Low-Tech magazine looks at bicycles this week, and concludes that cars have to go. Boy, I couldn’t agree more.
The problem is not that there is a lack of good roads – enough of these exist to bike from here to Mars and beyond. The main problem is that these are occupied by automobiles that are not only dangerous but also very inefficient both in terms of energy use and floor space.We don’t need any new infrastructure, what we need is to clear the existing infrastructure of inefficient vehicles and replace them with efficient ones. In other words: give all streets, highways, cloverleaves and motorways exclusively to bicycles and all other human powered wheeled vehicles. Get rid of cars. Why make things so complicated if the solution is so simple?
How could we live without cars, I hear those trapped in skepticism say. The answer is clear:
Picture this for a second. If cars are gone, we are left with pedestrians (on the sidewalk), pedal powered vehicles (one part of the streets and the highways) and public transportation (another part of the streets and the highways, separated from pedal powered traffic, or underground) … For long distance passenger transport, we have trains. For long distance cargo transport, trains again. Short distance cargo transport could see the revival of cargo trams (streetcars). Electric vehicles could be a part of the solution, too, both for cargo transport and for the disabled, provided they keep the same speed as bicycle traffic.
The whole article is well worth the read, and the possibilities should be lightly discarded.