In big cities all over the world cars are often used as transportation. It is also a normal sight to see five-seat cars with only one person in it. This is not good for the environment, but that’s not the only disadvantage, the traffic lines in the cities in the mornings and afternoons can sometimes be brutal!
In New York City the Department of Transportation (DOT) arranged something called Summer Streets. With this project they celebrated the valuable public spaces of NYC, namely the streets. Three Saturdays during the summer people could use almost twelve kilometres of the streets for biking, playing, walking and much more. This was an initiative to encourage the people of NYC to use other means of transportation. The project was very popular, this year more then 250.000 people attended the Summer Streets.
The summer streets took place in the mornings from 7:00am to 1:00pm for people to enjoy the summer mornings, to go for a bike or walking tour and for people to open their eyes to outdoor exercise. The route went all the way from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park.
This free of charge event was designed for people in all age ranges and ability levels. DOT has already started the planning of next years Summer Streets. Maybe this kind of project can be something for your city as well?
Which means of transport do you use usually?
I usually use a bike to get around Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Why do you use it?
I don’t like waiting for trains. I like the control you have on a bike, you need to get somewhere faster, you pedal harder.
Which is your favorite means of transport?
Biking is by far my favorite way to travel.
I like to travel by bike because I feel that you get to experience the city you live in in a different way. You can change your route, go down a block you have never been down before, and get off whenever you please. There is nothing better then biking over the Williamsburg Bridge when winter is turning into Spring and the night air is starting to feel warm again.
Traffic can be a nightmare – especially in big cities. A visual arts student filmed a 3-way intersection in NYC to show why 74 per cent of accidents happen in intersections: pedestrians jaywalking, cyclists running red lights, and motorists plowing through crosswalks.
But there are other places in this world where traffic is even less organized and looks more dangerous but still works – for example in India. Every one who owns a vehicle, whether a two wheeler, 3 wheeler or four wheeler has just learnt to manover the vehicle on the road, not in respect to the rules but in respect to the movement of other vehicles around.
Some European countries have adopted this form of traffic regulation, to minimise fatal accidents within city limits. It’s called “Shared Space”.