Breaking Gridlock: Moving Toward Transportation that Works

Overview

In the face of skyrocketing gas prices and mind-numbing traffic, commuters' frustrations are at an all-time high. Addressing our nation's seemingly overwhelming transportation woes, Breaking Gridlock looks at the present state of the U.S. transportation system and explores the innovations, technology, and array of choices available for reenvisioning that system for the twenty-first century. Transportation expert Jim Motavalli takes us to some of America's most traffic-plagued cities, offering critiques of current...

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Overview

In the face of skyrocketing gas prices and mind-numbing traffic, commuters' frustrations are at an all-time high. Addressing our nation's seemingly overwhelming transportation woes, Breaking Gridlock looks at the present state of the U.S. transportation system and explores the innovations, technology, and array of choices available for reenvisioning that system for the twenty-first century. Transportation expert Jim Motavalli takes us to some of America's most traffic-plagued cities, offering critiques of current transportation and suggesting models for the future. Along the way, he introduces us to inventors, traffic planners, and environmentally conscious commuters who are making creative contributions to easing the congestion on our nation's highways.
With its practical ideas and innovative concepts, Breaking Gridlock makes a persuasive case for ending the stranglehold that cars have on our lives and for exploring alternatives that can help alleviate traffic, decrease sprawl, and reduce pollution.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this informative but scattered survey of transportation issues in America, ecologist Motavalli presents a legion of reasons why automobiles are the wrong choice for metropolises. They range from the global (ozone layer depletion) to the personal (long commutes) to the social (isolation and urban sprawl) to the near-farcical (increasing numbers of women giving birth on the way to the hospital because highways are too congested). Despite all this, of course, Americans are still addicted to their cars so much so that they'll even use dummies to fake their way into HOV lanes. Partly, Motavalli believes, this is because cars seem to fulfill Americans' desires for individualism. But it's also because of the historic narrow-mindedness of city planners like Robert Moses, who had such distaste for mass transit that he purposely built highway bridges around Long Island and upstate New York that were too low for buses. Unfortunately, Moses's modern counterparts aren't much better. For every Portland, Ore., which has committed to light rail and refused to spend money on highways, there is a Boston, which has thrown billions of dollars into its Big Dig program to extend highways underground. While Motavalli is a proven expert at diagnosing these problems, he is less adept at prescribing solutions. He believes in an interconnected hodge-podge of transit systems subway, light rail, buses, ferries, bicycles along with (most importantly) a total readjustment in American sensibilities based on the European model. Readers will undoubtedly have their own opinions; after finishing Motavalli's earnest and well-researched book, however, they will have no doubt as to its necessity. Agent, Sabine Hrechdakian. (Dec.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578050390
  • Publisher: Sierra Club Books
  • Publication date: 12/10/2001
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 5.75 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Motavalli is the author of Forward Drive: The Race to Build "Clean" Cars for the Future (Sierra Club Books) and the editor of E: The Environmental Magazine. He writes a monthly column on cars and the environment for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and is a contributor to the "Automobiles" and "Escapes" sections of the New York Times. His articles have appeared in The Nation, Salon, and many other national publications. He lives in Fairfield, Connecticut.
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