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Something special is happening in Barcelona (twitter.com/zachklein)
313 points by reallydontask 88 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 149 comments

I used to live in Barcelona, the infrastructure is definitely anti car in every aspect, it's desired to be. For such a large city, the car traffic is minimal, there are not enough parking opportunities, especially at the beach. There would be space, but the government knows better, if you have ever been in a tourist destination in Spain during peak season you will know that there is no way to accommodate all the cars. The only traffic jams you'll encounter is if an accident happened or if you go from Barcelona outwards toward the airport, when commuters go home on Friday afternoons or evening when headed to the nicer , less crowded beaches in the south. But absolutely nothing compared to London, I have lived there as well and driven a car. It's the city with the worst traffic jams you can imagine, it starts at 7am and never really ends, after 8pm it's quite calm and deserted one weekdays. But weekends, if you wanna go from the south east to the north, God help you. It's very bicycle friendly, own parts of the roads, unobstructed by cars. Taxis have a separate lane, and buses as well. The public transportation is also very good, affordable, you have buses, underground trains, and well, overground trains. And it's a nice city to walk, the old part of town, the huge parks, really nice.

A role model implementation as far reducing car traffic issues go. Many people use these electro kind skateboards(forgot name) and scooters. And many people just walk. Of course , it needs to be mentioned that Barcelona is not built like American suburb areas, it's all apartment blocks of 3-7 stories, all blocks glued together. It's tight, they even have a convention on how to dry your clothes on balconies and how not to do it. Barcelona has many other issues, the typical ones for large cities, but transport and car traffic, I haven't seen better in Europe.

> It's very bicycle friendly, own parts of the roads, unobstructed by cars

Only in some streets. Many streets don't have cycle lanes. Or only in one direction, and it's not really clear where to find one in the direction you're going. It's a bit of maze trying to figure it out and in the end you just end up in between the cars..

The crossings aren't that safe either because turning traffic doesn't have their own green timeslot, they're supposed to turn when straight gets green but give way to crossing traffic. But drivers often don't check very well, I often see near misses.

Coming from the Netherlands the bicycle lanes there are really much better with their dedicated green lights, lanes everywhere (almost always in both directions) and separate crossings. They're also better marked and uninterrupted (in some barcelona streets they suddenly just stop or move to another side without clear indication). I definitely don't feel safe cycling in Barcelona. I mainly walk here and take the metro.

I hope the bicycle network will improve going forward as cars are excluded from the city more. They make a good effort so far but it's definitely not great :)

I have only been to Amsterdam and the airport in the Netherlands, it was a while ago, but no way did Amsterdam have a better infrastructure for bicycles 10 years ago than Barcelona has today. I could be wrong, but the main streets didn't have the nice two way lanes like in Barcelona and the red light, coffee shop district is similar to cuidad vella and Raval, both in spirit and infrastructure, both are not optimal for anything. I heard Denmark is on a high level too and maybe the Netherlands as a whole are much better. It has to be said that Barcelona is an exemption, Madrid and other cities don't even come close, apart from some few very rich pueblos on the coast. At least in Barcelona you can use the main roads to get tangentially near your desired destination and from there it's a bit less luxurious. I agree that left turning cars are very dangerous for more vulnerable vehicles. For example , to turn left , you have to get to the proper lane in time(not so easy, many people report map applications to have notorious delays in parts on the city), then check for ongoing traffic, sometimes the innermost are bicycles, then cars, then another lane plus pedestrians with no regards to red light green light rules. It's also true that the lanes are often interrupted by other rather large streets etc. But overall, it's a breeze going from one of the big parks to Barceloneta. Big negative point is in summer, it's no fun, the heat can be horrible, and if you are on a red light next to a bus, the fumes and other car emissions are in your face and the temperature feels like it jumped 10 deg Celsius within 3 seconds. To clarify, I am sure there are better small cities in that regard, I only tried to say Barcelona has the best solutions compared to other large cities. The negative point of course is, it's downright hostile to car drivers, some people enjoy driving a car(I don't ever own a car unless I live in a remote area).

The centre of Asterdam is an exception though. It's a bit of a tourist fair now, the same way the old town and Ramblas areas are here. Especially the red light district is more like an open air museum than a real city :) Yeah some 'real' people live there but it's mainly students that live there for a short time and like the novelty.

The area is just highly constrained by the canals and even as a car driver it's a nightmare to go there. It's a maze of one-way streets, closures and blocks etc. Not representative of a typical Dutch city at all. Nor comparable to Barcelona which has wide streets (ciutad vella etc excluded of course)

All other Dutch cities are very different (except perhaps for a tiny area in the center). Much more boring too though. Mostly new buildings.

But don't consider Amsterdam (the centre at least) as a measure for the rest of the Netherlands, they're very different things :)

Cyclists are still given the stink eye in England if they even consider cycling on the pavement (I was once physically assaulted as a teen by a 'concerned citizen' for doing such a reckless thing), despite it being completely normal in other European cities.

Before the bike lanes were common, you had to cut your teeth zipping between the cars in the narrow roads, keeping up with traffic speeds, annoying every driver who gave you an inch, terrifying bewildered tourists, and watching your face get smashed by door after door after door.

When the cycle lanes were rolled out, things became much safer between bikes and cars, but now all bikes are herded together and you experience a bike lane traffic as Mr Expensive Latex seems to have no idea how to pull over to let others pass whilst he's busy clicking in his shoes.

It's very safe now. I kind of miss the mad chaos London used to be when cycling, when only the dumb and the brave dared to battle the busses. When you'd get to work pumped with the adrenaline and the knowledge that you survived the journey

> It's very safe now. I kind of miss the mad chaos London used to be when cycling, when only the dumb and the brave dared to battle the busses. When you'd get to work pumped with the adrenaline and the knowledge that you survived the journey

I didn't even experience that and I miss it! Years ago, I watched some TV programme where the protagonist tried to cycle through central London and had multiple terrifying near-misses.

Then I moved there, went for a bike ride and was thinking "what are they on about? there's not _that_ much traffic on the road, there's tons of cyclists, all the buses are pretty cautious, and there's cycle lanes everywhere!"

> I kind of miss the mad chaos London used to be when cycling, when only the dumb and the brave dared to battle the busses.

That's a bit like soldiers missing the war period. You damn adrenaline junkies...

The Netherlands has some of the best bike infrastructure in the world. It’s not really fair to compare Barcelona to them negatively.

Should Barcelona learn from the Netherlands? Yes.

Should Barcelona be blamed for not being as good as The Netherlands? No.

It has a good public transport system, yes, but ironically it's the only city where I felt kind of insecure in the subway. Always making sure nobody is going to pickpocket me or I don't look the wrong way at some guy looking for trouble.

A friend of mine works there as security and after all the stories he told me I rather get in a car and deal with the traffic.

And I'm saying this as someone who uses the subway to commute but in a safer city. I literally get in, close my eyes and open them after 20 minutes.

