"Transportation can be transformational when it comes to growing cities," said Curbed, Urbanism Editor, Alissa Walker. The Los Angeles based urbanism journalist was invited to speak at the City Center Series put on by the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership.
Her life in LA influences her presentation. "Expanding highways is not going to fix your traffic problems. Expanding highways is not going to have less traffic,” said Walker, “It's just encouraging more cars to drive." She also says LA traffic managers have new innovative transportation ideas worth considering. “We are starting to be a leader.”
It is an important topic in Colorado Springs. "You're an area that's seeing tremendous growth and the decisions that the city makes in the next few years are going to make all the difference when it comes to everything from sustainability, to safety, and to creating a vibrant place that people want to be.” Walker said Colorado Springs it at a crossroads.
Traffic relief is among reasons a growing number of people are moving to metro centers where they can leave vehicles parked. Walker says cars are not going away anytime soon, but they cannot continue ruling as the only way to get around.
She says upgrades to pedestrian routes and mass transit systems need to be part of transportation planning. "Maybe ridership will increase or walkability will increase and nobody has to be forced into this direction, but you might want to choose it because it's a better way to get around."