My friends at GoGet, an Australian CarSharing company, released the report “Let’s Fix Congestion!”. While I am allergic to the congestion framing, since obviously cities should be designed around accessibility, it is widely believed to be necessary to talk about congestion to get broader buy in from the media for any transport issue around here.
The strategy in the report is quite sound for a soundbyte: Remode, reprice, reshape. Quoting from the report:
Remoding is a strategy that shifts more people out of the dominant mode, the private vehicle, into other modes such as public transport, active transport, and shared mobility. This latter area includes on-demand sharing, an approach that can offer compelling convenience and affordability for the transport consumer.
We need to address the economic and taxation policies that have preferenced the private car over other transport modes, and in turn generate congestion.
Currently the true cost of using a private vehicle is kept from the consumer’s view, whether it involves not accurately pricing parking or congestion’s effect on productivity.
Our cities have been designed around the private vehicle, preferencing space for cars over space for people.
We need to re-imagine our built environments and associated land use policies. Density is not a bad word if it is density done right. Density done right means an abundance of local shops and services which encourage abundant local living. Local living encourages local transport, often active, public and shared, and disincentivises the private vehicle, particularly when combined with smart parking policies.
This slogan is of course is adapted from the environmental movement’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, part of the Waste Hierarchy. [Replace and Recover and sometimes added to this list.]
But did you know Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal strategy was “Relief, Recovery, and Reform”? The Three Rs have a long history.