Anyone who works as security/law enforcement is going to have a significantly more cynical view of humanity. Not unlike how software professionals are leery of software quality (e.g. us being generally opposed to digital elections).

Personally public transport in Barcelona felt safer than the equivalent in most major North American cities. For example there’s what I believe is a bullet hole in the glass at one of the stations I frequently use — and I know for a fact that several people have been shot dead directly outside that station.

You said it, North American cities. These are not safe cities according to my standards.

The standard mismatch between "Euro-metro" and "US-metro" folks on some things is sadly hilarious - I'll always remember the faces of some SF acquaintances when I mentioned, in passing, that public transport in San Francisco is pretty bad overall... I realized I made a horrible faux-pas and never mentioned it again.

For what it's worth the subway is very safe in terms of violent crime. But pickpockets are a scourge yes. The problem is the police can only give them a fine if they steal less than 400 euro in value (see more info about that here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jul/14/woman-defends-... ). Even if it's their 5000th time. There's gangs of professional pickpockets.

They got me once and I've busted them trying a couple of times. Whenever you grab them they always just drop the phone or wallet and walk off, they never fight. But I did notice they always work in groups so they probably do attack if you get violent yourself.

Yes, the city has very unsafe places, IE Rival, cuidad vella. The amount of ambulance sirens and police presence speaks for itself.

It feels less safe than London, I have lived in 3 not so good boroughs in London.

Those areas are not that unsafe. I often walk there, even at night. Though I do try to avoid them as the pickpockets tend to hang out there because they're so touristy. And the Ramblas area is very overrated anyway IMO.

Barcelona is really not bad at all for violent crime :)

There's some places that really are a bit unsafe but it's more out. Like La Mina, there's been some shootings there recently: https://www.lavanguardia.com/sucesos/20210908/7706383/tirote... (Though technically that's not Barcelona anymore but Sant Adria de Besos)

I visited a lot of Spanish cities. Santiago, Oviedo, Gijón, León, Valladolid, Madrid, Girona, Málaga, Sevilla, Cádiz, Cordoba, Granada and Barcelona so far.

As far as the general sense of unease goes, Barcelona takes the first place. Some people there are outright creepy. I generally like the city, but I would not dare venture into the old centre's small alleys after dark.

Also, pickpockets. All touristy places have them, but Barcelona, man...

Shame, because the city is otherwise a jewel.

Yes, I agree, I lived very near to the big cinemas, next to mc Donald's, cross the street and you're in Raval. As a man, it looks a bit dodgy, but walking there in the night felt ok. I have seen some wild things there by drugged up or drunk people which have left women paralyzed from fear looking into the ground, though. I know there's more dangerous areas, with proper drug houses etc and Raval etc benefit from high police presence as it's their tourist jewel, so to say. So for women and kids it might feel more scary, almost every children park has permanent drinkers, the smell of marijuana and the occasional heroin junkie here and there. I have observed some interesting discussions between dealers and police, while the police knows most the dealers, they can't do too much, but they do have an eye on them, so it's safer than it first appears.

Btw , I fully agree that the particular rambla de Raval Is tacky, overpriced and the food is just bad. The places on the beach are much better. Ah, now thinking about it, kinda miss the city, it has many good parts and things.

My dad has travelled pretty much all countries between the Atlantic and the Danube, and was only pickpocketed once - in Barcelona. A friend of mine who lives there, freely admits the pickpocketing is out of control - and we're hardened thief-aware Italians. Same for anybody who goes there on vacation and hits the busy hotspots.

Are you speaking of Barcelona or London?


Visiting Barcelona it didn't seem remotely car "unfriendly". In fact the opposite, much of the city was a boring grid and lots of streets full of fast moving cars.

It's seemed very far from the "ideals" of say this channel's opinions on cities designed to be "anti-car"


how did people react to reduction of cars ? in many places every step toward reduction of car use is met with a lot of rants if not anger.

People who live in the city live it, people (specially rich people) who drives from outside the city hate it.

Yes I think one thing is kinda missing in this setup. The public transport in Barcelona is absolutely excellent. But there's no great way to get into it from the outside if you come by car.

Most cities I know have Park & Ride facilities at the outskirts near ring roads. Barcelona doesn't seem to have these (though perhaps I'm missing them as I don't own a car).

But I know my colleagues who come from outside are always struggling to find a parking spot, and they tell me there is no P&R.

That's a choice dense cities have to make. Is the city primarily a place where outsiders come to do business, or is it a place where its residents live? If the latter, then you don't want to make coming by car too easy, or you get too much traffic that makes the quality of life worse.

Park & Ride is something that rarely makes economic sense. If you have a location with good public transport connections to the city, you probably want to build housing there. Alternate uses of the land – and parking in particular – are less valuable. Because people don't want to pay the market price for the land for parking, Park & Ride only works with heavy subsidies. The subsidies are usually implicit and implemented via zoning regulations, because taxpayers would revolt instantly against explicit subsidies.

I would argue Park & Ride just doesn't really work in most circumstances. As a commuter, you get twice the stress - a car trip (including the anxiety of leaving your vehicle in public places for extended periods) AND a public transport ride.

It does work for tourists and other occasional visitors, but then the challenge is to make them aware it is an option when they plan the trip.

The problem is a bunch of place introduce traffic limitations or some congestion tax...

But then do nothing else! You have to find an alternative for people to not take their car (closer grocery shop for instance).

Meanwhile the money goes to some pension fund for underperforming, unionized municipal workers...

But there's many supermarkets in the city! I have about 10 of them within 10 minutes walking. Several smaller ones within 1 minute.

I see, it's not smarter than here.

I live there too, and traffic here is pretty busy. Personally I don't really understand why so many people drive. Because public transport here is extremely efficient and cheap. I don't even own a car here and I'm really happy to no longer need one.

But if I had kids I wouldn't really let them participate. Even with the police escort, they might lose the group and be on their own in this busy city.

I'm from near Amsterdam myself and there cyclists are the kinds of the road. Here it's very different.

The mayor is very green and she's trying to pedestrianise a lot, but it's limited to a few lane closures and a handful of "superilla" test blocks. I think there is a lot of resistance to it. I really support her efforts but sadly she doesn't seem to be that popular. She also tried to clean up an area near the seafront with seedy nightclubs and casinos but got a lot of flak for that. I often see graffiti blaming her for stuff :(

> But if I had kids I wouldn't really let them participate. Even with the police escort, they might lose the group and be on their own in this busy city.

At what age would you be comfortable with them biking on their own?

No idea.. I have no kids :) Not sure at what age they are capable of what. Of course I was also young but like I said in the Netherlands bikes are king of the road. And I lived in a quiet suburb.

It also depends on the area. If they'd just cycle to school in a quiet area it'd be ok more easily than if they have to cross roads like Passeig de Gracia, Arago or Gran Via, or some of the busier Rondas of course.

