Spacing: The twisted myth of car ownership in Scarborough

Households without car_newA common narrative in discussions of urban suburban divides is that suburbanites both love and own automobiles while city dwellers live car free. This is a deeply rooted assumption that quietly justifies the lack of investment in alternatives to cars in suburban areas. A deeper examination of Scarborough suggests that the idea of monolithic suburban car ownership is a myth. Many households within Scarborough do not own a car and a smaller proportion of Scarborough residents has a driver’s license compared to residents in the core. …

If we look at a map of car ownership in Scarborough (Figure 1), we find that many households do not have even a single car. There are pockets of Scarborough where more than 38% of households do not own cars. These pockets are consistently distant from higher order transit services. We also see that in Scarborough, the limited cycling infrastructure available (especially bike lanes) is all located in areas of high car ownership. This leaves those without cars completely dependent on walking and bus service.

This is an excerpt from an article published in Spacing, written by Trudy Ledsham, a researcher for both the Toronto Cycling Think & Do Tank at the University of Toronto and TCAT’s Scarborough Cycles Project.

Read the full article here.