Saturday, August 18, 2012

Pedalling In Europe

In recent years, bicycle as a means of urban transport has caught on in a big way in Europe.
The number of bicycles in Paris has increased 41 percent since 2007. During the same period, motor vehicle traffic has decreased by 25 percent. The Parisian model also served as an example for the development of similar initiatives in numerous cities around the world, from Melbourne, Australia to the U.S. city of San Francisco.

The Bicycle Revolution In Paris, Five Years Later

Danish statistics show that every 6 miles biked instead of driven saves 3 1/2 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and 9 cents in health care costs. But many cite happiness among the chief benefits of bicycle commuting. In Denmark, thanks to measures like the superhighway, commuters choose bicycles because they are the fastest and most convenient transportation option.  
NYT: Commuters Pedal to Work on Their Very Own Superhighway
 Even though Bharat is synonymous with simple and sustainable lifestyle, nothing close to this has been tried in any Indian city. In recent years our planners have developed a fascination for flyovers and four wheelers -- the pedestrian and the biker is not a concern for them.


Ghost Writer said...

as a heavy user of Vancouver's excellent bicycle infrastructure, I have to say that this is an excellent thing.
cycling is better not only for the environment - but for the self.

it is sad to see India - with her excellent bike friendly climate (except in the monsoon)- not doing enough to promote cycling. one way is to have a high, annual 'congestion tax' on cars. The other way is to charge actual market rates for car parking.

Sujeev said...

I personally like the "B&B" these days - the "Bike and Bus" commute. I think Public Transit buses all over North America have bike racks, with space for two bikes at a time. So, depending on the weather, wind (headwind or tailwind?), terrain (uphill or downhill?), and bus timings (thanks, google maps for android), I can either speed up my travel, or extend it beyond the capability of purely bike travel. Currently, public transit agencies in my area do not charge an extra fare for the bike, but if demand gets too much, and they start charging for bikes, I think I'll just buy an extra monthly pass, and use it for the bike, or the wife, depending on who I take along for that particular outing :-).