What’s better than shifting car trips to transit? Removing the need for trips.

San Francisco now requires large new buildings to “pay” for any parking they build by encouraging other forms of transportation. For example, the building can offer car sharing, bike sharing, or shuttles to transit hubs. The goal is reduce single-person car trips with more efficient transportation.

While this new rule helps, it doesn’t go as far as it could and it addresses the problem downstream rather than at the source.

The most efficient form of transportation is not needing to be transported at all. A grocery store at the bottom of a building means those residents don’t need transportation to buy food. This logic can be applied to any other transportation need. Living closer to friends, to work, to the hair stylist, to food, parks, bars, banks, shopping, means less time, energy, and road congestion getting to those places.

Encourage this kind of holistic development, and people will waste less time moving around.