Europe’s Vibrant New Low Car(bon) Communities

ITDP wrote up case studies of 8 relatively new car-free (or very car-light) neighborhoods in Europe, with scales ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands of people, and how they compare to adjacent, similar communities, in terms of transportation mode share, etc.  It’s great to see developments like this happening outside of the 500 year old city centers where cars really can’t be squeezed in without destroying the district.  The urban density required to do this and make it work really isn’t all that high.  Two developments each in Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands, one outside London, and another in Switzerland.

Cargo cyclists replace truck drivers

In livable, human-scale cities, a lot of cargo can be moved more efficiently by bike.  The EU is funding a pilot project called CycleLogistics to collect data on just how effectively human powered cargo can be scaled up.  With modest electrical assistance, loads can scale up to as much as 250 or even 500 kg, and stay human scale.  It’ll be very interesting to see the results.

Across Europe, Irking Drivers is Urban Policy

The New York Times almost seems upset that in Europe the mobility of people, not motor vehicles, is the measure of an urban transportation system.  With finite funding and urban space constraints, you sometimes have to choose which mode to prioritize.  Pedestrians, bicycles, and mass transit all move more people in less space, with less GHG emissions, noise and pollution, more safely than cars.  De-prioritizing automobiles also makes streets into vastly more livable public spaces.  It’s not about making life bad for cars, it’s about making it good for people!

Bike Transport in Switzerland and Austria

A pleasantly surprised American cyclist commenting on bike infrastructure in Switzerland and Austria, in particular Basel and Innsbruck, two European cities that aren’t particularly big (166k and 120k respectively), and which do have some weather and topography, not so different from Boulder.  Basel’s bike mode share is 17%, about double Boulder’s, and their bike infrastructure is fantastic.  If we get another 9% of our trips by bike, can we have that too please?  Or maybe the causality is the other way around.

Seville on how to be bike friendly

Seville, Spain has gone from 0.4% (essentially zero) to 7% bicycle mode share in 5 years.  Boulder’s bike share is something like 9% and we’ve been at it for 20-30 years.  This suggests to me that we are being too timid, and that we have no reason to rest on our laurels.  Seville did this on the cheap, and they did it fast, by taking a small amount of space from cars, and giving it to people, while also physically protecting the people from the cars.

Shared Links for May 26th

Shared Links for May 21st