(3) - Ghent, Randall. The impossibility of a balanced transportation system, Towards Carfree Cities IV, July 19-24, Berlin, Germany

“Up until now, without much evidence, we’ve assumed the car’s convenience is an intrinsic quality, yet it is environment-specific to the habitat we have created for it. We have accommodated the car, and proposed to continue doing so under the banner or guise of ‘balance,’ in order to maintain this ‘go where you want, when you want’ practicality that in fact Pedestrian Cities once offered to those on foot. What’s really most convenient is this self-fulfilling prophecy, which allows us to avoid a systematic weighing of each transportation mode’s inherent positive and negative qualities, and therefore to ignore the automobile’s unjustifiably high social and environmental costs. Moreover, proponents of ‘balance’ provide themselves with a convenient rhetorical exit route: Once they deem a situation as representing ‘balance,’ the implication is that the work is done; there’s nothing more to be achieved.”