I rarely cycle here anyway. I mainly walk, I don't feel safe enough cycling. There's some cycle lanes but not in every street, and often not well connected, or they suddenly jump to another side (the ones on Diagonal tend to do this), mix with pedestrians etc.

> But if I had kids I wouldn't really let them participate. Even with the police escort, they might lose the group and be on their own in this busy city.

Don't underestimate the resourcefulness of kids - in many ways, Goonies was a documentary ;)

I would have been comfortable with my kids doing something like this at 7 years of age. I recently had to chaperone on a schoolbus for a week - the 5 and 6 yo are still "small" and easily scared, but from 7 up they are basically fearless balls of energy.

Sadly, as society, we don't give kids the level of independence they deserve, because we've been shocked and somewhat indoctrinated by 50 years of newscycle scaremongering. We expect every kid to end up like James Bulger if we let them roam - except statistically there will be one Bulger in millions, maybe billions, of kids. When I think of what I could do at the age my kids are now, I feel like I've let them down - but if I'd done anything differently, I would have had social services on my ass.

Being in power thanks to Manuel Valls, who was running for a reactionary far right party, did not help on her reputation.

Also, she is leading the highest amount of council driven evictions, which does not help either. (for context she reached office on her first time thanks to the anti eviction associations.)

She is green, yes.

But she is over promising and under delivering.

I think she's having a hard time because she doesn't have a big majority. There's only so much political capital you can spend. But at least she's trying!

I'm still a big fan of her :)

She didn't make any concessions to Valls at all, as Valls supported her purely out of spite for the alternative. I don't see what the problem with that is.

Also you make it sound like Valls was a fringe far-right nutjob, when C's has two major parties to its right in the political spectrum, and Valls himself left because the party was steering rightwards too much to his liking.

I'm a left-wing voter but honestly these ultra-partisan, polarizing views are a scourge that poisons politics.

I had an idea similar to this, based on my experience of Critical Mass cycle rides in London: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass_(cycling)

It was called "Cycle Pods", which would be mini-critical mass rides for commuters. You'd probably need between five and ten riders who cycle the same route each day at a roughly similar pace, so you could register with a route and see whose rides were similar to yours.

The other idea was even more loose, where you'd wear something like a tabard with an identifiable "cycle pods" logo where anyone who was wearing one was effectively advertising that they were open to riding with other people. I preferred this version because it's simpler and decentralised. Anyone could make something with the logo on it, so no purchase or registration needed.

I love the idea of doing it with kids, but honestly some of the reactions we got from car and van drivers with the Critical Mass rides, even when we were going at a decent pace, were incredibly dangerous, and I'd worry about that with kids unless the police were involved, as they were in this Bicibús. We had to have outriders looking out for car drivers who'd try to drive into the middle of the mass. There's something about cyclists taking over the road that really provokes some drivers.

> There's something about cyclists taking over the road that really provokes some drivers.

Every critical mass ride I've ever seen blatantly ignores traffic laws, particularly running red lights. I say this as an avid cyclist and bike commuter: drivers are right to be pissed at them (but not to do something dangerous).

The practical reason for ignoring lights is that if you want a critical mass it has to stay together, otherwise it fragments and your start to lose the safety in numbers. If a light turns red halfway through the mass, with 100 people through and 100 people behind, the 100 people in front can't stop and wait for the 100 people behind, otherwise they'd have to sit there and block the road for people coming from the other direction. It's the lesser of two evils.

Critical Mass is a bit like Reclaim The Streets - it's partly trying to make the point that cycling infrastructure in cities is generally complete rubbish, and one of the few ways people actually feel safe when cycling is to take over the whole road. People driving cars have this luxury every single day, and if they can't take a small inconvenience like waiting for a mass to pass, which often just means something like missing one set of lights, then quite frankly I'm happy to piss a few people off in the name of making a point.

I know it alientates some drivers, but to be honest I very much doubt those people would be persuaded by any rational arguments anyway, and I do know that a decent number of people who watch the mass go past are inspired by it.

Being stuck at an intersection for 10 minutes as cyclists meander through does not make me want to support their cause. Seeing such a large group act in a coordinated and legal manner probably would.

As I said above, you can't really keep a critical mass - and therefore keep safe - without ignoring some traffic laws. I'd be interested to know (genuinely, this isn't just rhetoric) how you'd conceive of something like this happening "in a coordinated and legal manner".

They're protesting against infrastructure and laws that they see as anti-cyclist. Following the laws they're protesting against is generally an ineffective tactic, although it has also been done (with large groups of bicyclists diligently following traffic laws, which causes massive traffic holdups).

Anything about a bicycle on the road just makes some drivers' heads explode. I always drive at or below speed limits in cities and the other day in Berkeley, California, a bicyclist was pacing me at 25 MPH on a state road and drivers behind us were going insane. Funniest thing I ever saw, to be honest.

That old Goofy cartoon about drivers losing their minds as soon as they get behind the wheel is completely accurate for the great majority of American drivers. We simply should not allow cars in our cities. I fear that American and its cities are going to be left far behind as global cities rapidly realize this and we're still bulldozing neighborhoods for new freeways. Many cities abroad are already way nicer than all American cities, and they are accelerating away from us. It's sad.

A friend of mine tried together with me to start something similar to what you're describing but for people. We started in the city Bern in Switzerland but added the idea to a wiki hoping someday other people will copy it in other places around the world! Unfortunately it is in German but maybe auto translate is enough?

Here's the wiki: http://youcantalktome.net

And here's some pictures of stickers we printed out and handed out: http://youcantalktome.net/pmwiki.php?n=Main.Vorlagen

damn I thinking about this for a while and found nothing, you're the first with links toward prior history. Super interesting.

I like the second idea, but you need reliability in order to choose the bike as a transportation to, say, work. You can't afford to wait to randomly meet someone to share a ride with if you need to be somewhere at a specific time. This also doesn't provide the safety a critical mass would provide.

True, but if you see the number of people cycling to and from work in London at the same time, I think pods could form relatively naturally along the way, with people joining and leaving where necessary. The more people found out about it the easier it would be, but it's difficult to know where the threshold is that means it would start to click, and what it would take to get to that point. Hence why it's still an idea in my head!

This has been going on in Guadalajara (México) for like 10 years or so (before the pandemic).

It got so big that at one point the city decided to close some of the main roads every Sunday, making them exclusive to pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, or whatever-thing-that-is-not-a-car.

Sort of the same thing happens in SE Asia traffic but then they drive scooters, it looks messy but if you are part of the swarm it feels very natural.

I think that's a little different, a ciclovía[1]. We have them here in Portland OR, one weekend a month in the summer.

1: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciclov%C3%ADa

Sure, the thing is that it started as civic movement aimed at 'reclaiming' the streets from cars, which was very similar to what OP posted.

