September 29th, 2011

Can I make myself any clearer?

As cities have grown, the car has stopped being the freedom machine it was first promoted to be. Bicycles give greater mobility. The only trade off, is cyclists are killed whenever drivers don't look, as is drivers' habit, in countries where mass cycling has faded from living memory.

On the bright side, a network of space in most cities has been forfeited, as industry has moved elsewhere. All we need, is the resolve to keep cars out of those networks (comprising docklands, waterways, disused rail corridors and brownfield redevelopment sites), and we have an opportunity to build parallel cities, where cycling is the dominant mode of transportation, supplemented by light transit, and protected from cars. A growing number of people, who would rather not have to own cars, and would rather keen trim and fit, could at last have a place to live their preferred lifestyle, in conscionable safety. They could venture back into car-land with caution, or perhaps hire cars or use taxis, if they need to go there.

I've been failing though, in my efforts to communicate this vision of a safe city for cycling, in such a way that it gathers the grassroots support that I'm convinced it deserves. This failure condemns me to a life crying in the wilderness, with a $25 p.a. blog, of curiosity to a few readers. Lovely.

Is the problem the way I've been saying it? I'll say it this way: consolidate brownfield sites flanking recreational bicycling routes, and separate those routes entirely from cars. In the case of New York (pictured) rebuild all the piers in the Hudson, and don't let people cross the bike path in their cars, to reach skyscrapers out on the piers.

Let me know if you share my vision. How you would nuance it. And most importantly, how you think I should spread it.