Today I spent the morning with the Cohousing Charlotte meetup group to discuss my research on Ecovillage at Ithaca as well as the spectrum of design options for cohousing projects in urban settings. It’s great discovering a group of Charlotteans interested in community living. The slide show I presented can be accessed by clicking this link.
A new report by Dr. Rachel Aldred at University of Westminster concludes that if only 20% of trips in England were made on a bicycle, it would save the lives of 80 cyclists per year (which is great!) but it could also save 500 road deaths per year, improve public health due to inactivity, improve air quality, reduce noise, and reduce stress due to traffic delays. No surprises, but encouraging to read about.
A Brookings Institute report issued earlier this week reveals some exciting news about trends in transportation choice. The automobile is by far the dominant mode choice of transportation to work in the USA and has been for decades, but it appears as if the percentage of automobile commuters in the USA has begun to decline for the first time in over 60 years as (a) individuals choose alternative transit like bicycles, buses, and walking and (b) individuals opt to work from home. The 2013 American Community Survey showed the highest number of transit rides in the USA since 1956 (when the interstate highway system was built), and rates of transit ridership not seen since 1990. To be sure, these changes are small but they are still exciting and accompany a decline in total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) that began around 2008, during the Great Recession.