Eventually it got quite large, i.e. thousands of people on each gathering, and it became some sort of peaceful rally that happened every week. In the end, the govt. had no choice but to concede them certain things like ciclovías, cycling roads, legislation, etc.

I lived in the city for a while and let me tell you, it is AMAZING to have all that much space just for walking around, talking, having coffee, whatever, even if it's only for one day a week.

I want to emphasize on the scale and impact of said project, it is ~30 km of roads that are completely closed for cars for the whole day. The roads that close are (check this out!) the most important ones, running through the middle of the city. At the beginning, people were worried that this would have some negative effect as, you know, the main roads would be completely closed; but today, a decade later, there have been zero negative consequences for that. Most people that live nearby just run their errands walking because they know they can't use their car anyway. Cars are not as important as people seem to believe and I would argue that they're more harmful as a whole than if they weren't there at all.

I am super thrilled about projects like -> https://culdesac.com/, hopefully I can retire to a place like that.

But that is exactly what is happening here -- that they are closing the roads where these people are biking, on morning commute rush hour times.

Otherwise the story is just "kids go to school on bike".

During rush hour, we're in a hurry to meet other people and serve them. So we're trying to optimise for time, and that's right, we should go to work!

On the way home though, if we optimise for connectedness by being willing to stop and pick up litter on the way, the whole city will be clean!

This idea didn't actually came from me. It was UncleBob - Expecting Professionalism that our wonderful manager Michael chose at work on 2021-08-09. I bike to and from work every day, so decided to apply the "clean as you go" philosophy to every area of life, to love my neighbours the trees, birds, eels, snails. And it's brought a lot of "thank you"s, which multiplied happiness :)


I thought that was because of a lacking density of parks in the city.

What is the optimum density of parks in a city?

A possible suggestion is to change our metric for success from financial gain to connectedness.

For city planning, like everything else, that could be achieved using a Sierpiński triangle: lots of space in the middle (with walking & bike paths) and high-density on 3 sides. Are there any SimCity players here who could simulate this for us?

Whether the city is willing to re-zone accordingly is the bigger question. I pray that San Francisco's leaders will re-zone before the earthquake does it for us.

I would think that for optimal citizen mental health, you want something like a honeycomb: citizens should ideally have 2 parks within walking distance of their homes where they can get outside, relax, enjoy nature. Similar principles apply for coffee shops, grocery stores, bars, and many other amenities: you can get by with one within walking distance, but you ideally want at least two options to insulate against closures, times when one is closed or too busy, or in the case or parks, when a large event, like a public market or a concert, is happening in one.

I can say from experience in NYC: Central Park is nice, but one giant park for a large chunk of manhattan is not ideal. Works fine for UES/UWS, who have other park options on the island coast. But the section down near Midtown is miserable. And “parks” in the rest of the borough often don’t even have accessible grass (it’s fenced off, as if it was a garden or something).

There are problems in my current city, Denver, as well. But parks are very pleasantly pockmarked around the city to give residents options. Now if only they’d close off the biggest park to car traffic…

Good idea! Honeycombs are hexagons, and they tile the plane. And they're made of triangles.


We need parks, not car parks! Rather getting zapped on power lines or pooping on cars, the birds can have branches to sit in and flower beds to fertilise.

If you read this, or other things about reducing car traffic in Barcelona, one should keep the following in mind: https://ajuntament.barcelona.cat/lafabricadelsol/en/noticia/...

6000cars/km² in Barcelona.

San Francisco/Oakland metropolitan area has 4000/sq mi... 1540/km²

Guttenberg, NJ has the highest in the US with 20,600/sq mi (8000/km²)

Source: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.planetizen.com/node/45622%3...

Barcelona has a population density of 16,000/km², while the city of San Francisco has a density of 2,419/km².

Paris has a population density of 20000/km², and Manhattan of 28,872/km².

Population density is correlated with car density up to a certain point.

Usually up to the point where giving 50-100sqm of road to 1.1 people traveling in a car prevents more people from living in the area (because all there is is roads and parking), and more scalable infrastructure is built.

> the city of San Francisco has a density of 2,419/km²

Where are you getting that number? Wikipedia has 7,194/km².

Thank you. Some of us forced to use neutered browsers on iOS really appreciate this.

This is a surprisingly clever idea. (Or maybe I am not clever enough to come up with stuff like this.)

As explained the followup tweets: By extending the route to cover multiple schools, with fixed arrival times at each destination, people can join and leave the "bike bus" as it passes through. Even regular business commuters are joining the bike bus.

I love it.

Hey, I don't know a better way to contact you than replying to a recent comment. I found you via a submission from last year regarding Computer Chronicles archiving. There are currently efforts going on for completing missing metadata and re-digitizing all tapes, and I wondered if you'd like to be involved!

Sure? I don't know if I have much to offer though. You can email me at david [at] gloveraoki [dot] net

This is very clever. I could imagine this makes drivers pick other times to drive eventually so once this is common enough, then at certain times there would be very little traffic. If cities were effectively car-free for just 30 minutes in the morning that could make a huge difference in the number of people riding bikes.

Reminds me of Masa Crítica in Buenos Aires, a monthly event where lots (probably around a hundred, maybe two?) of bikers would pedal from the city center to the outskirts, to show support for the rights of people using bicycles.

Similarly "critical mass" protests in London, which were in endless trouble with the police. https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2008/nov/26/critical-mass-lon...

Having children do it does decrease the chance of being broken up for obstructing cars.

Oh, same name so these are almost certainly related. I didn't know about that.

"critical mass" is monthly event in many cities.

It also reminded me of Massa Critica here in Porto Alegre (Brazil). Unfortunately it also reminded me of the time a driver here purposefully plowed thru the whole peloton of cyclists, injuring dozens.

In Europe (mainly Germany ATM) there has been a wordplay on this for a few years, the "kidical mass" movement:


Critical mass events are incredibly disruptive and are an offensively aggressive act to those who are just trying to go about their day and use the infrastructure for its funded intent - which is to say, cars and other motorized vehicles that move at higher speeds. It’s one thing to advocate for changes through proper political channels. It’s another thing entirely to hijack infrastructure, clog intersections by circling up, and violently harass drivers (what I’ve seen in SF). That’s not a protest, but a riot, and participants should be arrested and charged.

That is a very clueless take. Cars disruptively and offensively aggressively hijack that infrastructure every single day, then cyclists claim back one single road for only two hours a month and you claim they are the disruptive ones? They are not clogging intersections, they are using them.

The intent of the infrastructure is to move people, cars and other motorized vehicles hijacked it and excluded other users.

And to claim that cyclists are violent towards drivers is the pinnacle of absurdity. Drivers using their 2 tonne heavy machinery as a weapon, driving towards people, and then you blame the victims for tapping on the bonnet of the aggressors weapon.

> Cars disruptively and offensively aggressively hijack that infrastructure every single day

If roads were built for those cars, one can't claim they hijack it when that's what it's for.

