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Driven to Excess: Impacts of Cars on Our Social Lives and What Can Be Done
Date Thursday December 17
Time 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Location Details
Santa Cruz High School Auditorium 415 Walnut Avenue
Event Type Speaker
Organizer/AuthorCarolyn Jett
Emailgreenways [at]
Address703 Pacific Ave
No Friends? Blame the Traffic

Driven to Excess: Impacts of Cars on Our Social Lives and What Can Be Done
Speakers Joshua Hart and Bruce Appleyard
Thursday, December 17th 6:30 PM, in the Santa Cruz High School Auditorium.

Admission is free and open to the public.

People living on streets with heavy motor vehicle traffic are experiencing a considerable deterioration of their local social lives according to Joshua Hart, a former Santa Cruzan who recently completed research at the University of the West of England. Results suggest that residents on busy streets have less than one quarter the number of local friends compared to those living on similar streets with little traffic.
Joshua Hart, UCSC graduate, former PedExer and People Power director, is back in California after three years in the UK, having obtained an MSc in Transport Planning from UWE Bristol. His research, Driven to Excess, replicated the famous Appleyard study from 1969 that found social decay on streets with heavy motor traffic, and was covered in the international media, including the BBC, Guardian, Daily Mail, Express India and Tehran Times. He maintains a blog at

In the 1960’s and 70’s, Berkeley Professor of Urban Design Donald Appleyard conducted research in San Francisco on neighborhood life and how it can be undermined by motor vehicle traffic. His seminal work Livable Streets clearly presented the power struggle between automobiles, residents, pedestrians and other users of our streets, exposing the ill-effects of motor traffic on people, street life and communities, including people’s ability to form local friendships.

Bruce Appleyard has followed in his father’s footsteps as a planning commissioner,
urban designer, and transportation and land use advisor. He is currently a PhD candidate in UC Berkeley’s urban planning program and is working to publish a 2nd edition of Livable Streets.

The speakers will present contemporary evidence of automobile impacts, best practices from places where livable streets have become a priority, and ask the question- in today’s carbon-intensive world, are there social benefits of a human- centered city that perhaps have been overlooked?
Joshua Hart concludes, “This study shows that the deterioration of neighboring in this country may well be down to our own travel habits. We created this problem, and now we have a responsibility to solve it.”

For logistics and details about the event, please contact Carolyn Jett at (831) 425-0667 or greenways [at], For advance interviews and inquiries regarding the research, please contact Joshua Hart at velorution [at] or (415) 646-5143
Added to the calendar on Friday Dec 11th, 2009 12:58 PM
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Move to a quieter streetScottMonday Jan 18th, 2010 6:52 PM

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