Monday, December 21, 2009

Low Tech Transportation

The Streetsblog Network and Seattle Transit tipped me off to a delightful resource: Low Tech Magazine (paradoxically published and probably made possible through the Internet, but never mind that).

Their premise: Low-tech Magazine refuses to assume that every problem has a high-tech solution. A simple, sensible, but nevertheless controversial message; high-tech has become the idol of our society.

Last October, they published a primer to the low tech of wheeled transportation: the bicycle.

I disagree with part of their article -- while roads can certainly be made much safer, I think they're overstating things with the claim that "riding a bike is dangerous at the very least and plain suicide at worst" -- but they present a radical idea:
We don't need any new infrastructure, what we need is to clear the existing infrastructure of inefficient vehicles and replace them with efficient ones. In other words: give all streets, highways, cloverleaves and motorways exclusively to bicycles and all other human powered wheeled vehicles. Get rid of cars. Why make things so complicated if the solution is so simple?

What do you think? Too much too soon? Or the perfect solution?

Read more -> Low Tech Magazine: Cars out of the way. H/T Peter Smith.


  1. Life is always simple if you have nothing to challenge your way of thinking.

    Every time somebody suggests eliminating cars, I point to the wheelchair accessible van I have to use to transport my son and say, "This suits me better for moving a 300 pound power wheelchair in the snow."

    Absolutes are rarely the answer.

  2. Every movement needs a big thinker to push it forward. This thinker is usually someone who pushes the envelope but is reviled for "pushing too hard too early" no matter when the push is begun.

    Arguably, the transportation cycling movement has not had that person emerge yet. Could we be looking at that thinker now?