Why Cars are Basically the Worst Way to Move People in a City

Seattle, like many metropolitan areas, is running out of roadways.

With more people deciding to squeeze their lives into urban apartments over suburban homes, public transportation is becoming a greater necessity in the Pacific Northwest’s largest city.

Seattle is quickly learning, take up a ton of space.

We’ll let this GIF illustrate:


The GIF comes from a recently released infographic created by the Seattle-based research organization International Sustainable Solutions. It shows just how inefficient automobiles are when it comes to space, especially if people are driving alone — which is about 75% of the time.

While the luxuries of solitude and air conditioning trump a potentially sweaty city bus, everybody hates traffic. And if the roads are less congested, people won’t need to spend as much time traveling on them.

“We’re geographically constrained in terms of auto capacity we can add to the network,” Scott Kubly, director of the Seattle Department of Transportation, told the nonprofit Next City. “If we’re going to continue to grow, we need to use our streets more efficiently.”
Seattle is steadily growing fast. In 1990, it had 516,000 people; by 2010, it had 608,000.

And the rate’s only increasing. Between 2000 and 2010, children under 5 made up the largest portion of Seattle’s population growth. Those kids will soon be getting behind the wheel — and adding to the congestion — unless the city can intervene.

Read more here.