What if in-town big box stores encourage people to drive less? That is, after all, a major policy objective of smart growth. Plenty of people who don’t want a big box store in their midst still drive 20 miles to get to one. Why not cut out those unnecessary emissions? And if you could go to a Sam’s Club once a month instead of a Safeway every week, wouldn’t that get people out of their cars more, too?
[Link to Why In-Town Big Box Stores Might Not Be As Awful As You Think]
In addition to the typical traffic congestion caused by daily commutes and gridlock from construction and accidents, reports have estimated that over 30 percent of traffic in a city is caused by drivers searching for a parking spot.
[Link to IBM Global Parking Survey: Drivers Share Worldwide Parking Woes]
In America, driving habits probably aren’t as inelastic as they are thought to be. This graphic [source] definitely shows consumers reacting to the oil price hike by cutting down on their driving. This summer given the gas prices is going to be a low-traffic one. We canceled our summer vacation and instead bought a Wii. Will continued rise in oil prices or even stagnation at this level modify our lifestyles and in the long-term create dense and walkable neighborhoods?