Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

How to Fix Polarization: Get Politicians Out of Cars

POLITICO Magazine asked dozens of big thinkers to tell them their boldest solutions to America’s problems, and this was my response…

Public space is inextricable from urban issues. But many politicians have become disconnected from the physical reality of the people they serve, which leads to a disconnect from their constituents.

I propose a movement to get all politicians—or at least mayors and other urban politicians—to spend at least one day a week working car-free. This wouldn’t just be an exercise in empathy for constituents who don’t have cars, or an opportunity for politicians to experience the public transportation system from which, via years of being driven from A to B to C, they may have become estranged. There are hundreds of data points that could drive policy that can best be understood while walking down a sidewalk, cycling down a bike lane or tapping on to a bus. Are sidewalks in good repair? Is there shade at the bus stops? Where does it flood during a rainstorm? Reducing car dependence is also key to any meaningful strategy to address the climate crisis: We need to give people good options to abandon their cars.

Continues: Politico