Charles Marohn in his Strong Towns blogpost, asks the bigger question.
“Our highway funding system is obsessed with ensuring that you CAN drive anywhere you want to with limited congestion and delay. We do not ponder — not even as an afterthought — what types of investments would give people the option to not HAVE to drive everywhere.
For most Americans, driving is not a freedom. It is a requirement.”
But for others who live in cities like Cortland, driving alone in a car is not a requirement. It’s a habit. There are other ways to get around. In the city and other villages like Homer, there are sidewalks. We can walk. There are roads that are more amenable to bicycles. We can bike. We have a public transit system that runs 4 fixed route 30 minute loops throughout the city and Homer. We can take the bus. And many people who work at the same location live close to one another. We can carpool.
But we don’t. So for some of us, it’s not that we don’t have other options, we are just not comfortable with those other options.
Here’s another thought. If more people got out of their cars and found other ways of getting around, would we have to spend so much money on expanding roadways such as Rt. 281? It would certainly reduce traffic congestion for the population that continues to drive. So it really benefits everyone.
It is time to get out of your comfort zone. Stay tuned for more info on our Car-Free Challenge coming up in September.