Less cars but no less traffic

The state of Washington has been known for its pro-environment views and laws, so it was interesting to see what actions the city of Seattle has taken to support their environmental goals.
Examples include:
  • The One Less Car Challenge, in which people give up the use of one car for a month. The city not only provides information on alternative transportation methods, but free use of Flexcars when necessary.
  • Reduce minimum parking spaces for certain areas.
  • Connect all bike trails within the city.
  • Increase the number of bike racks on public transportation vehicles as well as provide more free racks to the public.
  • Development of “Green streets” and giving pedestrian traffic priority when developing land use.


Autoblog reader (and former Seattle resident and now SoCal jetsetter) jamie provided the following additional tidbits (and commentary) about Seattle:

  • Bus lanes and free bus fare. (It's really a pain to sit in rush hour traffic, so the city fathers opened bus lanes so that bus patrons could "fly" by the disgruntled masses in traffic jams. Result: many new bus patrons. Another thing they are trying is "free fare" bussing, supported by a penny tax at the pump. Needless to say, something for nothing is quite a hit about town!)
  • Express lanes. (It sure would be nice to commute from,  say, Orange County to L.A., without a bunch  of on-and off-ramps slowing down traffic. In Seattle, Interstate 5 has express lanes (2 lanes each direction) down the center divider with only ONE exit per city. That would work soooo well on Orange County and L.A. freeways.)

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