Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why the U.S. Is Much More Car-Dependent Than Europe

In my line of work, you hear people citing European cities as examples of good transportation  planning all the time. Many cities across the ocean have great public transit, bicycle and pedestrian systems, and much lower rates of vehicle usage than the United States. As an example, In 2010, Americans drove for 85 percent of their daily trips, compared to car trip shares of 50 to 65 percent in Europe.

Bicyclists in Copenhagen

Considering that the U.S.'s work to retrofit roads and adapt policies starting in the 1920s to accomodate the car served as the model for much of Europe, how did the U.S. end up so much more car-centric than Europe?

The Atlantic Cities says there are nine main reasons for this.

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.