More Cities Ditching Cars to Increase Transportation Speed

Cities that are designed for cars now have the problem of switching from the traffic-causing polluting machines. Most places can’t build more roads so they need to use what they have more effiencetly. This means repurposing some roads or only having roads used for efficient transit solutions instead of old-school inefficient automobiles. Here are nine cities that are in the process of getting rid of cars.


THE PLANThe boundaries of Madrid’s current car-free zone are continuously expanding outwards, reaching a square mile earlier this year. While those who live within the zone are allowed to take their cars inside, those who don’t have a guaranteed parking space can expect a hefty fine. New smart parking meters throughout the city can also gauge vehicles’ fuel-efficiency, so gas-guzzler owners will have to pay more at the meter.
ECO-BONUS: As a greener alternative, Madrid’s new bike share program supplies 1,500 bikes stationed at 120 different locations throughout the city.

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Groovy Bike Helmet Lights Up

The Lumos helmet is designed to make riding a bicycle even safer. In the majority of collisions between automobile drivers and cyclists the car driver is at fault, so to make riding safer the helmet projects bright lights. This means that people who aren’t paying attention to the road as they drive will be forces to acknowledge the presence of the cyclist.

The helmet is a high-tech beauty for a low tech transportation solution. I just bought one.

It shouldn’t be difficult or inconvenient to take care of your basic safety as a cyclist.
With Lumos, rest easy knowing you always have a great set of lights on hand.
14 super bright white LEDs in the front and 16 super bright red LEDs in the rear provide over 80 lumens of illumination to ensure that you stand out on the road.

Check out the Lumos Helmet.

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Commute by Bike to Decrease Your Stress


Stanford University’s Calming Technology Lab has found evidence to support what most commuter cyclists already know: riding a bike to work instead of driving a car lowers one’s stress. Not only are you improving your own mental health you’ll be consuming less gas and save a lot of money while getting physically fit.

There is no better day than today to start riding your bike to work.

“It’s particularly interesting to see that many people don’t transition back into the home after a long day of work very well. By biking to work we know that the physical nature of cycling and physical exertion will engender a more calm and focused state of mind. So while being good for us physically, we also see lots of psychological and emotional benefits.”

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Seville is Spain’s Cycling Gem

It’s well known that the future of urban design and transportation will support the mass use of bicycles. Still, some cities are slow to catch on to this. In Spain where cycling is not nearly as popular in colder northern parts of Europe the city of Seville is leading the charge into the future.

How Seville became such a great cycling city is a far out tale:

“As soon as the building work was finishing and the fences were removed the cyclists just came. The head of the building team, who’d been very sceptical about the process, called me and said, ‘Where have all those cyclists come from?’ That’s when I knew for sure it was going to work. The came from all over the city.”

The net result is not Dutch or Danish levels of cycling, but nonetheless impressive. The average number of bikes used daily in the city rose from just over 6,000 to more than 70,000. The last audit, about a year ago, found 6% of all trips were made by bike, rising to 9% for non-commuter journeys.

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Even More Evidence That Bike-Friendly Cities Are Better Cities

Bicycles are wonderful contraptions that help people be healthier, have better commutes, and are a wonderful solution to car-based traffic jams. Yet, there are still cities out there that hate cyclists (like Toronto and it’s crack-smoking mayor). In a more civilized place, Aukland, they are embracing bike-friendly infrastructure to make the city better for people and for businesses!

The researchers looked at Auckland, New Zealand, which is currently not a particularly bike-friendly place, and used computer simulations to model different scenarios for new bike-related investments, including regular bike lanes, lanes shared with buses, and fully separated lanes.

They found huge differences: If the city built a network of separated lanes and slowed down traffic speeds, it could increase cycling by 40% by 2040, but adding a few lanes in a few places might only increase bike traffic by 5%. The more people ride, the more the cost savings would add up for Auckland–the biggest factor being a reduction in health care costs. A smaller investment would have little impact at all; the city is so bike-unfriendly that major changes are needed.

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