Thinking about the big cars/SUVs/utes in Sydney at the moment. I think there's probably an evaporative cooling effect (thanks https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/ZQG9cwKbct2LtmL3p/evaporative-cooling-of-group-beliefs) that makes things look even worse than they 'are', in areas like mine.
Erskineville has really high rates of people cycling, walking and taking public transport to work. So who's left in vehicles? People who need them - so genuine tradie utes, heavy vehicles, etc. And people whose identity is involved in driving and (...)
their vehicle, even when it's objectively expensive and inconvenient - and these people nowadays are overwhelmingly choosing these high-fronted SUVs and 'trucks'.
So we have streets where the parked cars, mostly used for occasional weekend trips, are a mix of smaller and older cars. But the vehicles actually passing me (as I stand at the bus stop musing) are on average larger.
Is this effect inevitable with any increase in sustainable mode share?
@jroper Interesting point! I think broadly, yes. If we imagine a perfect transport space where everyone takes the most efficient mode possible we would have almost no 'sedan' size vehicles on the road except taxis. Only bikes, motorbikes, buses, trucks of all sizes and trades vehicles, mostly utes and vans.
Of course many of these *could* be smaller, but given the market and gov subsidies plus the need to have a vehicle that is big enough for the biggest job, not just right for the average, it makes sense that most people will opt for a large ranger/hilux etc.
@jedsetter Yeah that's what I'm imagining. Which people are potentially going to find weird/unpleasant because it's not the mix we are used to, and the remaining vehicles are much less safe for a cyclist or pedestrian to encounter, even if there are fewer vehicles (overall or per head)...
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