Progressive Vehicle Registration for Urban Areas

“The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city.” —Lewis Mumford, “The Highway and the City”

Are vehicle registration policies in line with the aspirations of our urban areas? Practically every city in North America is striving to become more friendly to pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders. Research shows that families who own fewer cars are more likely to drive less. These households generate a host of benefits for their communities through reduced air pollution, impact on roadways, and improved health.

However, to my knowledge, state vehicle registration policies generally do not discourage people from owning multiple automobiles in urban areas. (I would be happy to be wrong about this – if there is an example of a state that has a separate registration policy for urban areas, please let me know.)

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