Saturday, December 27, 2008

Deneen on transportation stimulus and road dependency

"It is either farce or tragedy that we will invest further in an economic model premised on permanently cheap and readily available energy sources at a time when we have had our first taste of the reality and experience of peak oil. We will sink more of our increasingly limited funds (or, increasingly limited ability to borrow funds that we can no longer create) in maintaining or expanding a transportation system that, for a few months at least in the last year, was decreasingly being used as the price of energy rose so high to be a disincentive to travel. We saw - and continue to see - the housing of the far-flung suburbs losing its value as people began to re-think the wisdom of purchasing more house at distances that not only entailed lengthy and deadening commutes, but which were becoming so cost prohibitive to force people - for the first time in decades - to consider distance to be a factor in considerations of where to live. And, we are likely to sink more money into a transportation system at just the moment we witness the collapse of America's automobile industry - the industry for which the massive investment in roads was largely built to support and expand."

-Patrick Deneen, "Road Dependency"


Sarah Providence said...

Hey man, it's just like I said. We should go back to the horse and buggy.

Joshua Clifton said...

46 mpg. Not bad for a car designed in the 50s.

Bill Clifton said...

Or bicycles! I love having my own car, but the very way our cities are set up - as suburbias - make us slaves to our vehicles. Public transportation would be a big help, but more importantly, Americans need to revision our idea of the urban (and rural) ideal and to radically revise our zoning laws on a "human scale" to enable communities to live locally and as pedestrians.