European Transportation Policy: Make Life Difficult For Motorists

It's the opposite of conventional transportation policy in American cities that places motorist convenience in high priority (think 'level of service'). This story shows what European cities are doing to get motorists out of cars.
June 27, 2011, 1pm PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"The methods vary, but the mission is clear - to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation".

While 'smart transportation policy' in U.S. cities now includes smarter parking pricing policies, many European cities are eliminating street parking. And congestion (cordon) pricing has yet to appear in the U.S. despite showing excellent results in London and Stockholm.

"In the United States, there has been much more of a tendency to adapt cities to accommodate driving," said Peder Jensen, head of the Energy and Transport Group at the European Environment Agency. "Here there has been more movement to make cities more livable for people, to get cities relatively free of cars."

No project appears too small - even removing "pedestrian underpasses that once allowed traffic to flow freely across major intersections have been removed", adding to what Americans call 'traffic delay'.

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Published on Monday, June 27, 2011 in The New York Times - Environment
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