Planning for a less car-focused future

I 💖 this ad. So much. And as a person who has spent much of her life traveling mostly by car, I love the idea of a car that can get itself into and out of tight spaces. I can’t help but love it. We’ve been led to believe, I’ve been led to believe, that cars are the American way.

Still from a Hyundai commercial about the new "Smart Park" feature. Chris Evans, John Krasinski, Rachel Dratch stand in front of a store window on the side of a street in Boston. Watch in full here.
Still from a Hyundai commercial about the new “Smart Park” feature. Watch in full here.

But it’s not cars. It’s innovation and ingenuity and coming up with solutions to problems lickety split and improving on them year over year.

Cars solved a 19th century transportation problem. This country is big. There’s no way to put trains everywhere. Some routes aren’t traveled enough for trolleys or light rail. Horses require pasture and paddocks incompatible with modern cities. Cars have a real and important role.

Today however, we’re facing real crises caused by too much reliance on cars. Air pollution, transportation delays and ever-increasing traffic, depletion of natural resources for the manufacture and fuel–we can’t keep this up.

It’s time to get serious about getting many of our cars off the road. We have to invest to improve the MBTA. We have to make public transportation reliable, accessible, and affordable. We have to create incentives for business and nonprofit investment outside of Boston to reduce the number of people traveling into town for work, entertainment, and culture. We have to think differently about the way we plan our days, weeks, and lives. Cars cannot be a central feature of the lifestyles of future generations. It’s irresponsible not to start planning for that now.

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