Street Space For 60 People: Car, Bus, Bicycle

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    Pic and quote below used on 'Best Ever Quotes About Cycling' quickrelease.tv/?p=486

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    From Energy and equity: Toward a History of Needs. Ivan Illich, New York: Pantheon, 1978:

    "The bicycle uses little space. Eighteen bikes can be parked in the place of one car, thirty of them can move along in the space devoured by a single automobile. It takes three lanes of a given size to move 40,000 people across a bridge in one hour by using automated trains, four to move them on buses, twelve to move them in their cars, and only two lanes for them to pedal across on bicycles. Of all these vehicles, only the bicycle really allows people to go from door to door without walking. The cyclist can reach new destinations of his choice without his tool creating new locations from which he is barred.

    "Bicycles let people move with greater speed without taking up significant amounts of scarce space, energy, or time. They can spend fewer hours on each mile and still travel more miles in a year. They can get the benefit of technological breakthroughs without putting undue claims on the schedules, energy, or space of others. They become masters of their own movements without blocking those of their fellows. Their new tool creates only those demands which it can also satisfy. Every increase in motorized speed creates new demands on space and time. The use of the bicycle is self-limiting. It allows people to create a new relationship between their life-space and their life-time, between their territory and the pulse of their being, without destroying their inherited balance. The advantages of modern self-powered traffic are obvious, and ignored."

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    Pic originally taken by the City of Münster press office, Germany

    Steven Vance, Alan (merrionsq), and 14 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. simonrockman 29 months ago | reply

      The bus assumes all the people want to go from the same place to the same place. The bicycle assumes they have nothing heavy, awkward, confidential or valuable to carry.

    2. ambrosen 29 months ago | reply

      Good point simonrockman. Care to estimate how many of those people in cars couldn't have got a bus or ridden a bike?

    3. angelaraffle 29 months ago | reply

      My bicycle does not assume that at all, I carry awkward, heavy, confidential and valuable things by bike all the time.

    4. matthewbeersreed 29 months ago | reply

      I too carry many awkward heavy, etc... Things by bike.

    5. matt_outandabout 29 months ago | reply

      I am awkward and heavy :)

    6. carltonreid 29 months ago | reply

      The stats are quite plain. Many, many car journeys - too many journeys - are of five miles or under. An amazing number are of two miles or under.

      Sometimes I may choose to use a car when carrying something heavy or awkward (not too sure of the other two) but this is rare.

      Most car journeys are one person travelling a short distance. This is a profligate waste of roadspace, fossil fuel, and money: it also impinges on the sustainable, sensible travel choices of others.

    7. Steven Vance 29 months ago | reply

      There's a Flickr group dedicated to featuring photos of anything and everything people've carried on their bicycles. I carried this on my bicycle.

      That comment reminds me of this Zipcar ad:

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