I am as much in favor of a good public transport system as anyone, but it will, for the foreseeable future, be only a partial solution to our transportation needs. In particular, neither the poor nor the rest of us want to be confined to the job opportunities conveniently accessible to us within walking distance or on the public transport system. Nor would we wish to be confined to the retail opportunities available – big box stores, even in Europe where they were invented, are generally close to the freeway, not the Metro, and even so, how are we going to get all that stuff home on the Metro? Public transport is good for accessing downtowns and other areas where parking is expensive and inconvenient and road traffic is often horrible. Walkable neighborhoods are good and convenient for some things, though rarely for our job and all our desired shopping. There is one activity for which it is extremely desirable that the venues be accessible on foot or by public transport – even more important, that we be able to return from it on foot or on public transport – and that is going out drinking.
Related: “A hard road for the poor in need of cars” by Ken Bensinger at LATimes.com