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Moving Beyond the Automobile: More from the Streetfilms Series on Livable Streets

The second installment of Streetfilms' excellent video series on the transportation solutions of the future, just released this week, covers cycling.

The good folks at Streetfilms have started rolling out a new 10-part video series about smart and proven solutions for reducing automobile traffic and making city streets safer, healthier, and better for business. In other words: making the streets more livable.

It's called Moving Beyond the Automobile, and here's how they describe it:

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GOOD Design Daily: How Jersey City Is Moving Beyond the Car

A new video series by Streetsfilm showcases the various ways that designers and citizens have managed to shift auto-centric culture.

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As our country sets to work building more high-speed rail corridors, expanding our metropolitan public transit systems, and constructing hundreds of miles of bike lanes, one thing is certain: This isn't our grandparents' auto-centric culture. A new Streetsfilm series named Moving Beyond the Automobile launches today to shine the light on various ways cities across the country have managed to reduce Americans' reliance on the car. Today's film focuses on transit-oriented development—or the wonky name for them, TODs.

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Residents of Transit-Oriented Development Say "No" to Transit

What happens when a neighborhood is transit-ready but its residents are transit-averse?

See that expansive patch of grass? That's where the light rail was supposed to go. But the residents of King Farm, a 440-acre community in the outer suburbs of Washington, D.C. who knowingly moved into this transit-ready development have decided they don't actually want the transit. In fact, a city council member and King Farm resident said the proposed light rail (which the community was designed around) would bring "no benefits" to the neighborhood while being "incredibly disruptive."

Such a reaction doesn't come as a complete surprise. A few years ago, I sat around a table with developers to plan a new housing development in Florida. Some of us were eager to make that community less car-dependent, others less so. My colleague and I presented several design options that would encourage people to walk and get to know their neighbors. One was the creation of a central location where residents would come to pick up their mail; another was a neighborhood cafe as an alternative to the proposed drive-thru Starbucks in a strip mall on the outskirts of town. As we were showing renderings, we were interrupted by a member of the team who said with no small hint of frustration in his voice, "Sorry, but you can't design for the way you want people to behave."

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