Wednesday 27 March 2013

Relocate space back to people - but not in VeloCity 2013.

This blog is not about copying cycling infrastructure from countries with low numbers of cyclists but this fantastic film shows that even in car dominated cities it is possible to relocate space back to people and the positive effects of doing so.

In London the major has announced his vision for cycling.

Paris closes roads to cars and opens them to people in the summer so that people in the city can enjoy being there.

The Ciclovia in Bogotá Colombia shows how popular roads are when they are closed to car traffic.

The last 60 years of road building have shown that car traffic consumes all the space that is available to it. In modern cities this must be challenged. Cities will become more and more densely populated and so we need more efficient space solutions for transport and leisure.

The solutions are there but it is often the irrational fear of loss of car space that is congesting and choking our cities. Quality cycling infrastructure can be build along side car infrastructure and as part of car infrastructure where motor traffic volume and speed is low, however it can not be built if the design brief is to build it in such a way as to have no negative effect on car space. I am not a fan of "Share the Road" without specifying the road type and function but I am a fan of "Share the Road Space".

It is extremely disappointing that in Vienna (Velo-City 2013) even the Green Party does not even consider the removal of one lane of cars to be at all politically realistic. I feel there needs to be pragmatic political pressure to fix this problem rather than painting over the fundamental design problems.

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