Mass transit makes us warm, development assures it won't matter

A handful of suburban communities are working on offering more dependence on mass transit, as SEPTA Watch first reported back in February.

But, despite grumbling about the cost of gasoline, there isn’t any real conversation about reversing suburban development, which, as anyone can see with a drive through one of these communities, are horribly inefficient lifestyle.

We must be decades away from a different form of development, which means this country will have built that many more developments, private drives and shopping malls that offer no solution for people other than to drive.

Rather than having an argument about electric or hydrogen or other forms of alternative fuel, it seems that reversing this sort of development and engendering the development of mixed-use facilities, where homes are within walking distance of shopping, employment and entertainment, like cities or small towns, would be wiser.

Because, beyond the environmental detriment of today’s vehicles, it is just senseless. Walking, bicycling and, at perhaps worst, a form of mass transit economizing local travel makes sense for traffic, community and energy. High mileage vehicles, ideally, would, of course, be for just long travel, but we haven’t built many communities that can support that mentality.

The argument is that we’re building what people want, but, rather, we are building what people know. We haven’t offered real solutions to avoid automobile-dependence that got old in the 1960s.

Cartoon courtesy of Business Travellouge.