Green, small, smart, congested

We hear touted as a solution to our car-woes that cars will get cleaner – all the way to electric and fully sourced from solar and wind. 
We note that there is some trend, however minuscule, toward smaller cars.  Ones that fit two to a parking spot. Some places have more of them than others.
There are even ideas to put two to a lane.
Now, even the god Google is in the fray with cars that look to be able to drive themselves. In this way cars can bunch closer together.
Each of these improvements will make the private automobile more useful, less polluting, more desirable, more ubiquitous and our roads more congested.
Pollution-free, convoys, two to a lane. More. But roads cannot be supplied effectively as fast as we can populate our fleets. This is so because of space, politics, money, and environment.

Space, not automotive innovation is the limitation; there is no lack of automotive innovation. But we do lack the courage to manage demand.

The market makes cars better by satisfying demand.  The market could make mobility better by managing demand with time-distance-place pricing.


Tim Lennon said...


Nice simple, clear post: wonder how long you'll have to say it until we start acting?


Bern Grush said...

Thanks, Tim. Glad to have another friendly. A little under 50% of drivers in North America, Europe and parts of Asia understand that demand management is needed. This number rises to to about 70% with careful explanation, but that is expensive. Actually the only explanation that is guaranteed to work is experience. Hence the switch in Stockholm from less than 50% to over 50% acceptance.
In any case, I will continue this until I am 101. Which is coming up fast enough.

Hope I can get through the fog of brute entitlement by then.