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orulz

Transit and Traffic Congestion

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Reading all these articles linked from the urbanplanet homepage about "doing the math on public transit" like to make it seem like the main purpose for public transit is the immediate alleviation of road congestion. The idea is, to get some people (who cares who it is as long as it ain't me) onto the trains/buses so that the roads are clear for the rest of us.

That's the biggest load of auto-centric CRAP ever. At least in recent days, transit agencies don't hide the fact that they don't reduce highway congestion. The only effect that heavy/light/commuter rail ever has on traffic is not immediate; transit lines capture some of the GROWTH in traffic as some people choose to live/work near stations rather than out in the middle of nowheresville.

But I would argue that these car-centric people who think that reduced highway congestion is the only worthwhile thing that could possibly come from transit are missing the mark entirely. The biggest benefit of transit is increased mobility and decreased dependence on the automobile. Are human beings meant to be married to a 3,000 pound chunk of plastic, metal and rubber, and to be practically immobile without it? No! Humans are meant to walk - an extremely efficient, highly evolved form of movement. Transit allows for denser, walkable, sustainable cities. The true reason for transit should be so that we don't have to base our lives around cars anymore.

Anyway, just had to get that rant in. Thanks for reading!

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Humans are meant to walk - an extremely efficient, highly evolved form of movement. Transit allows for denser, walkable, sustainable cities. The true reason for transit should be so that we don't have to base our lives around cars anymore.

Anyway, just had to get that rant in. Thanks for reading!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

AMEN. I like transit cause it FORCES you to walk a lot more than the car ever would, and because it fosters walkable environments, so by supporting transit you actually support two transportation forms: transit and walking.

I wonder why obesity is so high right now in America.... Could be our diets, and it could also be the fact that we DRIVE everywhere, because there's no place to walk, or we're too damn lazy. Transit=walking=health, its simple, and that is only the health benefit of transit, nevermind the environmental and social benefits that come from using transit and walking.

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