The Streetcar Solution

In a long excerpt from his new book <em>Seven Rules for Sustainable Communities: Design Strategies for the Post Carbon World,</em> Patrick Condon explains the advantages of streetcars, where they went, and why we should bring them back.
September 19, 2010, 11am PDT | Tim Halbur
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Condon writes,

"Streetcar cities were walkable, transit accessible and virtually pollution free while still dramatically extending the distance citizens could cover during the day.

The planning literature occasionally refers to the streetcar city pattern, but seldom is the streetcar city mentioned for enhancing human well-being or lauded as a time when energy use per capita for transportation was a tiny fraction of what it is today.

This is tragic, because the streetcar established the form of most U.S. and Canadian cities. That pattern still constitutes the very bones of our cities -- even now, when most of the streetcars are gone."

Condon cites many studies showing the benefits of streetcars over other transportation modes.

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Published on Friday, September 17, 2010 in The Tyee
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