“The automobile is here to stay.”
The futuristic view of transportation in TQ in the 1960s also shines through in the opening of Russell E. Singer’s 1964 article “Future Role of the Automobile in Urban Transportation.” His vision of automated transit and micro mobility in a fully V2X connected urban landscape included monorails (with enough seats for everyone!), moving sidewalks, personal flying devices, and notably, a high-speed elevator.
Singer takes the opposite opinion from Victor Azam, insisting that “The automobile is here to stay.” He saw the rising populations in suburbs and multi-nucleic urban growth patterns as an obvious reasons why personal automobiles will continue to play a role in U.S. transportation, and pointed to user preference surveys showing that most people just prefer traveling in private automobiles. When thinking about modal and technology shifts moving forward in the twenty-first century, these factors still ring true. Our land use is not built up to support high-frequency, full coverage mass transit outside of urban areas, and some people will never prefer to use shared fleet or shared vehicle transportation options. 50 years later, transportation planners and policy-makers are still trying to find the right balance in multimodal infrastructure spending and urban planning practices.
Written by Alice Grossman, PhD, Former Senior Policy Analyst at Eno