding bikes, etc. to school.

    Sorry, I've rambled on! Thanks for your post.

  • At Tue. May 29, 07:48:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Scruffy Dan said…

    for public transit to be effective there needs to be more people live in a small area. We need to live in higher densities, endless suburbs means few people, trying to get a vast number of areas, it just doesn't work with public transit.

    Also If you want to encourage more people to take transit make it free, and add a small gas tax to make up for the lost revenue. Increasing driving costs and decreasing transit costs (for the user) should motivate people to take transit.


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