The Dividends of Car-Free Parenting

Today’s highlights from the Streetsblog Network, roundup-style:

The Financial Payoff of Car-Free Parenthood: On Carfree with Kids, a mother reflects on how foregoing car ownership helped her family achieve important financial goals: buying a house, setting up an emergency fund and paying for daycare for two kids. Author Dorea recalls a fateful decision her family made years ago when their truck died and they decided not to replace it. Now, as the family raises two young children, Dorea says she can’t imagine how they would make ends meet with the added expense of a car. Add financial security to the list of benefits of a car-free lifestyle.

Bike signals may be coming to Portland. Image: ##http://omitted.net/picture/## Omitted.net##

Portland Gears up for Bike Signalization: Officials at the Portland Bureau of Transportation are asking the state of Oregon for support in a plan to expand the use of bike signals at the city’s intersections. PBOT plans to install signals that will display red, yellow and green bicycle figures, in order to avoid confusion among drivers and pedestrians. This technique is used in California and Europe to clarify who has the right of way, according to Jonathan Maus at Network blog Bike Portland. (They’re also in use in New York City.) “Providing an exclusive signal display recognizes the differences between motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, and it separates bicycles from conflicting movements,” said Peter Koonce, street lighting manager with PBOT. Koonce said bike signals have been used to prevent “right-hook” crashes and other types of collisions. The signals are already at work in six city intersections, Maus reports.

Fact-Checking Car “Warriors” in Seattle: In Seattle earlier this week, motorists and transportation reformers met to trade remarks about the so-called “War on Cars,” or, in other words, the city’s measures to make the streets work better for everyone who uses them. The good folks at Network blog PubliCola have taken the time to fact-check some of the claims made by auto supremacists. Opponents of bicycle, transit and pedestrian reforms, for example, charged that bike lanes are unsafe, that climate change will be solved by electric cars and that diet is wholly to blame for the obesity epidemic. PubliCola blogger Erica C. Barnett has taken the time to refute each argument. You never know when her points might come in handy in your discussions.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Portland Can’t Add Bike Parking Fast Enough to Please Businesses

|
Opponents of transportation progress would have you believe there is nothing so sacrosanct as the relationship between businesses and parking spaces. While customer access is quite valuable for merchants, in many cases, car parking isn’t the best way to provide it. As this story from Portland illustrates, it’s time to rethink how we allocate space […]

The Importance of Family-Friendly Transit

|
As someone who is raising a child without a car in a transit-rich city, I sometimes need to be reminded that for many people in the United States, the reality of maintaining a family life without a personal motor vehicle is impractical — or simply unthinkable, for a variety of reasons. This often holds true […]

A Car-Free Downtown and Other Ideas From Portland’s Mayoral Debate

|
It’s always interesting to see what mayoral candidates say about streets and transportation in a public debate. Who’s done their homework on transportation policy? Who understands in their gut why better streets for walking, biking, and transit are good for the city? Which candidates are willing to take a stand on these issues while making their case to voters? Most […]

Today’s Headlines

|
Connecticut: Another Carmaggeddon That Wasn’t (CNN) Northeast Corridor Can Expect a Normal Rush Hour Commute Wednesday Morning (Reuters) Heritage Scripts the Anti-Livability, Pro-Sprawl Talking Points for Foxx‘s Confirmation Hearing Why Did the Last Climate Bill Fail? Unemployment Was Too High. (WaPo) Transportation Experts Respond to U.S. PIRG Study on the Decline in Driving (National Journal) […]

How the Autocentric Lifestyle Hurts Our Kids

|
Last week, several of our Streetsblog Network member blogs picked up on a recent policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), "The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children." It examines how sprawl harms the nation’s children by reducing physical activity, and how denser development, traffic-calming measures and more parks […]