The Point of No Return

By Dom Nozzi

We have passed the point of no return.

Nearly all of us aggressively support having all roads and highways (except the road our house is on) widened, and all parking lots expanded. Nearly all of us are forced to demand the ruinous enlargement of roads and parking because our only way of getting anywhere is to use a gigantic metal, motorized box. We are trapped in a vicious cycle — a downward spiral –where we are obligated to demand bigger roads and bigger parking lots because we wrongly think that getting that will ease the infuriating (and inevitable) congestion we get stuck in every day of our stressed, angry lives, which results in an on-going recruitment of more and more advocates for bigger car infrastructure.

Nearly all of us oppose effective ways to reduce the problem. For example, most all of us angrily reject adopting user fees such as a “vehicle miles traveled” fee or parking meters to price parking (both of which introduce a lot more fairness regarding how transportation is paid for).

In other words, nearly all of us despise socialism EXCEPT when it comes to transportation.

It does not matter how educated you are, what your religious beliefs are, what your ethnic status is, or what your income is.

The one slim hope we have to escape this ruinous spiral — which is unlikely in our lifetimes — is to see the cost to widen/maintain/use roads and parking lots become very expensive. Currently and tellingly, almost no road or parking space requires a user fee (ie, no parking meters or tolls). This is one of countless ways our society begs — and therefore obligates — people to drive a car everywhere. The result is inevitable: our cities are overloaded with stroads and massive, nearly unused asphalt parking lots (and almost no narrow streets or woonerfs).

The public realm has become so degraded in our unending efforts to create a paradise for motorists (which translates into a hellscape for people) that huge numbers of us cocoon ourselves with a privatopia inside their exceptionally well-appointed homes.

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