Why Do People Drive When They Don't Want To?

City Observatory digs into the history of a Chicago suburb to answer the question: "Why don't people who say they'd like to take transit actually do it?"

April 30, 2016, 11:00 AM PDT

By Elana Eden


Traffic

Sofiaworld / Shutterstock

Daniel Hertz examines a county where more than half of working people say they'd prefer to go to work without a car, yet nearly 90 percent drive to work.

Their reasoning is simple: In DuPage, transit doesn't go where residents need to.

Finding the reason for that requires some historical research, which Hertz delivers. He unearths the planning decisions made in the area in the 1950s, in the context of the needs of the community as well as the prevailing trends and theories at the time. Readers end up with a cautionary tale of how easily decisions about the built environment can become entrenched, and play out invisibly in everyday life years later:

[T]he decisions of planners and developers over the last several decades have created a land use pattern that essentially locks in transportation choices for all future residents, who are now stuck commuting in ways they say they’d rather not.

Monday, April 11, 2016 in City Observatory

Indian Trail, North Carolina

Four ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ Zoning Reforms

An excerpt from the latest book on zoning argues for four approaches to reform that can immediately improve land use regulation in the United States.

June 26, 2022 - M. Nolan Gray

Car Traffic

San Francisco Just Ended Single-Family Zoning

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to Tuesday to eliminate single-family zoning, but pro-development advocates say additional changes are needed to unleash a wave of construction.

June 29, 2022 - San Francisco Chronicle

A Gold Line AnsaldoBreda P2550 train enters Mission Station in South Pasadena on February 25, 2012.

Land Banking to Prevent Transit-Oriented Displacement in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will implement a new land banking program to mitigate gentrification and displacement around future transit lines.

June 28, 2022 - Los Angeles Daily News

Colorado Homes

Something Old, Something New: Biden’s Housing Plan

President Biden’s Housing Supply Action Plan is a catchall of existing proposals, tiny tweaks, and things Congress would have to fund—plus a few genuinely interesting administrative moves. Here’s the rundown.

9 minutes ago - Shelterforce Magazine

Rendering of inflatable floating water park in Long Beach, California.

Long Beach Opens New Water Playground

The coastal city just celebrated the grand opening of its newest beach attraction, an inflatable aquatic playground called the “Wibit.”

1 hour ago - Signal Tribune

View south along Interstate 45 (North Freeway) from the ramp between westbound Interstate 10 and southbound Interstate 45 in Houston, Harris County, Texas

Houston Apartments To Be Demolished for Freeway Widening

Despite a federal hold on the controversial freeway widening project, the Texas Department of Transportation is pushing ahead with the demolition of an apartment complex in downtown Houston.

2 hours ago - Houston Chronicle

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

International Real Estate Strategies and Deal Negotiation

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

Affordable Housing: Principles for Changing Domestic and Global Markets

Harvard Graduate School of Design Executive Education

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.