2017-10-15

Car Free Bath

Walking along Oldfield Road on my way to work, I saw a notice attached to a lamppost. It turned out to be a traffic notice restricting parking in Oldfield Park, order 17-012/LC. The council were inviting comments, so I wrote the following in support of the order:
As a resident of Oldfield Park, I'm writing in support of the above
scheme as I believe that removing parking is a necessary first step
towards a car-free city. Cars cause traffic congestion and pollution
and are dangerous. Removing parking will deter car use, and at the
same time make routes more navigable for buses. Faster bus journeys
will make buses cheaper and more frequent, setting up a virtuous
circle. I note that the city of Oslo started their car-free program by
first reducing parking, and are on track to be car-free by 2019.

I've heard people say, 'if buses were cheaper and more frequent then I'd use them, but until then I'll keep using my car'. The problem is that cars impede buses, which makes them more expensive and infrequent, so cars have to be removed first in order for buses to flourish.

The reason that everyone can't travel by car without causing traffic congestion is the large amount of space taken up by cars. Buses however take up far less space. This poster shows the space taken up by cars versus buses versus bicycles:






Of course, the absence of cars is a necessary but not sufficient condition for buses to flourish. There has to be competition amongst the bus operators and electronic tickets that work with any bus operator.

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