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  • Date Submitted: 01/06/2014 06:03 AM
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Total Environment Centre (TEC) has developed a car-use reduction strategy which sets out simply and clearly the problems associated with a car-dependent society, and how to overcome them.
An extract from TEC's Car-use Reduction Strategy follows:

Car Dependence is not Inevitable

It is important to realise that there is nothing pre-ordained about the dominance of the car. If cars predominate over public transport, and cities are planned around their use, it is a result of deliberate decisions, usually on the part of government or business. Los Angeles is a prime example of a city whose infamous smog and traffic are a result of car dependence imposed by business, acting for its own ends. (See Frank Stilwell, Reshaping Australia, Sydney, Pluto, 1993, p6O.)

In Australia, planning decisions and an imbalance of funding in favour of roads have led to urban sprawl and car dependence. More road length per capita is devoted to roads in Australia than anywhere else in the world, including the USA. (See Newman and Kenworthy, Winning Back the Cities, Sydney, ACA and Pluto, 1992, p 10)

Why something has to be done to reduce the number of cars on the road

Air pollution has declined in Sydney and other Australian cities over recent years as a result of restrictions on backyard burning, together with the introduction of catalytic converters to motor vehicles. Experts warned these improvements will be temporary if the number of cars on the road continues to increase. (McPhail NSW EPA, Sydney Morning Herald 17.8.94; Johnson, in Summit on Air Quality 1991). In the two years to March 1994, 200,000 more vehicles were registered in Sydney and there are signs that Sydney's air pollution is beginning to worsen (Total Environment Centre, June 1994).

The Adverse Effects of Car-use

Car use needs to be considered from the point of view of its 'total impact'. In addition to air pollution, the 'total impact" of car use includes:

Greenhouse gas emissions (21% of...

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