Just dropping in to say it's possible to own a *and* prefer getting around by other modes most of the time.

Habituation to is not an insurmountable obstacle to reducing dependency and creating safer, greener, more resilient cities. Habits can be broken if the right supports are available at the right time.


Those supports can and should include making it harder to drive for most trips *and* making it easier to live, work, school, and play in places that don't require a car.

The latter is going to be more impactful than the former. (2/2)

@DrTCombs In public health we talk a lot about making the healthy choice the convenient choice.

Yes, and ...
If you live anywhere that may be subject to evacuation orders from time to time, not having a car can be deadly. We have not yet developed the kind of public transit that can move people during evacuations

@mloxton @DrTCombs which, I think, highlights a problem with overall planning, which should include both transit and emergency operations. For mass evacuations, the private auto is probably the least effective. Pity it's often the only option.

@PaulWermer @mloxton 100%

We tend to plan and design for the best case scenario, even though the worst case scenario tends to strike with increasing frequency.

A great example of this in the regulations governing traffic control infrastructure, which explicitly assume that all road users are sober, competent, undistracted, and fully capable of good judgment at all times.

@DrTCombs @mloxton you mean assuming drivers don't do things like this, the middle of a straight block, stop signs every intersection, wide sidewalk:

@PaulWermer @mloxton Except for . We plan parking for the worst case scenario, in which we assume every car within a 50-mi radius will suddenly need to be attracted to one central destination.

@mloxton Yep, this is sadly true. We have gone all in on a system in which the household car is a literal lifeline in times of crisis.

@DrTCombs fully agree. I'm lucky to live in San Francisco, in a walkable neighborhood and w/ good public transit nearby. So I mostly walk, take transit for longer distances (outside the 15 minute neighborhood), and drive only when going out of town (to areas not served by BART) or when picking up bulky items that don't fit on transit.

And am well aware that most of the US does not permit this (mostly) car-free flexibility.

@DrTCombs certainly in cities it (usually) is. I only drive if my journey is longer than 30 minutes by bike or by foot and only then if public transport is non viable but usually it's fine. My neighbour who is perfectly able bodied drives to the corner shop which is a 5 minute walk. The same neighbour thinks nothing of doing hour long walks with their dog.

@DrTCombs Oh, yeah, absolutely. I suspect the single most impactful thing any place can do long-term is to change zoning rules -- killing parking minimums and allowing (or encouraging) medium density mixed use buildings would go a huge way towards making things better.

Lots of other stuff to do too, of course, though thankfully organizations can do more than one thing at once. Sometimes. On a good day.

@DrTCombs I had to grab something from the market yesterday. It took a very conscious effort to decide ‘it’s close enough to bike, don’t get in the car’

@DrTCombs I've seen people drive to visit a neighbor and then realized they did more walking than if they had just walked - but they are so in the habit of driving everywhere it didn't occur to them they didn't have to drive.

@bluGill It's a hard habit to break, but those little realizations are an important part of making it happen.

@DrTCombs The more people walk and bike places, the more others see people using that and think maybe I could do. I started using the bus when I often saw a bus while driving to work, after a few months I decided I should look to see if the bus would work for me and it turns out it did. (I've lived other places where the bus would not work so I had given up on even looking when I move)

Note that I said going places. Where I live you see a lot of people out exercising on bikes. However they drive when they are going places. They think nothing about a 20 mile bike ride on a nice day, but it doesn't occur to them they could ride their bike to get groceries or to work. They often drive their bike to one of our nice bike trails around here instead of riding from home to the trail.

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