What’s Wrong With a Car-Centric System? New Video Explains It All

We’re a little bit enamored with this video, produced by the Mexican office of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy and brought to our attention by Copenhagenize.

It’s less than four minutes long, yet it effectively and simply explains many of the most important concepts in transportation policy, including three of my personal favorites: driving subsidies, induced demand and externalities.

Really, this problem — promoting car traffic, despite the high costs to society — is simple enough to explain. Hopefully public education campaigns like this can help Mexico and other developing countries avoid making the same mistakes the United States has made. If not, how long until we see rates of chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma spike in Mexico, India and China?

Elsewhere on the Network today: The Get Around Blog considers the public backlash to Chicago’s proposed speeding camera legislation and wonders why we’ve developed such a casual attitude toward speeding. PubliCola shares the news that Seattle is considering yet another smart zoning change — this one would make it easier for walkable corner stores to set up shop in city neighborhoods. And Bike Delaware, inspired by Tom Vanderbilt’s recent article on America’s walking crisis in Slate, turns a critical eye to the local conditions for pedestrians.

 

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Looking Ahead to the Year in Transit Expansion

|
After significant transit construction in the United States in 2014, the next year will see another impressive round of groundbreakings and new openings. That’s according to Yonah Freemark at the Transport Politic, who has catalogued major transit expansion projects throughout the U.S. and Canada for the last six years. In 2015, we’ll see major light rail projects begin […]
Photo:  CarlosVanVegas/Flickr

Mexico City May Abolish Its Parking Minimums

|
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Mancera is pursuing a sweeping overhaul of the city's parking policy that's expected to do away with minimum parking requirements and generate revenue for transit and affordable housing. If enacted, the reforms could set an important precedent for cities in North and South America.

Good Stuff in This Week’s Mobilizing the Region

|
Finally, we get to see just how much former executive director Jon Orcutt was tamping down the high-powered talent at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. The latest issue of Mobilizing the Region is jam-packed with good articles. Here are some highlights (and, yes, I’m kidding about Orcutt but serious about this week’s MTR being really good): […]

How Cities Like Cleveland Can Grow and Tackle Climate Change

|
City leaders from around the world are meeting right now in Quito, Ecuador, for the summit known as Habitat III — convened by the United Nations to map out a strategy for sustainable urbanization as more people flock to cities. Demographers forecast enormous populations shifts to urban areas in the coming decades. The nature of this growth will have profound effects […]

A Plea for States Like Ohio to Wake Up to the “New Reality”

|
Ohio’s cities have been declining, and traffic congestion isn’t the problem. The highway system, if anything, is overbuilt. But state authorities continue to prioritize highway building over every other form of transportation spending. Jason Segedy, the head of Akron’s regional council of governments, is sounding the alarm about it. At his blog, Notes from the Underground, Segedy […]