Publication Detail

Dual in the Town

UCD-ITS-RP-11-43

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Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

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Suggested Citation:
Delucchi, Mark A. (2011) Dual in the Town. Traffic Technology International (April/May 2011), 1 - 22

We complain about suburban sprawl, pollution, and gridlock on the highways, yet many of us live in single family homes, and most of us drive automobiles. We bemoan the loss of ‘community’ yet choose to live in faceless suburbs. We think we want more ‘livable cities’ but are unwilling to sacrifice the perceived benefits of a suburban lifestyle to have them. For decades, city planners, transportation planners, and policy analysts have struggled to reconcile what we say we want with what we actually choose. By and large, they have failed. Around the world, car use has grown unabated. When people get wealthy, they buy cars and live in bigger homes further away from central cities. Nothing short of outright prohibition or economic catastrophe – not high gasoline prices, not better public transit, not better zoning – has stopped this trend. The result is a host of seemingly intractable problems: unacceptable congestion and fatalities, environmental degradation, ugly infrastructure, social fragmentation and insularity, and cultural impoverishment.