Diane Boudreau | PhysOrg

Devine Legacy on Central Ave. is a mixed-income apartment community along the light rail corridor supported through the Sustainable Communities Collaborative. The building, owned by Native American Connections, is also LEED Platinum certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Credit: Diane Boudreau
Devine Legacy on Central Ave. is a mixed-income apartment community along the light rail corridor supported through the Sustainable Communities Collaborative. The building, owned by Native American Connections, is also LEED Platinum certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Credit: Diane Boudreau

Like a teenager lobbying for the car keys, Phoenix came of age in the era of the automobile. The area’s explosive growth in the mid-20th century reflected America’s similarly growing love affair with cars.

As a result, the Valley of the Sun is designed for driving, with wide, well-maintained streets, ubiquitous turn lanes and abundant parking. Unfortunately, car-friendly amenities like sprawling parking lots can make other ways of getting around more difficult. And increasing evidence shows that a gasoline-fueled car culture isn’t sustainable for our environment or our health.

Many cities, including several in the Valley, have committed to more sustainable transit. Researchers at Arizona State University are playing a role, providing evidence-based information on how to design our cities to promote transit options that are good for the environment, the economy and our bodies.

Why not drive?

It’s easy to understand why driving is so popular. Cars are fast, comfortable, private and convenient. Unfortunately, there are a lot of drawbacks to driving, ranging from air pollution and greenhouse gas production to the danger of collisions. And those are just the effects from the act of driving. Read more