We can argue it shouldn't have been built that way, but given that it was (in the US anyway), there's no hijacking involved in using it as designed.

I participated in London, and saw mostly the opposite. Most of the ride was well-behaved and didn't hold people up much, and there were drivers constantly behaving in really dangerous ways, like trying to drive into the mass. Like you and someone else who replied to you, I was uncomfortable with the deliberate blocking of intersections, but "participants should be arrested and charged" is way over the top for what used to happen in London - perhaps SF had a different vibe.

Yeah, it started devolving into vandalism / hatred towards cars:

Critical Mass cyclist attacks car with U-lock in San Francisco https://www.kron4.com/news/critical-mass-cyclist-attacks-car...

Minivan's rude introduction to Critical Smash https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Minivan-s...

A Toyota mini van sits in a repair shop in Mountain View with a broken back window and numerous scratches to the body. The van was attacked by critical mass riders last friday. At the time of the attack a woman and five kids were in the car.

You found one event from 2007 where the driver didn't exercise control of their vehicle "According to police, Ferrando had allegedly tapped one of the cyclists' tires."

And one from 2015 where the driver endangered the cyclists "then a driver of a Zipcar moves toward the cyclists."

This is why I stopped attending, and I think it harmed the effectiveness of the movement.

In Vancouver, we were having a great ride through the city. We may have been delaying traffic a bit, but that's fine. Then they decided to ride up the Lions Gate Bridge (the main artery in and out of the city) and stop all traffic going in both directions for about 10-15 minutes.

The friends I was with all agreed we wouldn't participate again because of those actions.

The OP has nothing to do with "critical mass" events, so your comment seems like nothing more than a non sequitur.

You're being little hyperbolic (in re: SF Critical Mass) but not by much. I live in SF, don't drive, and I used to commute by bike, but IMO the advocacy here can get a little, um, intense.

I can't wait to scroll down and read the comments from angry drivers who just want these damn kids to get out of the road so they can get to wherever they won't be able to park even faster.

Edit: I was not disappointed.

Seriously. I feel like my health and my wellbeing are hostage of a mass of angry egocentric drivers who can't possibly conceive taking a bike ride or using public transportation. Given their aggressive and uncompromising approach, I feel the only way to make this work is to literally force it on cities through critical masses, basically using the same coin they use.

They don't care about my health? I don't care about them being late to work.

This attitude is partially why car drivers are so anti-anti-car people. You attribute such negative traits as egocentrism and anger to them and then insinuate they don’t care about your health. But the truth is that just about everyone outside of your friends and family doesn’t care about your health. It’s mere human nature.

That's not the problem. The only real factor here is that a lot of people vote against anti-car politics. End of story.

It doesn't matter that they personally are good/bad/green/egoist/selfish/selfless/saints. The problem is that they are short sighted, and don't even try to move the set-point of the traffic situation.

When I drive I hate everything and everyone, it's miserable. Nowhere to park, no one can drive, everyone is slow, everyone is in a rush...

But of course some people doesn't have such a strong emotional response to the situation, or they have a very strong response to mass transit...

Why should I care about their work schedule then? Is it not my nature as well to disregard that in favor of my health?

"Something special" oooh, how mysteriously... enticing... clickbait... Does someone who clicked want to suggest a better title for OP?

This is great.

I wish I lived in a more bike friendly area. Here that would result in people being honked at and cars impatiently passing them at high speeds.

Some towns in Germany have this concept for students walking to their schools. There are even improvised bus stop signs at the side of the road.

We called this Pédibus in my Swiss hometown when I was a kid in the 90s and 00s. We had signs where kids could wait for the “walking bus”, a group of kids going to school together, often lead by an adult.

Edit: that’s still a thing! https://pedibus.ch/

We’ve also had similar “cycle buses” for school children in Irish cities for the past few years: https://www.rte.ie/news/2020/0901/1162590-school-cycle-bus-l...

This would be incredibly frustrating to me as a car driver. I don’t think having shared roads for a vocal minority of bikers makes sense. It basically slows down everyone to bike speed, which I realize is the unspoken strategy of bike activists, and it is also why I am against supporting bike-friendly policies in their current form. It makes more sense to have cities build raised biking/walking lanes outside of the traffic (on pillars). Why aren’t cities exploring such strategies to accommodate those who like the fast point to point benefits of cars alongside those who are OK taking it slow or going out for a bike ride?

Have you ever spent time in BCN? Unless you're way out in the suburbs of Badalona, there's very little reason to use a car for commuting. Secondly, raised lanes are horrendously expensive, ugly, and reduce street level light. Any city where they're the default is going to be a city where bike infrastructure effectively doesn't exist.

Cities should serve people, not cars.

I have spent a lot of time in Barcelona, and love the city, although I’ve only had short stays (~weeks) and haven’t resided there in the traditional sense. I think increasing car hostility makes it less hospitable and accessible to many people away from the core. There’s also a tradeoff which isn’t being acknowledged here. A city that manages its density appropriately will have faster travel times via cars compared to public transit or biking (BCN may be past this inflection point). You can see this in cities like Seattle - it’s not even a close comparison, as driving is at least twice as fast as any alternate mode. That time saved is very valuable, and necessary for anyone who wants to live a rich, fulfilled lifestyle with room for activities, families, and friends.

> Secondly, raised lanes are horrendously expensive, ugly, and reduce street level light.

Having bikes in roads is expensive too. It costs everyone time, which is money. Ugly is subjective. And as for street level light - maybe. That depends on the exact parameters like road width. On a wider arterial road a raised greenway on pillars wouldn’t cast a shadow on the street level sidewalks. Chicago has an elevated rail system for example, and it doesn’t cause streets to feel dark.

> Cities should serve people, not cars.

Respectfully, this is an empty slogan. You could just as well say “cities should serve people, not bikes”. Cities serve people better by accommodating cars. People are who chose to raise taxes and spend money on roads for cars.

Are you suggesting Seattle has a better commute situation than Barcelona? Respectfully, that's insane. Moreover, large parts of the city were designed prior to motorized vehicles and encourage frequent mode mixing. High speed is simply not on the table for discussion. The choice is between low speed, low density car traffic, or mixed mode. The latter is clearly much better for neighborhoods and the city as a whole.

Yes Seattle has a better commute situation than Barcelona. It is easy to get from a suburb to the core or to cross the city by car. Even if you live right on a rapid bus line or light rail stop, simply not having to wait for the next bus/train means the car commute is significantly faster. I'm not sure what you find 'insane' in my claim. Certainly Seattle is changing, because the recent local governments have been pushing controversial zoning changes that increase city density - but even in 2021 a public transit commute in the Seattle metro area is far worse than private car commute. No public transit system in the world can offer a similar travel time as a car in a city like Seattle, since the cars are moving through much of that distance at speeds greater than 60 mph (100 kmh).

Average daily commute in Barcelona is 48 minutes-ranking along with the best cities in US where minimum is 44, and you don't need a car in Barcelona to achieve it.

