Ways to the West: How Getting Out of Our Cars Is Reclaiming America's Frontier (Paperback)
In Ways to the West, Tim Sullivan embarks on a car-less road trip through the Intermountain West, exploring how the region is taking on what may be its greatest challenge: sustainable transportation. Combining personal travel narrative, historical research, and his professional expertise in urban planning, Sullivan takes a critical yet optimistic and often humorous look at how contemporary Western cities are making themselves more hospitable to a life less centered on the personal vehicle.
The modern West was built by the automobile, but so much driving has jeopardized the West’s mystic hold on the American future. At first, automobility heightened the things that made the West great, but love became dependence, and dependence became addiction. Via his travels by bicycle, bus, and train through Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, Boise, Salt Lake City, and Portland, Sullivan captures the modern transportation evolution taking place across the region and the resulting ways in which contemporary Western communities are reinterpreting classic American values like mobility, opportunity, adventure, and freedom.
Finding a West created, lost, and reclaimed, Ways to the West will be of great interest to anyone curious about sustainable transportation and the history, geography, and culture of the American West.
Tim Sullivan is a city planner, urban designer, and writer whose professional focus is the reshaping of cities and communities through alternative transportation planning. He is the author of No Communication with the Sea: Searching for an Urban Future in the Great Basin. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and two children.
“A fascinating read that gives new insight into the transportation evolution that is now taking place across this region.”
—Wesley Marshall, University of Colorado, Denver
“This book should be read by every planner, transportation engineer, city commissioner, councilman, mayor, economic development director, and developer.”
—John Inglish, former CEO, Utah Transit Authority
"Can a book on urban planning in the West be a terrific read? Answer: Yes, in the hands of Tim Sullivan. . . . Even the footnotes are fascinating in a book that everyone in this city—or in any city in the West—should read. You’ll love it, and it just might change the way you think!"
—Betsy Burton, owner, The King's English, The Inkslinger
"Sullivan, a keynote speaker at the 2014 Western Planner/Utah APA Conference in Salt Lake City, explores the mobility conundrum of the West. . . . One of the wonderful aspects of reading Tim Sullivan’s new book is that he goes back in time, quoting from some of the diaries of travelers taking the Oregon Trail in the 1800s (the Scott Family) and also the Lincoln Highway in the early 1900s (the Gladding family). This is rich material and helps the reader appreciate the sense of adventure and discovery for these early travelers in the West.
—The Western Planner
"A provocative and constructive tale of several western US cities and their initiatives vis-à-vis transportation. . . . Highly Recommended."
"Sullivan is a smart thinker, a curious observer and a great contextualizer in crafting an interesting idea-fueled story about transportation."
—The Salt Lake Tribune
"Sullivan captures western history and culture, providing readers with a well-written account of the past, present, and future of regional transportation. . . . Accessible to both laypersons and undergraduate students, Ways to the West should find a wide readership among westerners, city planners, and politicians."
—Pacific Northwest Quarterly
"Ways to the West is quite simply a fun book to read. . . . a captivating and thorough introduction to the transformation of transportation in the American West."
"I can highly recommend Ways to the West to anyone interested in the evolution of the modern West, anyone who enjoys a good travel adventure, and anyone who cares to reflect on workable alternatives to automobile dependency anywhere in the United States."
—Western American Literature