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Limiting Automobile Use

Excessive automobile use destroys neighborhoods and cities and promotes sprawl. This page lists groups working to limit automobile use and promote alternative transportation, with information about:

National Groups

These groups are lobbying for alternative transportation at a national and international level:
  • Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP): A coalition of over 200 groups, lobbying at the federal level for environmentally sound transportation policy in the United States. It publishes a newsletter and sends news/action alerts by e-mail.
  • ITDP (Institute for Transportation and Development Policy): A non-profit agency promoting non-motorized vehicles and sustainable transportation policies worldwide. It implements bicycle-development projects in places like South Africa, Mozambique and Haiti; provides technical support to sustainable transport advocacy groups in Eastern Europe and Asia; and puts pressure on the big multilateral development banks (like the World Bank) to reform their highway-oriented lending policies. Their newsletter, "Sustainable Transport," is the best source of news on anti-road movements worldwide.

Local Groups

These groups are lobbying for alternative transportation at the local level:
  • Tri-state Transportation Campaign: (New York City metropolitan area) Publishes research reports and other information and also produces an e-mail news/alert bulletin, "Mobilizing the Region," covering political battles over sustainable transportation in the New York, New Jersey, Connecticut area.
  • Car-Free Seattle: Resources and actions for alternative transportation in Seattle.

Freeway Fighters

These groups are working to stop road construction:

  • Includes a state-by-state directory of anti-freeway battles in the United States plus information about the absurdity of building freeways in the age of peak oil.
  • Wildlands CPR: Wildlands Center for Preventing Roads. A national coalition working to protect wildlands from the ecological impacts of roads, to preserve and restore biodiversity. This group was originally named Road-RIP.
  • Citizens for Appropriate Rural Roads: fighting to stop I-69, a proposed highway through the farmlands and forests of Southern Indiana. This local battle has national significance, since this road would be the first link in the proposed NAFTA highway connecting Canada and Mexico.
  • Corridor H Alternatives: fighting the Corridor H freeway, in the Potomac Highlands and Shenandoah Valley of West Virginia and Virginia.

And watch out for . . .

  • Quality Growth Coalition: Don't be fooled by the name. Their version of "quality growth" is just the opposite of smart growth. The self-proclaimed Quality Growth Coalition is actually a coalition of groups representing business interests that build road, manufacture asphalt, and other advocates of freeways and sprawl. One of their members, the National Utility Contractors Association has the motto "We Dig America" - and that pretty much sums it up.

Rail and Public Transit Advocacy

These groups are working to improve railways and public transportation:

  • A national organization working for a smart transportation, particularly for a new national train network.
  • American Public Transit Association: The international association of mass transit interests. APTA's 1100+ members include operating transit authorities, their suppliers and other advocates of improved public transportation.

Bicycle Advocacy

These groups are working for better bicycling conditions:

  • Workbike.Org: The definitive site with links to information on carrying loads by bycycle and to all manufactures of workbikes.
  • Yellow Bike Project: A volunteer group in Portland, Oregon that provides free community bikes, yellow bicycles left on the streets for public use.

Other Transportation Resources

  • Center for Transportation Excellence: The best source of information about the benefits of public transportation, particularly of light rail, including a resource library and information about transit-related ballot measures nationwide.
  • Jane Holtz Kay's Web Site: A site with information about the most important writer on transportation in the United States today, Jane Holtz Kay, with her articles and information about her books.
  • Victoria Transport Policy Institute: Probably the most important organization doing research and analysis that incorporates social and environmental values into transportation decision making. This site is particularly valuable, because its studies are now available on-line, and they are excellent ammunition for battles against automobile dependency.
  • Car-Free Cities: A wealth of information from J.H. Crawford's book Carfree Cities and his on-line newsletter Carfree Times.
  • David Engwicht's A well known Australian writer, freeway fighter, and advocate of traffic calming, David Engwicht provides many resources at this site, including information of traffic reduction and street redesign.
  • Road Expansion Induces Traffic: Many studies have shown that increasing road capacity also increased the amount that people drive. For example, on recent study found that in California, major road projects fill up 90 percent of their capacity in five years with trips that would not have occured if the road had not been built. This page from the Sierra Club includes information about and links to these studies.
  • Detour Publications (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) provides "a catalog of books, magazines, and videos on transportation and urban ecology from across North America."