Originally Posted by sandy'smama
I do not need to pretend our gas is $11.25/gal but it is great reading your thoughts.
I loved visiting Europe! When I went to Germany, I was really thrilled at how easy it was to get around without a car. DH had to work (he was on a business trip) so I was on my own for most of the days we were there. It was SO easy to catch a bus (came by 4 times an hour, twice an hour to each stop, and I had two stops literally within 200 feet). The bus station was right at the train station and I could take a train to a neighboring city. From there, I could take another bus if I wanted. Taxis were there too but a lot more expensive. Gas was slightly more there then (2001) than it is here now. Also parking was very limited, so when DH and I went somewhere together, that was always a little difficult.
I noticed that apartment buildings had garden areas. In fact when I took the train I saw many groups of garden plots not near any buildings at all.
There was no urban sprawl. Houses were all somewhat centrally located and when you got out into the country, it was just countryside and roads (and the occasional castle - Rhineland area).
But the thing about Europe is that all of these things have been in place a long time. It will take a lot of years and LOTS of $$$$ to put these things in place in this country. Some things will not be possible (limiting urban sprawl, for example). If we had trains and buses here like we did when I visited Germany, I'd be able to catch a bus twice an hour to get to town, then get on a train in town and go visit the next town. No trains here though, only for the chemical company, the car parts factory and some probably haul grain and stuff from the farms. I'd have to drive over an hour to get to the nearest Amtrak station. I have seen a bus around here but it's one of those "dial a ride" things, no regular schedule, you call them, they pick you up, and I have no idea what it costs.
I was in a suburb of Chicago a few years ago and there weren't even any sidewalks!! It was fun trying to cross 6 lanes of traffic with no crossing signal. Fortunately there were concrete islands. But I had to walk across the grass, and take a taxi to the mall that I could SEE from the hotel. Because there was NO safe place to walk. It was sad. (Now the city of Chicago has the El and other choices, but this was a suburb.)