Some time ago I blogged about the “Wheels to Wealth” conference, which postulated that auto ownership is a key rung on the ladder out of poverty.
I’ve been mulling that one ever since, and I’ve come to a tentative conclusion:
Car-free by choice is great thing, because it means that you’ve managed to organize your life in a way that keeps the essentials (including employment) in walking, bike or transit range.
Car-free by necessity is an injustice, and probably means you don’t have a lot of choices.
I’m not necessarily going as far as to say we should help folks buy cars (I’ll keep thinking about it). But I’m thinking we should spend more time worrying about making places where all the essentials are closer together, including better job-housing balance in different parts of the region.
So I’m a bit less skeptical about the thesis of the conference.