North East Ohio Clean Transportation Program
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Ford Chairman William Clay Ford Jr. expressed some provactive thoughts at a speech at the University of Michigan, captured in a Nov 14 article in the NY Times. Namely, he stated that,
"...the world's automotive fleet, now about 880 million vehicles, would grow to 2 billion by midcentury.
"One of the things we absolutely know as we move forward is that congestion is going to be as big a problem as pollution," Mr. Ford said.
This reminds me of a statement made by the great American industrialist Henry Kaiser, regarding the acceptance and success of the personal automobile:
via May 1944, Steel Labor
"The highway program already announced by Federal government really holds the key to the advancement of the auto industry. The saturation point in automovitve production is a long way off, provided proper streets and highways are available."
Well, it seems the Ford Chairman has acknowledged the problem of too many cars and not enough roads/parking spaces and it's encouraging to hear him say that he wants to be part of the solution.
via November 14 NewYork Times:
"Pointing to efforts under way in India and South Africa to encourage consumers to use bicycles, mopeds and public transportation instead of automobiles, Mr. Ford said, “The idea of individual car ownership as we know it today will change, too.”
Ford wants “to be part of that — not to be frightened by it, but to participate in it,” he said."
I believe this to be a landmark statement in the evolution of personal transportation. By focusing on the development of alternative modes of transportation, such as walking, bicycling, and mass transit, and re-arranging automobile ownerhsip as a co-op or carshare, we not only reduce the destructive effects of a car dominated society, but we dramatically increase the livability of cities.
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