If there is no high speed how are people supposed to get in from out of the city in some timely fashion? You say better for neighborhoods and the city without considering all the outer neighborhoods that often house more people than the inner ones.

Barcelona has a functional public transit system, including fairly far reaching metros. It's pretty unusual to find a trip that's more than a hour at any time of day.

> A city that manages its density appropriately will have faster travel times via cars compared to public transit or biking

This seems like nonsense. Surely public transport has more capacity than cars, or at least it is not guaranteed that cars have more.

I intentionally claimed "faster travel times", not more capacity for people. Low to mid density cities in the US have fast travel times for drivers. They are a significantly better option in terms of travel time than even the best public transit in the world, simply because you are going directly from point to point, at relatively high speed, with no stops, no wait times, and so on. The time savings alone are a big benefit but it also means you can live to fit your own schedule (not needing to plan too much), transport cargo/other people at will, use that car to go to places away from what public transit covers, etc.

> I intentionally claimed "faster travel times", not more capacity for people

If faster travel times means shorter commute time, surely public transport with more capacity improves the average time for the average person going to the average places.

> They are a significantly better option in terms of travel time than even the best public transit in the world, simply because you are going directly from point to point, at relatively high speed, with no stops, no wait times

I believe the problem with this reasoning is that cars take space, and roads too. Lots of roads and parking will make a place less dense, and will increase distances.

The best public transit in the world covers the areas where on average most people go (thus serving the most people), has better energy efficiency (a single bus consumes less per passenger than a car), and removes the need for lots of parking infrastructure. Everything else being equal, public transport is the most efficient, and provides faster travel times on average for the average person (I concede, not for everyone).

In a place not built for cars (like Barcelona), rush hour is a nightmare where cars hardly move (take the tram in Diagonal in the morning and you will move faster than the cars next to you). Most people there take the metro/bus/ride a bike + walk for less than 30 minutes. As an example, a 30min ride on the L1 red line metro (without changing lines) will bring you from Hospitalet de Llobregat (metropolitan area of Barcelona) to the city center.

I might be biased in favor of cities made to walk, instead of made for cars. What I do not concede is that cars provide faster travel times than the best public transport. I would be happy to get some data that supports your assertion.

That said, I agree with your other usages (cargo, transport people, go to places far away, independence).

It is also true that while traveling on public transport you can read, and by walking/riding a bike you improve your health compared to sitting in a car. A city with less cars is also more walkable. More "walkability" might be better for shops, maybe even improve safety. These advantages need to be weighted against cars too :)

I don't own or use a bike, I am a car driver. Personal cars are absurdly inefficient on many levels. They take up precious urban space (roads and parking lots), they injure and kill people, they are extremely expensive, they are a major source of pollution.... Every time I've been stuck in five lanes of gridlock I've thought to myself, "This is one of the dumbest infrastructure issues that modern humans have to put up with." Bikes and public transportation just make way more sense in urban areas on so many levels, it's not even close. Cars are a blight on the urban landscape. The only reason I drive one daily is because our infrastructure leaves me no other choice. It sucks.

Most bike activists don't have an unspoken strategy of slowing people down. They want to be able to use their bike to get places safely and quickly and they want others to feel able to do that too.

It doesn't make sense to create biking / walking lanes raised up on pillars because a) that introduces artificial hills and b) it increases effort to get places - you'll only be able to get on or off the raised system at a ramp, which might be inconvenient.

In London the average car speed is 11-12 mph, and then you'll have to walk to / from a car park. Cars aren't always fast and point to point

>Why aren’t cities exploring such strategies to accommodate those who like the fast point to point benefits of cars alongside those who are OK taking it slow or going out for a bike ride?

Because everybody wants to get from point to point fastest and safest way possible and doing it by car is not the answer which scales.

Car pollute, are extremely dangerous to other road users, and take a lot of space on the road. Cars in city should be the exception, not the rule.

> pollute

I consider the level of pollution to be minimal. It’s not even noticeable in many US cities. Plus this is also always improving, particularly with increasing popularity of hybrids and electric cars.

> extremely dangerous to other road user

First off, “extremely dangerous” is hyperbole. The number of fatalities on roads is very low, and it will keep getting lower as safety features like blind spot monitoring become standards. Roads are already incredibly safe - in the US the fatality rate is something like 1 per 100 million vehicle miles.

But safety is also why roads should be reserved for motorized vehicles. Your assertion also seems very one sided. Safety is a two way thing - a substantial portion of bikers put themselves in danger by riding where they really shouldn’t.

> take a lot of space on the road

They also provide a lot of utility, which is why taxpayers funded roads and parking spaces to begin with. I, and I suspect most people, don’t mind using space for things that are high value, like cars.

> I consider the level of pollution to be minimal. It’s not even noticeable in many US cities.

Transport is one of the highest contributors to greenhouse gases in the US with light vehicles being the largest contributor to that sector https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=P10127TU.pdf

>The number of fatalities on roads is very low,

Road traffic crashes are a leading cause of death in the United States for people aged 1–54 https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/global-road-safety/index...

> and it will keep getting lower as safety features like blind spot monitoring become standards.

The rate has been pretty stagnant for the last 10 years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in...

> the US the fatality rate is something like 1 per 100 million vehicle miles.

This is true, but this number needs context. Average US driver covers 13k a year * by a lifetime of driving your over 1/2 a million miles per person, so the number you should be presenting is 1 in 200 chance to die. And thats just fatalities, when you consdier serious injury as well, the number isn't great.

> I suspect most people, don’t mind using space for things that are high value, like cars.

Was with you until "like cars". Cars waste a lot of space. They take up space in city centres, parked, while you're working/shopping, when you're actually in them they're still using a lot of space for typically one person. I think we'll see a lot more of this in the coming decades: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeway_removal

>take a lot of space on the road

That's the point, cars deliver a lot of personal space & comfort that really make it attractive vis a vis public transport.

Try Cambridge in England just once. The commuter gridlock is appalling. On a bicycle you could just zip by the madness, and you don't even need much fitness.

Cambridge is hardly a modern city, with any form of space anyway.

In Cambridge there are housing estates from the mid-19th century, and there are housing estates developed this century. That statement is just not true.

I'm an urban cyclist. I get around town by bike whenever I can, though my family does still own cars for longer trips or moving large objects. I certainly don't try to slow everybody down. Getting into the main traffic lane has that effect, but it's a side effect, and I don't do it very often or for very long. In most cases, I could probably make a safe bet that dipping into the traffic lane isn't slowing down anybody's actual travel time by any appreciable amount.

But I greatly prefer to choose routes that avoid fast, congested car traffic. This also appears to be the approach of my city when developing new or improved roadways.

But truth be told, the major thing slowing cars down is other cars. Trying to increase traffic flow through a given area will eventually cause it to slow down to a crawl, bikes or no bikes.

