'Sticks' and 'Carrots' Required to Build a Mature Transportation System

Gabe Klein says cities can do a better job providing mobility by focusing on the sticks and carrots of transportation—improving transportation options and creating disincentives to driving, respectively.
April 24, 2014, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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“City residents also have very different mobility needs: they have reached different points in their lives, reflect different cultural backgrounds, live in neighborhoods with multiple street types and land use patterns, and take very different routes to work,” writes Gabe Klein, former head of the Chicago and Washington D.C. planning departments. Given the impossibility of a silver bullet for cities looking to solve their transportation woes, Klein argues that cities can do a better job of improving transportation by focusing efforts on “sticks” and “carrots.”

On carrots: “Did I mention that people generally don’t embrace change, particularly when it is forced upon them? This is another reason to put the options in front of people, to entice them with the cost-benefit and ease of use approach, and to let them decide what is best for them at that moment in time. This is the carrot approach.”

On sticks: “I like to ask: How can I provide a carrot that adds so much value that people don’t mind the stick? Or, put another way, how can you meld the carrot with the stick so it’s more palatable?”

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Published on Thursday, April 24, 2014 in Atlantic Cities
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