Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Two Wheel Solution

VANCOUVER — For all the techno talk about magnetic levitation trains or personal rocket packs, the urban transport system of the future turns out to be bicycles. Sprockets and chains, seats and handlebars, this 19th century technology may be the best weapon we have for the long campaign to make livable cities in the 21st century. Bicycles take a fraction of the space and materials of cars or buses, are powered by the excesses of our calorie-rich diets, and have the huge advantage for those who ride them of extending both quality and length of life.

This recent article talks about how liveability will be tied to the biking capability of cities. As with many plans for cities, it directly relates to the simplicity of biking and how that can change cities. When you think about the infrastructure costs for cycling versus more highways, light/heavy rail, BRT, and subways, the cost benefit analysis should be clear to everyone. Yet, we find that time after time, excuses are always found why biking as a form of transit is not a viable option. Hopefully the tides are changing, ever so slightly.

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