Motorists To Urban Planners: Stay In Your Lane

By Franklyn Cater
NPR
July 18, 2012

Becky Lettenberger/NPR – A cyclist rides in the the bike lane on Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C.

Cities and cars share a conflicted relationship these days. Environmental concerns, growing traffic congestion and an urban design philosophy that favors foot traffic are driving many cities to try to reduce the number of cars on the road. In cities such as Seattle, Chicago, Toronto and Boston, some people go so far as to claim there is a “war on cars.”

That’s a phrase that has popped up around the country as cities spend more transportation dollars on transit; add streetcars, bus and bike lanes; raise parking rates; install “traffic calming” measures; and increase traffic enforcement with cameras. Advocates of these changes say they give people more options and make cities safer. But some motorists feel like they’re under attack.

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