With activity picking back up, traffic and driving is trending up. Will people go back to accepting the typical commute at just over 27 minutes one way? Or, will people get behind options that might reduce traffic?
Here are a few alternatives:
- More working from home would reduce traffic. This seems popular and limits the need for commuting. (Bonus: no one is changing roadways like some of the below options.)
- Closing streets to allow more space in cities could extend further. Indeed, cities have already tried this in small doses before COVID-19.
- Road diets try to limit the lanes available to drivers. Fewer lanes means more congestion which could discourage driving.
- Continuing to close major highways in urban areas (like Seoul and Seattle) and instead devoting the land to pedestrians, bicyclists, and local users.
- Promoting more mass transit options and/or coverage throughout regions.
- Providing more opportunities for pedestrians and bicyclists – or at least trying to keep them safe.
- Providing more housing close to jobs so that commutes do not have to be so long.
Americans like driving yet COVID-19 does provide an opportunity to rethink how much driving Americans do on a daily basis. Is this the system people want or is it more of what happened given American interests in suburbs and single-family homes?