Agreed on the shared roads, but in cities it is better to put the cars on pillars. Removing cars from roads does wonders and makes neighborhoods look much nicer. Instead of the pillars you can remove cars from most roads and have limited one-way roads that are fast and without traffic lights. The cars can park in a parking garage and continue on foot/bike/tram. I believe this is faster for the cars as well.

> Removing cars from roads does wonders and makes neighborhoods look much nicer.

Certainly not when you bury them under pillars for cars. Or is there any example where the area beneath the raised highway isn't the worst part of town? What you'd need to do is bury the cars. Side effect: less car traffic, because people tend to not really enjoy driving in tunnels. Unfortunately, it's very expensive and much of the underground space in cities is already spoken for.

When I say removing cars, I prefer banning them or making it very difficult.

The bikers are a minority because the roads are dominated by cards. If you want to change that, you have to start somewhere.

Is it possible? Yes. Please come to the Netherlands and see for yourself.

Or watch the video's on this channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/NotJustBikes

Traffic already slows everyone down, no need for bike activists to do that.

Don't live in a city then. I don't anymore and it's the best thing I've ever done. This kind of performative assertion of space doesn't exist outside highly dense urban areas.

Reminds of the rideouts happening all over US cities. If only they would just clamp down on swerving cars.


That's a great way to engrain cycling in them. Hopefully they grow up to be good cyclists though, as a pedestrian currently living in Paris, urban cyclists suck.

once again just really really wish there were p2p ways to connect & send data about.

i imagine the phones on the bike bus advertising who they are, what their schedule is, who can join, how to join, and letting folks about know what the route is, what disruption to expect, how to plan around this happening.

hoping on the bandwagon is enough to make this happen in some places but i think the core kernel idea could use some shareability & amplifiability in other places. a more reductionist expression is simply that the real world lacks virality potential. projects like Google's Eddystone[1]/Project Lighthouse (2015) are few & far between, underfunded & in Eddystone's case seemingly abandoned, but embuing reality with more of the neat connective capabilities of the computerized info-verse remains- i think- a key enabler.

[1] https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddystone_(Google)

Reminds me of the Critical Mass movement: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Mass_(cycling)

When I traveled to the Netherlands, after school, I'd see gangs of kids going home on bike. I vaguely remember seeing groups of about 10-15 kids on bikes.

Not exactly the same thing, but quite similar.

roads are expensive infrastructure, I don't know about Barcelona but in Australia the roads are paid for by the drivers (at least atm the fossil fuel drivers), how will the maintain and pay for new roads if they take them over with cyclists?

for the record, I cycle, drive a hybrid and am looking to buy an electric car. I'm not singling out cyclists as a hate target. I'm genuinely curious how this is going to work.

Roads here aren’t really paid for by motorists at all, it all comes out of general revenue (local rates, state revenue and commonwealth grants where appropriate). Fuel tax is just another tax, same as the Medicare levy doesn’t actually fund Medicare.

The move to electric vehicles and bicycles does create a revenue shortfall, but that’s all it is - not any kind of structural issue that needs clever new thinking. Implement a per/km tax on cars or just whack up GST, it doesn’t matter.

It may end up being a very significant shortfall, as the vast majority of drivers that CAN go bicycle, or electric are inner city. High population density means the largest slice of the tax burden.

I dont think there is a way we can do this, or allow offgrid without a socialist leaning tax hike to everybody.

What is happening is that after the last years nonsense, plus covid19 thing, is not so appealing to tourism than it was before, specially to inner tourism. So they need to clean their image with more positive news, pretend that it never happened, that all is happy-happy, and move on.

Positive news that are heartwarming and nice but will be irrelevant for the grand scheme of things. Call me cynical if you want, but this is not a real change, is just another PR stunt stuff.


Spain has one of the lowest fertility rates in Europe, 1.24 children per woman:


Small apartments, no cars, high taxes to fund a generous welfare and pension system just results in society eating itself.

We should be looking at what's going on in Spain generally as a failure. Without cars, these cities are giant glorified dormitories.

This bike thing is cute, but the reality is that several sections of the city will be shut down for 10s of minutes during morning peak hour, and the chance of a kid getting lost is fairly high. Several kids just walking together in a dedicated bike lane would be easier to control.

> Guys and girls. This starting to look exactly like communism

Is this some kind of a joke I don't get? If you're serious tho, it sounds like a positive to me.

> Cars are not the enemy

They are. Most modern cities are an unlivable toxic mess thanks to the fact we based transportation on private cars. There is no clean tech that can sustain the large scale usage of cars we currently have. Even electric pollutes a lot just during production/disposal.

I'm so tired of being poisoned (and with my greatest discomfort, my child too) every time I go out. I'm tired of having to give up something like 80% of the open space in our cities to a mass of lazy people that identify their "freedom" with the possession of a private vehicle.

> Example: Porsche's synthetic fuel

You know that only an infinitesimal part of the population will ever be able to afford a Porsche? How is that going to change anything except by calming the guilt of a few privileged individuals?

> The risk of biking injuries is always present.

That's why as they specify in the thread, you need a critical mass, in order to stop hysterical moped/car drivers from trying to dangerously pass you. Maybe if you just read it, instead of going on a rant against communism, you'd have something better to offer to this discussion.

I promise you, I love this idea so much I am going to dedicate myself to spread it and make it a reality.

>” They are. Most modern cities are an unlivable toxic mess thanks to the fact we based transportation on private cars.”

This is rhetorical hyperbole that undermines your position.

If cities were actually “unlivable” then people wouldn’t be living there and it would cease to be a city. Toxic is also an exaggeration.

You can say that about literally everything that we did in the past and don't do anymore because we finally came up with better alternatives. Take the mining industry for most of its existence for example. Working in the mines was a literal death sentence, yet people did it voluntarily. Even children. Why? Because there were no alternatives for them.

>Is this some kind of a joke I don't get? If you're serious tho, it sounds like a positive to me.

How much of your life you have spend under communistic regime? A assume none. That's was the point of my comment. You are a sitting ducks and the rational thing is to educate yourselves, but emotions are a default response. As always.

>You know that only an infinitesimal part of the population will ever be able to afford a Porsche?

Porches synthetic fuel has nothing to do directly with their cars.

This and bio-fuel will be the actual thing to reduce the global emissions. Not some group biking. What about people that have a disability and cannot bike? Inclusive approach is the answer in design and in systematic thinking. Not exclusive activism that is so popular in the West now (mainly as result of libertarian-communistic minded educational system for the rich kids and the lucky ones).

Please, do a little research before making a response to my comment: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2021/09/porsches-new-synthetic-...



>I promise you, I love this idea so much I am going to dedicate myself to spread it and make it a reality.

Wish you luck in this crusade.:)

It's crazy how deeply insecure capitalists are about capitalism. Now some people riding a bike together are a sign of a rising communist regime.

