Though our society and our communities are undeniably car-centric, there is perhaps some hope that things can change. From the Kansas City Star:
Residents living in the Kansas suburbs are distinctly unhappy with their lack of alternatives to driving, according to a new poll.
The poll conducted by regional transportation planners found that while most residents are generally satisfied with traffic flow, they blame what little congestion we have on our dependence on cars.
The poll of about 1,100 residents in Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth, Douglas and Miami counties showed that roughly 45 percent of those surveyed said our over-dependence on the car contributed to “transportation problems” in their area.
About half of those surveyed — about 46 percent — were dissatisfied with availability of bike lanes on the Kansas side of the metro area.
Although this study came out nearly two months ago, I don’t think it’s received the attention it deserves.
People want to drive less. People want more bike lanes.
That seems to be a rather significant finding.
Of course, there’s no consensus on what to do about it: “40 percent of the residents blamed poorly planned development for transportation problems in the Kansas suburbs,” but “while residents seemed upset about the lack of a good mass transit system and the availability of bike lanes, their solutions for easing travel seemed to mostly focus on road building,” and “Nearly one in four said widening existing roads was their top solution for making travel easy. Roughly another third said building news highways, connecting roads or improving intersections were the best ways to improve our ability to get around.”
The poll was done as part of the 5-County Regional Transportation Planning Study by the Kansas Department of Transportation, the Mid-America Regional Council and transportation planners in Lawrence and Douglas County. You can read the study for yourself: Final Residents Survey Report of Transportation Planning Issues and Opportunities (PDF)
What do you think? Are you satisfied with our current transportation infrastructure? Are you looking for alternatives to driving?
Or are you already using your bike and public transit to get around? What’s been your experience?