Taming Traffic

Yesterdayʼs public meeting to present a rezoning application that will involve a new roundabout to be built by the Province is a perfect example of both the Provinceʼs and the City of Charlottetownʼs car bias, which promotes more roads and roundabouts at the expense of other transportation solutions. “Efficiency of moving traffic”, “province is making major upgrades”, “create a much safer situation for vehicles” are all car-biased expressions that leave out the people factor.

Do we value moving cars fast? Do we value saving lives? Do we value new transportation options? Do we value the people in these neighbourhoods, or do we value the people passing though? What kind of city do we want to build? 

It is time for the Province and the City of Charlottetown to de-prioritize the automobile in their transportation funding allocations, to charge drivers the full cost of their bad habit, and to use the revenue to properly fund integrated public and active transportation systems.

Demand for and use of private cars is growing worldwide, contributing to major challenges like poor air quality, traffic injuries, and climate change, especially in places experiencing rapid urbanization. Population growth and uptake of vehicles, coupled with inefficient public transportation and land use planning, make traffic a complex problem to manage. While many city leaders recognize that traffic is a problem, they too often focus on road expansions and new highways as the solutions. Not only can this make congestion worse through induced demand, but it does little to address the many other negative impacts of driving.

Instead, cities must consider traffic reduction strategies that prioritize people and well-being and that require drivers to consider environmental and societal costs in addition to internal costs when choosing to drive.
Excerpt from Taming Traffic Executive Summary ©2021

Author: New Charlottetown Project

Barbara Dylla has lived in Charlottetown since 2017. The aim of this blog is to inspire and encourage Charlottetowners to be more aware of municipal affairs, to participate as engaged citizens, to support an issue close to their heart, so that together we create a sense of the larger community we live in. And, along the way, become a united community passionate about making Charlottetown the best it can be.

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