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Because there's no such thing as just giving you the option to use your car. Once that option exists people will use cars, more car use requires bigger roads, more spaced out shops due to parking, and eventually gigantic junctions and highways.

Soon enough what used to be a 500 meter walk turns into walking 2 kilometers because of all the car-related infrastructure in the way, which then becomes a self-reinforcing feedback loop as more people own cars, so they're willing to travel longer distances, reducing the business & zoning incentive to make things walkable.




More cars don't require bigger roads. That's exactly the point where pushback has to happen, and does in cities where a compromise works. If increase in traffic does not mean a scramble to accommodate it using your car becomes less attractive, which stabilizes the traffic level. That of course requires a culture which values public transport/bikes/walkability over cars.

E.g. in my hometown every building in the city core is accessible by car, but you have to take narrow, often single-lane side alleys to get there, the major paths all are pedestrian only. All that means taking a car there stays the exception for when it really is useful to do so. Tons of inner-city routes that are faster to walk than to drive. The further out you get, the more car-friendly things get, but public transport bridges most of it. Density is key to maintain that, it makes public transport and local businesses viable and puts pressure on cars.

Making large areas completely pedestrian-only isn't really politically viable, even here in Germany, but the compromises IMHO can work out fine, and people move to areas that have the characteristics they like.


I don't think this works in places with cold weather. A 5 km drive in the winter is so much more pleasant than a 200m walk.


I live where it's cold and I disagree. Winter is the time I really wish I could ditch my car for good. You car is just starting to get warm at the end of 5km unless you've warmed it up ahead of time. And you have to clean it off and shovel it out which sucks.

As long as you are dressed appropriately then a 200m walk in the cold is nothing.


Just buy adequate winter clothes, it's certainly much cheaper than a car. If scientists can stroll around Antarctica in winter gear for hours on end so can you in whatever city you live in.


Agreed with adequate winter clothes having a quality coat, gloves, and possibly boots are all you need.

If it's snowing I almost never drive (if I don't have to) but I have absolutely no problem walking to the store, or to pick up food, or even just to get out of the house in the snow.




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