TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore
Dave Ross
traffic-seattle.jpg
The commuting change won't be forced on us by government, but by the market. It's the only way to compete with countries that don't have to spend nearly as much to get employees to their workplaces. (WSDOT Photo)

He says the commuter culture is doomed

"These car-oriented cities, the bill is now starting to come due."

As gas prices go up, and as Congress continues to dither over the cost of maintaining the nation's highways, Thomas Fisher, dean of the University of Minnesota's design college, says we are simply seeing the natural consequences of America's car culture.

"People are certainly free to live out in remote areas, but the idea that we have to continuously extend all of this infrastructure that we can't afford, out to them, is simply not affordable any more," says Fisher.

So we just tell them to build their own roads?

"Well, we used to have a lot of dirt roads and a lot of gravel roads in this country. Frankly, I think we're going to have to go back to a lot of that," he says.

But it won't be a bad thing. In fact, Fisher says that some of the healthiest people live in places like Manhattan because they can walk everywhere they need to go, and there's less obesity, less asthma, and fewer auto accidents.

This change won't be forced on us by government, but by the market. It's the only way to compete with countries that don't have to spend nearly as much to get employees to their workplaces.

"We're going to move from an old model to actually living, working and making in a much closer proximity to each other.

And to people who say you can take my car when you pry the steering wheel from my cold, dead fingers?

"You're probably going to be increasingly working in a way where you're not going to need your car, because you're not going to be commuting."

Thomas Fisher, from the Twin Cities - where they are not letting the freeways return to gravel, but they are hiding them by covering them with parks.

Listen to the full interview on the latest episode of RossFire:

Dave Ross, KIRO Radio Morning News Anchor
Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.
Top Stories

  • Heroic Help
    New teacher confronted the teen who opened fire at Marysville-Pilchuck High School

  • Week In Photos
    Great heights and breathtaking images from around the world this week
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.