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Finally someone gets it

It has been driving me crazy that in all the talk of high oil prices and the added burden on consumers, the talk has mainly been about how to either get oil from other sources, use alternative fuels, or drive more fuel efficient cars. My point has always been that there is a lifestyle change that is necessary for the US to be less dependent on oil - people need to drive less, and for that to happen, many things have to change. Alternative modes of transportation have to be available and desirable, and we have to find a way to curb suburban sprawl: higher density housing is crucial!

Paul Krugman explains this in a simple way in this great article from the New York Times: Stranded in Suburbia.

Comments (5)

Anne:

LOVE the new header photo!

I wish our public transportation was better. I live only a half hour drive outside the city but there is no public transportation available...there keep being rumours about a commuter train, but nothing materializes.

There are several interesting housing developments that have gone up recently here in NC - they are like little villages with a "town square" that has groceries, banks,restaurants, etc. and every home is within walking or biking distance of the shopping area. It's a good idea. If I lived in a place like that, I'd drive a whole lot less than I do now.

Anne, it is too bad that there is not enough political will to push these things through. In the US people don't want to spend on public transit, while the highways are very much subsidized, above and beyond the tax dollars.

Annie, those "new urbanism" developments sound very interesting!

Cool post. I love the Greek festivals. We have two huge Greek Orthodox churches in St. Louis, and both of them have a yearly festival.

sandrac:

Thanks very much for posting this! I'm a fan of Paul Krugman, I think he makes a lot of sense.

I think it will be extremely hard to wean North Americans off their love of the automobile and their love of commuting. And not having decent transit options in so many cities, makes matters worse.

I'm very fortunate. My little Toyota is parked 90 per cent of the time, because I've chosen to live right downtown in Ottawa, so I can walk to work and almost anywhere else I need to go. But ironically, it's much more expensive to live close in, than it is to live far out in the suburbs. So, the people who can least afford to commute are pushed out to the fringes of cities and must drive, while the well-to-do can buy the lovely downtown condos (with 2 parking spots for their SUVs.)

As Krugman suggests, governments have to spend a lot more on public transit so people have more options for getting around, besides driving!

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