> How much of your life you have spend under communistic regime? A assume none

Communism means a stateless society, free from classes and exploitation. I wish I could live in a communist society, obviously not in a regime.

But I can tell you, I've lived my entire life under capitalism and exploitation, I've seen the good and the bad and I hate it with every fiber of my being.

>But I can tell you, I've lived my entire life under capitalism and exploitation, I've seen the good and the bad and I hate it with every fiber of my being.

I understand, that is why in my view the solution is to investigate and demand justice, lower the rate of corruption and lobbing and require more free market capitalism and less monopolistic and politically motivated practices.

>Communism means a stateless society, free from classes and exploitation.

This is never the real result. There were privileged "party" members which ruled in the shadows without any form of impunity, lived like modern bourgeois class while the masses consumed low grade products and followed collective constraints.

The Davos plan for the future of the world is exactly the same in its core.

You will live in "socially" acceptable constrains, with UBI (which will require total loss of privacy and some other nasty stuff), with no freedom of movement (due never ending pandemic or terrorists threats), with no ownership of transportation (due the high cost of electric vehicles or high petrol prices), no ability to grow and produce food (due to monopolistic companies which will be able to afford the regulatory "Green" tax), etc. So you will own nothing and will be happy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mD-ioJM8v64

Everything while billionaire elites will live like gods in comfort, protected by the laws and mass surveillance apparatus.

This is the love child of communistic criminals of the past and western billionaires families which are investing billions in manufacturing consent trough technology and media psyops.

And it always starts with: Good intention, The Children, etc.

Everything that I shared about the communistic implementation can be fact-checked.

Lmao, so people wanting children to be able to cycle safely to school is communism?

>The risk of biking injuries is always present

Lol. Because nobody was ever injured in a car before. What do you think are the major source of cycling injuries? It's collisions with motor vehicles. You fall off your bike and you'll probably scrape a knee. You get hit by a truck and it's near certain death. Cycling is NOT a dangerous activity, it is a benign activity done in a dangerous environment. Obvious example of Netherlands, where biking is number 1 method of transport, and nobody wears a helmet, yet they have one of the lowest rates of injury, thanks to the fact they have great cycling infrastructure which separates vulnerable road users from vehicles.

>Cars are not the enemy

Maybe some people think they are, but of course that is not the case. But that does not mean that cars must be used for every trip that we do. We can recognize that certain means of transport are better suited to certain journeys. If you are traveling very long distances then it makes sense to fly or take a boat. Likewise if you are traveling short distances it makes sense to walk or cycle. What people want is the freedom to choose their own means of transport. They want to be able to choose if they want to walk, cycle, take public transport or drive and they want to use whatever method is most convenient for them for whatever journey they are doing. They do not want the government to invest all transport funds solely into roads for cars and design cities around cars making their use essentially mandatory. I'm sure the car lobby is happy that many countries decided to do this in the 70's and that the decision to do that had nothing to do with influence from them, but now people are starting to see that the government has essentially made cars mandatory and their freedom has been taken from them. Of course cars are not the enemy and they are never going to go away, there will always be journeys where cars makes the most sense from a cost, convenience and time perspective, and there will always be people who just like driving.

>Porsche's synthetic fuel will reduce CO2 from cars dramatically

People often focus on the cO2 emissions from cars when driving, but that is actually not the worst part. In fact, it is actually much better to keep driving your old petrol car for as long as possible instead of switching to a brand new electric/low emissions car, because there are significant cO2 emissions released from building a new car. Then there is the cO2 emissions from building roads. Building just 2 meters of road has the same emissions as building a brand new car.

>Claus Schwab

Not surprised to hear you mention this name, or Santa Claus as I like to call him. The new favorite go-to for conspiracy nuts nowadays.

>Claus Schwab Not surprised to hear you mention this name, or Santa Claus as I like to call him. The new favorite go-to for conspiracy nuts nowadays.

Wow. Did you, just call me a "conspiracy nut"?:)

Are you seriously thinking that this stance will remove the logic and facts from my argument?

There is no Santa Claus, but WEF agenda and "collaboration" with governments and billionaires is real.

And it is not for your "common good".

It is marketed that way, for sure.

Lol, what facts and logic? Your original comment contains none of these, just your own personal assertions.

literally listen to yourself, this article was originally about children cycling to school, now you are connecting this to the WEF conspiracy.

And yes it is a conspiracy, it's the same as all others where people make these vague and imprecise statements, like you did in your original comment, then take some actual facts and try to weave it all together into something malicious. Actually, this is literally what you are doing right now by taking this story literally about children cycling and weaving it into the whole WEF conspiracy.

> And yes it is a conspiracy, it's the same as all others where people make these vague and imprecise statements, like you did in your original comment, then take some actual facts and try to weave it all together into something malicious. Actually, this is literally what you are doing right now by taking this story literally about children cycling and weaving it into the whole WEF conspiracy.

Seriously? Did you not read at all. I see this as a non-solution of the real problem. I see this as opportunity to be used as a cover story for public consent towards "hate cars" and "love bikes". I see this as creating a narrative which will serve well WEF agendas. And I know for a fact how media works and who is the real beneficiary. Al this are facts, all of my view-point about WEF is well embraced even from leftist people with common sense. The legitimate concerns are turned to conspiracy theory in a whim. This is the real danger.

As I mentioned this is very "useful" story, already running as an "example": https://www.npr.org/2021/10/22/1047341052/barcelona-bicibus-...

And here you can read about "the conspiracy" angle. https://theintercept.com/2020/12/08/great-reset-conspiracy/

Note: I don't agree with Klein's view on dangers of communism. She is on the spot for the logic behind - halfway solutions for a systemic crisis far beyond WEF agenda. And yes, I have a bias. I have lived in communistic regime and have suffered over "refusing the party line and established common good practices".

That is the root cause of my reaction. I see people trying to convince themselves that this "biking" thing is a solution of a problem. In actuality this creates one. Blocking traffic in a city creates traffic congestions in other spots.

Some pictures show there is perfectly working cycling path next to road. As someone who walks and uses bus, I have little sympathy for such stunts. Just another privileged group stealing public roads. Next time it will be politician and his convoy.

"Stealing public roads", you do realise the roads are for people, not just motor vehicles? Especially in densely populated cities.

If there is a sidewalk and cycling path, then in most countries, the road is very specifically for motor vehicles.

100% wrong. Roads are for everyone. Just because you are in a vehicle you can use as a weapon shouldn't allow you to threaten other road users out of their road.

Just wait patiently and drive at the speed of traffic.

If there is a cycle path (meeting certain conditions), then using it is generally mandatory in at least Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Italy. In Spain, Netherlands and France, some are mandatory and some are not, depends on the form of signage.

Yeah and even if it would be strictly according to the rules, it would still be rude and completely against common sense, same thing then to walk in the middle of the road even though there's a sidewalk "the road is for everyone"

Some people use bus!

We had roads before we had cars. Cars stole roads from people.

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