Bike and bus lanes are good for people that drive!

Photo credit: TUM Initiative

Here are some things I wish people that fight against bike and bus lanes in Los Angeles knew:

1 — By giving people non-car transportation options, you actually reduce the number of cars on the road — freeing up the space that’s left for people that actually need to or want to drive. In other words, even if you “give up” parking spaces or a traffic lane for a bike or bus lane, the net effect will be that you’ll be able to drive with fewer cars and less traffic. A certain percentage of people that used to drive will choose to bike, scoot, or take the bus, freeing up more road space for you!

Even if you can’t see yourself using a bike or taking a bus today, if both options were made safer and more efficient than private cars, you might consider it.

And even if you decided to not bike or take a bus even with dedicated lanes — that’s fine! Because many others will, it means less traffic for you driving.

Image credit to Daniel Moser and Ellery Studio

While most people in Los Angeles might believe in climate change, it doesn’t mean they’re willing to give up their SUV to fight it.

Electric cars — while better from a tailpipe point of view — aren’t a panacea. They do nothing to solve the space demands, traffic violence, or lost productivity of our current situation. And by relying on them as “the” solution, we let ourselves off the hook from making the harder infrastructure changes needed. There are cities in the world that used to be built around cars, and decided to change. And these places today have cleaner air, more transportation options, and less traffic violence (Oslo actually achieved Vision Zero, with zero traffic deaths — possible when you control speed and design roads for people). In Holland, kids as young as five bike themselves to school. Imagine not having to drive your kids to/from school, and giving them a sense of freedom and independence at such a young age!

Cheonggycheon, Seoul, South Korea. Photo credit: Citi.io
Haarlemmerdijk, Amsterdam in 1900, 1971 & 2013. Photo credit: Amsterdam Archives & Thomas Schlijper.
Mariahilferstraße, Austria. Image credit: top by Douglas Sprott, bottom by Andreas Lindinger
Times Square, New York, before and after. Photo credit: NYC DOT, Michael Grimm
Many forget there used to be a highway through Downtown SF. It only came down because of an earthquake! Photo credit: D Magazine.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Michael Schneider

Michael Schneider

Tali, Mika & Sofi’s dad, Katerina's husband, LA native. Founder, Service. Founder, Streets For All. Board Member, Mid City West Neighborhood Council.