This article in the Guardian points to Waltham Forest within London as a “mini-Holland. There the neighbourhood is closed to traffic. Hackney is another.
“The inner-London borough of Hackney, which prides itself on being the greenest council in London, tells a similar story. “We are trying to create a more liveable environment,” says councillor Feryal Demirci, the cabinet member for neighbourhoods, “and car-free developments are one way of doing that.” She says almost 90% of the developments currently under way are completely car-free, with the council guaranteeing alternatives to personally owned cars, including a commitment that every resident will live within three minutes of a car-club bay.”
What if our neighbourhood did the same thing? There is no real need for new developments to accommodate private vehicle ownership given how close we are to transit. As privately owned vehicles reach the point for a new car purchase suddenly there are new options that make owning a vehicle a challenging financial decision. Turo , the AirBnB of cars, is now active in Canada with insurance backed by Intact. Given how much time our car sits idle doing nothing (it is used once a week for 4 hours) it makes more financial sense to rent it out to neighbours and make cash the other 6 days week. It is easy to see how quickly some neighbourhoods could end up relying on a handful of vehicles instead of everyone owning their own. Think of the versatile options that could be provided, pickup truck, minivan, super compact and a long haul luxury tourer, all could be part of the portfolio. Why choose to drive the same boring econo-vehicle when you have a choice that includes a car that you could never afford?
The point is that there is a huge benefit to giving up the concept of private vehicle ownership in favour of a sharing approach. Financially it makes sense but also there is the potential to take all the space dedicated to on and off street parking and make it a better street to serve the residents. What would that do to property values?