Car owners will drive, no matter what gas costs

Letter

One reader noted how expensive gas prices were in Sweden [Letters, May 8-15]. He couldn’t wait until our prices were similar, as this would force most people to stop driving. How does he explain, then, that not only are more and more Europeans driving, according to a French survey, but commuting distances are on the increase? Bordeaux, France, only had one bridge until the 1960s. It now has four and a circular freeway. This freeway brought so much new construction (unavoidable, as the historical town of Bordeaux cannot expand horizontally, and high-rises aren’t allowed) that another circular freeway is being planned much farther away.

The drastic increase of the suburban population of many European towns has been facilitated by the construction of new public-transit systems and freeways where none existed before. At the same time, European countries are working very hard to develop alternative forms of energy. An amazing number of private homes have solar panels, for example, and many businesses use electric cars and minivans.

> Jean-Louis Brussac / Coquitlam

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