Why hello there, young people.
In today’s society of North America, almost everything is built around the use of private transportation. That is, every person requires their own car to get to the places they need.
Think about it, when is the last time you went shopping? Did you drive there? And if you didn’t, which is highly unlikely because of the poor infrastructure to support pedestrians, you certainly had to cross streets and roads with more than 6 lanes of cars, which is dangerous in every regard.
Even when the crossing light is on, cars can still pass through the light to make right-hand turns, and if they aren’t looking for pedestrians, which is likely, they could seriously injure someone.
The suburbs are meant for accommodating cars, not people. Look down your average street, and you usually see a massive road first, and then car auto repair shops, gas stations, and THEN one to two shops, which is where you are usually headed.
One of the main problems with cars is parking. A couple days ago, I went to an arcade, and there were a line of cars jutting out into the road because the parking lot was full. Cars nowadays are so large it is difficult to find parking spaces for them if the lot is full, and almost impossible to park in such tight spaces.
Massive box-stores dominate the suburbs, such as Walmart and Home-Depot to name a few. Along with box-stores, parking lots bigger than your average football field, and almost 90% of the time, the parking lot is larger than the store itself.
This is a huge problem, because as more and more people take their car on the road, stores are going to require more and more parking spaces to accommodate the demand.
If you don’t think cars are a problem, more than 3 million people in the U.S. are harmed every year in car accidents alone, and that doesn’t account for the pedestrians who are outside of the car that are injured as well. If you don’t have a drivers license in a suburb, you are screwed because if you want to go to the library, movie theater, store, or anywhere else, you are required to have a car. This usually means asking your parents to drive you there and back. Your independence is based on having a car, because then you can drive where you want to go. Imagine if you didn’t have to ask your parents to drive you to a destination, instead you could just hop on a free bus, train, or simply ride your bike.
The solution for our car dependency is demand. If you want to stop people from driving, how do you do it without forcing everyone to stop using cars? Simple, you reduce the demand for driving. Shrink parking lots, reward people for not using cars to get to their destination and make more people friendly transportation.
Highways all over North American are almost always under construction to widen them. The spiderweb of interstates, overpasses, and “high” speed roads are accompanied by 1 -2 hours of traffic on a regular day with is simply insane. Why is there traffic? Because people drive their cars to places they need to be. Why do they drive their cars to their destination? Because most likely, it is the only way to get there.
If there were enough car independent solutions for people to get to their destination, more people would be on the highways and streets, which would reduce the traffic demand, which has numerous benefits, much less exhaust, is more environmentally friendly, and overall better for your life.