We Americans have the right to own cars as long as we obey all the applicable laws. Except on some few special islands where private cars aren’t allowed, we ought to have the right to park those cars someplace close to our homes [The Works, September 30]. We Americans also have the right to travel–in our cars if we can and wish. Even if those car trips only happen once a week, neither Michael Burton nor any city planner has the right to try to force us to not own cars by limiting parking spaces. There are at least twice as many cars in Chicago as the streets and on-street parking spaces were built for. We need more off-street parking and car-free trips.

Along with all the discussions on how to improve the situations for foot, bicycle, and mass transit, most people forget the other ends of those trips. We have to distribute the destinations of those carless trips so that it’s feasible for everybody to get to all of them without taking too long. We have to provide bicycle parking that’s as secure as a locked car door. These have to be done in all the neighborhoods, not just the high-income high-rise areas.

Jean SmilingCoyote