Automobiles receive the vast majority of transportation funding: about 85 percent of spending by departments of transportation is devoted to roadways—about 95 percent if we also consider expenditures by businesses on government-mandated parking facilities.
This made driving easier and other forms of travel worse. As a result, most North American communities are automobile dependent. It is easy to get around by car but difficult to access common services and activities without driving, and residents bear the additional costs of providing road and parking infrastructure, dealing with traffic problems, and chauffeuring non-drivers.
Despite all this spending, per capita automobile travel has peaked in most developed countries, and there is increasing demand for alternatives, both by individuals who want to spend less time and money driving and communities that want to reduce traffic problems. This is a good time to implement more multimodal planning.
There are three general factors to consider when determining how much to invest in different modes: economic efficiency, consumer demands, and social equity. Let’s examine them.
- Study: Some Roundabout Designs Slash Injury Crashes Up to 85%
- Utah’s Daybreak Shows a Way Forward for American Suburbs
- If You Want People to Use Public Transit, Connect the Places Where People Want to Walk
- The Business Case for Multimodal Transportation Planning
- Micromobility Growing in Smaller Cities