|New Jersey is a state of transportation
"firsts": the first stagecoach,
the first balloon flight, the first airport, the first steam
locomotive. But despite this promising "multi-modal" start,
mobility in our state depends on cars and highways. The number
of miles we drive in a year has risen steadily, as has the amount
of time we spend sitting in cars. The amount of land we pave
for roads and subdivisions has risen correspondingly, as has
the congestion we endure. Our pattern, to build new homes rather
than renovate existing towns, perpetuates our car culture. When
we require services or recreation, most of us have little choice
but to drive. The lack of choice in transportation and land
use is likely to be an increasing problem as the population
ages and becomes less able to live in auto-dependent locations.
What we know
for road and bridge repairs increasing
miles traveled increasing
transportation options increasingly auto-dependent
we don't know
• The lifestyle
and public health costs of our increased auto-dependency, including
time spent in traffic instead of walking, biking, or exercising.
• The full environmental
impacts of auto-dependency, in areas such as wildlife habitat
loss, air and water quality degradation, and global warming.
• How many of us
have transportation options aside from driving for doing the
things that we want to do, including eating, shopping, and socializing.