This column expands on issues raised in a previous Planetizen blog, "Mythbusting: Exposing Half-Truths That Support Automobile Dependency," which examined criticisms of cycling facility investments and justifications for automobile-oriented planning.
Some commentators recently expressed outraged that governments spend money on cycling facilities. Their arguments are largely wrong, I’ll call them "half-truths" to be charitable, presented with great certitude and self-righteous anger.
PolitiFact holds politicians accountable for their claims, but how accountable is PolitiFact? Not very. It inaccurately answered a simple planning question, and was unwilling to clarify or correct its false judgment.
Contrary to popular assumptions, large, transit-oriented cities have lower crime rates than smaller, automobile-oriented cities. Jane Jacobs was right! This column discusses this phenomenon and its implications for transport and land use planning.
Submitted by Todd Litman on September 3, 2013 - 11:31am
Conventional transportation planning tends to exaggerate congestion costs and roadway expansion benefits, and undervalues other transportation solutions such as improving alternative modes, pricing reforms and smart growth policies.
Planners are futurists, but with less pretension and jargon. Our work requires predicting how current trends are likely to affect future conditions and activities, and how communities should prepare. For example, let's predict self-driving cars.
Many people believe that cities are dangerous due to exaggerated fears of urban crime. Cities are actually far safer and healthier than suburban and rural locations, and smart growth policies can further enhance their safety and health advantages.