Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yesterday was World Car Free Day

NVDL: I deserve a huge smack for not broadcasting this until I was hoarse or until my own website could stand no more. I did run yesterday, which was at least something unusual I did to propel myself forward (albeit on a treadmill

This is an excellent article and I can't think of a better cause right now. If you don't already own a bike, get one. If you do own a bike, consider getting another one (like a Mountain Bike if you only have a racer).

Praguepost.com: Despite the worrying current state of affairs, it is heartening to recall that humanity lived well enough for millennia without automobiles. However, my solution is not a return to the horse-drawn carriage, but the healthy, emissions-free, fun and efficient bicycle. It’s perhaps odd in an age of such technological sophistication that a simple device is making a comeback, but the bike’s simplicity is also its advantage.

While there is much to say about the disadvantages of cars, there is at least as much to say about the related benefits of streets with few or no cars. Pedestrian-dominated roads are more likely to house outdoor caf├ęs and local shops that don’t need large obtrusive signs to get people’s attention. Streets can be casually crossed without paranoia of inattentive drivers, and mothers can stroll with their infants knowing their sensitive lungs won’t be harmed. In Stockholm, the simple intermediate measure of lowering the urban speed limit to 50 km/h has produced the dual benefits of reducing greenhouse emissions and making roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Even beyond the direct correlations between driving and obesity, global warming and foreign oil dependency, these intangibles can and should motivate citizens to leave the car at home for World Carfree Day.

Or better yet, every day.
clipped from www.praguepost.com
The car is dying; it's the age of the bike
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Indeed, if this year is anything to judge by, money does speak louder than the environment when it comes to driving behavior. Apocalyptic warnings from leading scientists that climate change could, within this century, turn Southern Europe into a desert and leave Florida below sea-level did little to change driving habits, but a $70 to $100 bill at the gas pump did. It was never going to be easy convincing the United States or other car-dependent nations that their passion for cars is an unhealthy addiction, and, if it all comes down to economics, then threats posed by peak oil are certainly worrying.
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