Traffic is the worst and when people start to regularly work from offices we are bound to see an abundance of traffic. Nobody wants this, yet for the last century we’ve been building our cities and suburbs to cause traffic instead of alleviating it. This past year as the need for outdoor space in cities has increased we’ve seen cities reimagine our streets (not in Toronto though, but elsewhere). People are seeing the benefits of designing cities for people who live there instead of designing for car domination of the public realm.
What about traffic though? Inevitably we’ll need to get around again in the future. This is the next step. Most people don’t need a car (they just think they do) for most of their trips, let’s give people multiple options to get around instead of just one!
Micromobility technology, by contrast, is evolving as fast as fruit flies. As Anthony Townsend notes in Ghost Road, the dockless bike operator LimeBike â€œput no fewer than nine versions of its flagship bike into service during its first year and a half of operation,â€ while scooter company VeoRide, he notes, can transform a new idea into â€œon-street hardware in 15 days.â€
And yet for all the flurry of micromobility activity, the state of macromobilityâ€”which in the US means the carâ€”has changed little, and in some ways is going backward. â€œThe curb weight [of vehicles] is higher than itâ€™s ever been, and these are the second-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions over the past decade,â€ says Greg Lindsay, director of applied research at New Cities, an urbanist think tank. â€œThe OEMsâ€”who donâ€™t seem to be particularly financially healthyâ€”have basically hooked the earth on these extremely expensive vehicles. Itâ€™s like the SUV boom has happened against the backdrop of this supposed mobility revolution.â€