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Talking Headways Podcast: 3 Weeks in the Mountain West Without a Car

4:21 PM EDT on October 8, 2015

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This week I chat with author and city planner Tim Sullivan about his new book, Ways to the West. The book documents his attempt to take a three week road trip without a car, and his encounters with various planners, city officials, and other characters along the way.

Tim talks about the history of the Western grid network and its origins in the expediency of selling land, as opposed to making great and well-functioning places. The region's river networks and watersheds are ignored by a grid tailored to the car. "We’ve only thought of one network, how cars are getting around," Tim says. We also go back and forth over Salt Lake’s rail expansion and whether walkability should come before or after large capital projects.

I hope you enjoy this discussion of bikes, walking, wagon trains, and wide streets.  Hopefully in the future, you won’t have to wave a surrender flag when crossing one of Salt Lake’s oversized roads.

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