When there are choices….

From California to Krakow (and many places in between as well as now in Warsaw…)

I photographed this scene in Krakow a couple of years ago while living in the region. I grew up in suburban Southern California, accustomed to such congestion and also not really questioning our extremely car-dependent lifestyle – except for one weekend when I was grounded from using my car and I took the bus to the mall and was gobsmacked that a route that took 15 minutes driving took over and hour and a half by bus (that was unsurprisingly mostly empty).

Obviously, for people to make the shift away from car dependence, the option of quality pedestrian and cycling space and infrastructure as well as quality, accessible public transportation need to be in place.

What about when the opportunity for such modal shift away from car exists, but people are not making the change?

At Pedestrian Space, I’ve always been primarily interested in these aspects of culture and psychology as relates to mobility and our mobility decisions.

As I usually share in my urban mobility & walkability workshops & lectures, I currently live in an apartment building in an urban quarter in the Polish capital. There are diverse modes of public transportation available to all in this neighborhood (mainly urban rapid rail, buses and trams with a metro station a few stops away). What compels me and many of my neighbors to leave our home and walk, cycle and use these PT modes and what’s preventing many of our other neighbors from making that choice and rather going to the basement garage to get in their cars and drive – often to the very same districts and neighborhoods we also are commuting to via PT?

How are you moving today?

Urban Mobility, Photo by Annika Lundkvist