82.6% of those who live in the city depend on a car for their commute (U.S. Census Bureau, “Commuting in the United States,” 2009). Why are so many city dwellers driving? I don’t have an answer to this question, but I do know most of us think expanding highways are the answer. However, this solution has been shown to be ineffective. What does this mean for people who live in Los Angeles?
EXPANDING THE 405 IS A MONUMENTAL WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY THAT WILL NOT FIX OUR TRAFFIC PROBLEMS
What will fix traffic in Los Angeles? That’s the million-dollar question and I don't have a complete answer. But, I believe believe that the obvious is true: getting people out of their cars and onto their feet, onto a bus or train, or onto a bike will relieve our beleaguered streets. The real question is not “how do we fix traffic.” The real question is “what are the barriers making it difficult for people to use their feet, their bikes, or public transit to commute?”
I don’t pretend to know how to tear down these barriers, but I can share one program that is connecting a city and growing its economy. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail connects the city’s cultural centers. Besides giving the people of Indianapolis a viable commuting alternative, new economic growth is appearing along the path. Obviously this is not a catch-all solution to the seemingly insurmountable challenges of Los Angeles traffic, but perhaps it can be part of a larger strategy. What do you think?