Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Is it Legal not to Drive?

After two years of negotiation between a developer and the city of Mountain View, from which it appeared settled that the former HP site across the street from San Antonio CalTrain would redeveloped into a respectable quantity of much-needed new housing, a new batch of council members has been elected opposed to this "fortress-like" development. Read the complete story in the Mountain View Voice.

These days, it seems that everyone is concerned with global warming, the loss of open space to sprawl, and the myriad other ills of our car-dependent lifestyle.

And so we have annual rituals of "spare the air" days and "bike to work" days, in hopes luring commuters out of their cars, and into trying transit, biking, and walking.

The trouble is, whenever type of housing that could make responsible commuting possible is proposed, namely dense housing, close to where people work, and in quantities large enough to matter, it's always "too big" and "too dense" to suit the neighbors, and city councils soon put a stop to it.

So let's stop pretending that commuters can choose a "transportation alternative". Living in far-flung suburbs and driving long commutes isn't a choice--it's the law.