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Archive for August, 2010

Cycling: Mobility for Equity

August 08, 2010 By: Peter Smith Category: Advocacy

We’ve talked before about how allowing people to get around by bike is a human rights issue, a women’s rights, issue, etc. This video we found on the Bicycle Partnership Program website jumps over to India to find out how bicycles are helping millions of people, including and especially women, live fuller lives:

Cycling: Mobility for Equity from Peter Smith on Vimeo.

The interesting thing is, you don’t have to go to India to find inequality that is further exacerbated by a lack of mobility — it’s right in our own backyards. I understand that some folks want to talk about cars being squeezed, and how bad traffic will get when we add bike lanes to some road, but this misses the larger point — people need safe, comfortable, and dignified walking and biking conditions — anything less is not acceptable.

If, after providing walkers and bikers the infrastructure they require and deserve, then we can talk about whether motorized traffic will also be allowed to use these particular roads, whether there will be more than one auto travel lane in either direction, whether we will allow for left-turn pockets, etc., but at no point should we entertain accommodating automobile traffic better before we even provide the minimum required pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. There may be reasons we are forced to compromise and accept less than the required walk- and bike infrastructure, but we should never start from that compromise position, and any road (re)design must be done with a view towards greatly increased walking and biking (so, avoid things like raised/landscaped medians, etc.).

Immediate emancipation from car culture, gradually achieved.