Chuck Vandergraaf wrote:
I don't think that this mind set is unique to Americans. The more positive
attitude towards mass transit in Europe and Japan is, no doubt, the effect
of the high population density in those countries. Given the choice, most
people, European as well as North Americans, would opt for the comfort of
private transportation. Look at the European freeways, they are as glutted
with cars as on this side of the Atlantic. In Paris, it is not unusual to
see cars parked two rows wide along each side of the streets.
Chuck, I think this also applies to Japan. If they covered the skyline
with freeways in Tokyo and built enormous parking structures, there is
a good chance that people would drive to work. I'm not even sure
that a three hour commute would be enough to discourage that "jump in
the car" behavior. The main thing is that its about $1/km to drive
on the freeways, gas is twice as much as the US, and parking is
incredibly scarce here so you may have a real problem parking
when you get there. However, all the people with powerful positions
have their own assigned parking places, and, guess what, they drive.
Still, even for these folk, the extreme cost sometimes encourages them
to use public transit, and it actually can be much faster here for
certain types of trips when you figure in parking, negotiating the
maze of streets, etc. Time is money, and that seems to tip the
balance even for people at the top.
only by Grace do we proceed,
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