Text: are car cities over and done
Today we’re pointing you to an essay that asks the question: Are car cities too expensive?

It isn’t for everyone, but some of you will find it interesting.

It’s a reprint called The Death of a Car City on the website Strong Towns of a post by Canadian blogger Michel Durand-Wood. He’s a resident of Winnipeg. In fact, his blog is called Dear Winnipeg, and he says he wrote this because he genuinely loves his city.


Winnipeg is far away, but it is not so different from many cities in Texas.

They’re car cities, cities designed and built for vehicle traffic first and foremost.

Many of this countries older cities such as New York and Boston were created when much traffic was on foot and everything else was pulled by a horse.

Car cities grew up after World War I, when more and more people took to the streets in four-wheeled vehicles. And during the boom years after World War II, suburbs and new cities sprang up, and they were all car cities. Planning in these cities just assumed that most of the traffic would be automobiles, and roads were built to reflect that.

Today, most cities are car cities. And they have to spend a lot of taxpayer money to maintain and expand their roadway systems.


Here’s the interesting part: Durand-Wood attended some public meetings where he heard, among other things, city officials talking about Winnipeg’s Transportation Master Plan 2050.

He took what he heard, did some math, and came to a surprising conclusion.

There is not, he believes, enough money to do what needs to be done to repair, maintain, and expand his city’s streets and roads.

Not now. And not ever.

Officials in his city — and in many other cities, including here in Texas — have not properly considered how many bridges and miles of roadway there are, how much repair and maintainence is needed, and how much all the work is going to cost.

Like I said, this topic isn’t for everyone.

But if this is the kind of thing that interests you, read The Death of a Car City.

Check his math and see if it supports his argument.

And maybe consider whether Durand-Wood’s situation in Winnepeg has any parallels in your town.

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