Car Free Day is today
In honor of World Car Free Day and the first full year of service for the Capital Bikeshare program in DC and Arlington County, Virginia, there will be an event at Yards Park, from 6pm to 9pm tonight. There will be beer, moonbounces, free tee shirts to the first 1,000 people, and other stuff--hopefully it won't rain.
Plus this piece on the bikesharing program, "Mental health study tries Capital Bikeshare as therapy."
On the other hand, in honor of World Car Free Day, the Washington Examiner has an editorial about how cars promote freedom and mobility, "Automobiles gave Americans mobility, prosperity and greater freedom."
I'm not going to say that isn't true, but it can come at a much greater cost to society, because in this case individual freedom as a result of the car usually is associated with great costs for the group, be it the impacts of automobility on land use, the environment, general health, personal health, especially obesity, etc.
Image caption: The Baltimore and Washington areas are the two smoggiest cities on the East Coast, according to a report released Wednesday. Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images.
Of course, one reason that the Examiner probably has a hard time balancing the benefits to the individual at the cost of the group is that the newspaper's owner made his original fortune on oil production...
So it's interesting that two other articles in the same paper discuss problems that result from rampant automobility, "Baltimore, D.C. among nation's smoggiest cities" and the editorial "Transit-oriented paradox in Tysons Corner," which doesn't address directly the fact that it will be expensive to retrofit Tysons Corner for walkability, because the type of road-based automobile-focused development pattern that typified the area "forgot" to accommodate other modes, such as by not providing sidewalks and through routes for pedestrians.
And even though there are serious flaws with the methodology, which is focused on studying freeway congestion mostly, not intra-city mobility (see Driven Apart: Why sprawl, not insufficient roads, is the real cause of traffic congestion from CEO for Cities), the DC area ranks #2 in the nation for traffic congestion, according to the annual report on Urban Mobility by the Texas Transportation Institute.