We recently wrote about how more compact community development could cut down on the number of cars on the road. More tightly organized neighborhoods lead to less driving, which in turn leads to less traffic, fewer accidents and lowered carbon dioxide emissions. Now the British government plans to take this principle to new heights.
As Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his government plan the construction of “eco-towns” across the English countryside, they plan to make at least one of these hamlets a completely car-free zone. The town will serve as a prototype, and if all goes well, others may soon pop up.
Basically, residents of the 10,000-home development will have to either walk or use public transportation to get around. Those who own cars will have to keep them in designated parking areas on the outskirts of the village.
A carless community of this size raises some questions: What about the handicapped, invalids or others with mobility issues? What happens in the event of an emergency? And if you can’t call it a one-stoplight town, how are surly teenagers — angry that their parents moved them to a town where they’ll never get a driver’s license — supposed to complain about it?
Let us know what you think. Could you adjust to living in a town that banned cars?