Better traffic flow needed
When I was teaching in Nanjing, China, in 1983, there were practically no cars, as everyone road their own bicycle. Now I suspect they want to be at least a two-car family.
I assume that Nanjing has at least 1,000 times more folks than Ashland, so if you convert the ratio of 1 in 1,000 to a percent, we are dwarfs compared to them. I think China has a lot of people, and their population is in the billions. Ashland is in the thousands, again our significance is a fraction with a lot of leading zeroes. If China opens a new power plan every month, our fuel consumption compared to theirs is a fraction (maybe one in a million).
When locals drive to the store our paltry five-mile ride is not significant to the 20,000 cars on Interstate 5 passing by, going from Portland or San Francisco. If we compare our car trips to I-5 trips, again we have a fraction far less than a tenth of a percent. Many of those in cars and trucks bring local tourist spending in our shops, restaurants, and hotels. Again, their method of transport is not likely to be a bike on I-5. We are a tiny island connected to the world by highway.
Our population doesn’t ride bikes up and down Wimer street in winter as our steep hills and cold and wet weather aren’t a good match for a bike rider, nor does our street lighting invite that kind of usage.
There is a practically infinite supply of solar power and a plethora of cheap and clean natural gas to power autos. Hence energy source and pollution are not practical factors for designing a city. What Ashland needs is better traffic flow and more parking for residents and visitors. Bicycle parking would be nice for those who need it.