[ ENVIRONMENT ]
Quality of life is being greatly reduced in due to excessive car-use by its inhabitants. Although it may seem untrue, by switching from cars to bicycles we would save travel time. Moreover, if we were to change our transportation habits, we would increase our personal health and comfort.
Almost everybody owns a bicycle. Usually we buy one and forget about it. Europebybike proposes that you integrate this means of transport into your daily life. Many people feel that it is essential to own a car to get around a city. But, in reality, this is rather removed form the truth. 50and of car journeys in urban areas cover only three kilometres, and almost 10% of such journeys cover less than 500 meters. You can travel distances that are less than five kilometres more quickly by bike. It is also more comfortable and effective when it comes to travelling directly from door to door- and removes problems such as traffic jams and parking. If we were to switch to bicycle for this kind of travelling, the quality of life in urban areas would increase dramatically. There would also be a noticeable decrease in the speed at which global warming is occurring.
The population of Europe is almost 500 million. Almost 75% of this is constituted by city-dwellers. It is especially with regard to journeys of less than three kilometres that switching to bike makes great sense. The average amount of time we spend cycling three kilometres is fifteen minutes. This is less than we spend when travelling by car. In the European Union there are twelve and a half million of this kinds of journeys each day. This amounts to an annual usage of 6, 250 million litres of fuel. This could be prevented with such a simple gesture.
The average speed of traffic during rush hour in European cities.
Paradoxically, in these same cities, more and more people are waking up early every day to go jogging or visit a gym. They then take the car to travel just a few kilometres to work, or to shopping centres. With the speed of traffic at rush hour slowing to as little as 10 km per hour, we could easily cover more ground by bike.
In urbanised areas in the United States, pedestrians have come to be viewed with suspicion. In a country where the car has such a cult status, there is an emphasis on the eradication of pedestrian facilities. Fortunately, Europe does not share this attitude. From our point of view at Europebybike, everything that’s possible should be done to ensure that this does not happen here.
Since urban space is finite, and there is a growing desire for mobility, it is a forgone conclusion that we are approaching collapse. We must look for alternatives. Political incentives in urban areas should not favour the motorist. The inordinate pace at which shopping complexes, highways, and parking lots are being developed should be reduced. Money should instead be invested in the development of railways and cycle paths.
Cities should be scaled according to the human, not the car. Urban infrastructure planning should not presume city-dwellers must own cars. It is becoming more and more difficult for people to reach commercial focal points that are located outside the city centre without the aid of a motorised vehicle. It is far more humane to develop inner city areas according to people’s needs. This can be achieved by developing green areas, shopping facilities, and social and leisure attractions nearer to the people that use them. Intelligent and well-organised urban planning would lessen urban energy wastage and, in turn, help to protect out environment.