Jeff Speck – “The automobile is a prosthetic [for overcoming the handicap of sprawl]!”
Charles Marohn – “We are all guinea pigs is this experiment [of sprawl].”
Following their remarks, we split up into five discussion groups. I attended the one concerned with air quality. Although I could have dominated the discussion, I decided to sit back and listen to what my neighbors and colleagues had to say. There was a lot of discussion regarding ways to lessen the impact of cars. Considering the two great speeches we had just enjoyed concerning how sprawl and the auto-oriented environment is degrading our lives, I was disappointed.
Towards the end of the discussion, I raised my hand. The following is a synopsis of my comments:
First of all, I have to preface my comments by stating that I think in terms of long-range planning beyond 2040, and I don’t really concern myself with short-term solutions to our air quality problem. Much of what I’ve been hearing from this group is how to retrofit cars. It sounds like a discussion on improving vinyl records. Which are better? 78s or 33s? We live in the age of the iPod, and we’re actually starting the post-iPod era! From my perspective, the car just can’t play a dominant role in our future!