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Our problem, regardless of where we are, is that we want ownership. People, as a whole, do not understand the concept of sharing anything. As George Carlin once said.. "We need our stuff". If you could ignore the fact that you needed to OWN a car, bike, house, etc then you will be free. The concept of 10 people sharing 1 thing in the age of mass consumerism drives fear into the very heart of bankers the world over.
I am a HUGE supporter of electric vehicles, but am fine with human powered transportation, pedestrians and mass transit being given first priority in urban and even suburban street design.
Isn't it funny that when you are chatting on Green Car Reports and mention you drive a tiny EV you're treated like trash because it didn't cost $90K and runs 300 miles on a charge? And then you come over here and mention tiny EV and your vilified because . . . well, you get the idea.
In the US, car culture was stubbornly entrenched even in the past when electric vehicles and a cleaner grid seemed like pipe dreams. Even without Tesla, opposition to bike lanes would still be there and that project to widen an interstate would still be going through. I don't see much harm from the electric car that didn't exist before.
Keep on investing in more bicycle infrastructure and more people will leave their cars at home and ride their bike.
Electric cars still emit particles from the tires and brakes. That is still a substantial source of pollution. It doesn't help that electric cars are (for now) heavier than ICE cars. No issue in rural areas but still a problem in high traffic areas.
Also, you can move 4 times as many people on bikes compared to the same street with only cars.
These articles would be more persuasive if the photos showed people bicycling in anything but perfect weather. There's never rain, never piled-up snowbanks, never blinding fog, never 95 degree/95% humidity weather in this world. I fear that the first day a worker has to make a mandatory 8:30 meeting when there's freezing rain is the last day that they think bicycling to work is feasible. (Yet, driving in freezing rain is bad but at least you're sheltered.)
Right. Cities like Copenhagen, where bicycling is very common, have such nice, warm weather year round. And then there's Los Angeles, where its bitterly cold and rainy, so everyone is forced to drive. Makes perfect sense :)
Cycling in the rain isn't too bad as long as you've got a half-decent waterproof cycling coat.From: Someone who rode through rain cold enough to see his breath this morning.
I used to ride my motorcycle whether it rained or not. A good rain suit is necessary but easy to buy. Snow, on the other hand, was difficult, but somehow I managed. Even through a snowstorm in the Bitterroot Mountains of northern Idaho in August. I have dropped my Yamaha Venture on icy roads in Walla Walla Washington during winter.
I will start showing my winter rain photos. I have lots. and snow. and freezing rain.
It should be mandatory that all cities build the advanced bicycling infrastructure like they have in the Netherlands with protected bike lanes and intersections. Only when most streets have protected bike lanes, and people feel safe, will bike riding become more popular. At least 40% of all car trips could be done with e-bikes if we had protected bike lanes and intersections on most major streets, This would alleviate traffic congestion in cities, clean up the air, minimize the amount of cars, and make them more pleasant. If we lowered the speed limit down to 30 MPH, electric velomobiles like the ELF could replace most car trips in cities and towns. The solutions exist, but cities and towns need to end their selfish car centric worship of the car. People don't need a 4 ton SUV to go 5 miles to Walmart. Most car or SUV trips are within 10 miles and could easily be replaced with e-bikes or vehicles like the ELF.
Brian, surely people don't *need* a 4 ton SUV to go 5 miles. But I don't think there is any data to support the idea that a significant number of people would *prefer* traveling by bike just so long as the infrastructure you mention would be built. The cities I know about that have the protected lanes you want already had a higher share than average of trips being done by bicycle prior to those lanes being put in, so one could make the argument that the demand for safe cycling drove the planning decisions, rather than the planning for safe cycling driving demand. Everything you mention is all well and good, but we must also reckon with the fact that many people associate cars with social status, enjoy listening to music or talk radio while commuting, want to live 24/7 in climate controlled environments, etc. Any serious attempt to shift modal share in a big city must disincentivize driving in a major way. I'm talking about $15/n road tolls for where n=number of passengers in a vehicle, absolute elimination of free on-street parking, 30 minute parking time maximums, raising gas tax, car registration fees, and car sales taxes by a factor of 3, serpentine parking lots at places like Walmart where there is only a single entrance and exit for cars...things that make driving a huge hassle. Because that is how the masses currently perceive cycling: as a huge hassle. Only when you make them equally hasselicious will people consider an alternative to driving their metal box.
Realistically, this will never happen in a pre-existing large urban metropolis with a democratic government. The only way for this to happen is for a critical mass of us like-minded people to decide to move to a place where our numbers would constitute a majority. We'd essentially have to execute a friendly takeover of a city through planned migration. Then we could elect local leaders who want to implement these sorts of policies without trying to convince lazy or apathetic people that increasing bike modal share is good for everyone. The problem is that many of us bikers want to live in a large city like Cleveland or Phoenix. We will never have the numbers there. This approach could perhaps work in a city like Davis, CA where the local tradition is receptive to cycling, and the population is small enough that we could quickly form a super-majority to implement planning policies requiring density, limiting car parking etc...
I have used my Bionx equipped recumbent trike (similar to the photo above this article) to go the four and a half miles to the grocery store or drug store. It is kind of scary with the idiots in some cars also on the road.