Talking Headways Podcast: Ghosts of Motordom’s Past and Future

This week we’re doing something a little different with the podcast. It’s the morning plenary from last month’s Live.Ride.Share conference in Denver. You’ll hear Jill Locantore of WalkDenver introduce University of Virginia Professor Peter Norton, author of Fighting Traffic, who discusses how automobiles were sold to the public at the beginning of the motor age. Following Norton is Gabe Klein, former transportation director in Washington DC and Chicago, who talks about how cars are changing and what that means for streets and cities.

Norton starts at the 5-minute mark and Klein starts at 28:15, then questions from the audience and an open discussion come at 1:02:15.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Talking Headways Podcast: Gabe Klein’s Start Up City

|
Gabe Klein joins us this week to talk about how to get things done and make big changes to improve city streets and transportation. Gabe has served as the transportation chief of both Chicago and Washington, DC, and prior to his stint in government was an executive with Zipcar (he is also currently on the board of OpenPlans, the […]

How Cars Won the Early Battle for the Streets

|
Judging by the recent media backlash against a few bike lanes in New York City, you would think that roads have been the exclusive domain of cars since time immemorial. Not so, as Peter D. Norton recounts in his book, “Fighting Traffic — The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City.” When cars […]

Q&A With Peter Norton: History Is on the Side of Vision Zero

|
Last week, a bunch of bigwigs gathered to talk infrastructure in one of Washington’s most historic and prestigious sites, the Hay-Adams Hotel across the street from the White House. I was offered an opportunity to interview former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and a host of other VIPs. But — […]

Gabe Klein Talks About Getting Sh*t Done in His New Book, “Start-Up City”

|
Streets can be tough to change. Between institutional inertia, tight budgets, bureaucratic red tape, and the political risks of upsetting the status quo, even relatively simple improvements for walking, biking, or transit can take years to pull off — if they ever get implemented at all. But a new generation of transportation officials have shown that it doesn’t have […]

The Inside Story of How Chicago Built the Dearborn Street Bike Lane

|
Editor’s note: As transportation commissioner for DC and later Chicago, Gabe Klein was pivotal in the development of a new model for big-city DOTs. Along with Janette Sadik-Khan in New York, Klein (who sits on the board of OpenPlans, the organization that publishes Streetsblog) pioneered an approach that prioritized people instead of cars and emphasized the importance of […]