If you’ve been on the planet for more than a few years - even if you’re only 9 or 10 years old - you’re likely pretty familiar with the human quirk of often saying we hate the idea of something (broccoli, live theater, talking to strangers) and then finding out that when we actually try the thing it turns out to not be as bad as we feared or that in fact we LOVE it.
Certainly ‘the hating’ part is on full display around the world in locations as diverse as London, England (November 2020) and Oslo, Norway (2017) when car-reduction changes have been proposed. In London this took shape as low-traffic neighborhoods (LTNs); in LTNs “residential areas have been redesigned, with one-way systems and bollards, barriers, and planters used to reduce through-traffic”.
These types of changes have a variety of objectives such as improving the walkability and pedestrian safety in neighborhoods as well as ultimately reducing car usage and the resulting emissions. But all too often there is massive pushback such as graffiti being painted on bollards and even death threats made against councillors in London.
But - wait for it - in reporting this article for Wired (June 2022) the reporter found “No one I spoke to for this piece could name a recent sizable pedestrianization or traffic-reduction scheme that had been reversed once it had been given time to have an effect”.
Is there some change that is being proposed in your neighborhood that might have several benefits including a reduction in emissions but that is getting a lot of pushback? Can you find a similar change that has been done elsewhere that has turned out well? Or maybe ask naysayers to think of a time in their life where they hated the idea of something but then found it to be actually pleasant when implemented or engaged with?