As the bicycle has been using more and more in the last years, drivers from the privileged group (car drivers) have been get used to it. Nevertheless, there is still a number of them who believes the whole street is for them. Sometimes cars do not respect bike or pedestrian lines, putting lives in risk. If only they would realize the potential damage their machines can cause. Moving a one-tonne car at 50 km/h (30 mph) or more is likely to produce death to a pedestrian in a car accident. Protests have been producing around the world from violent to peaceful ones. Between these lasts, the use of stickers is popular from Russia to Mexico. In the next video you can see how it works and the car drivers reactions.
Let me tell you a story that has been repeating from the past century. We have a street and car stuck occurs often. Suddenly, one visionary says “Eh, we must improve the number of car lines so that cars won’t be in stuck anymore”. And then the street passes from two car lines to four ones at the expense of space for pedestrian. As a result, the number of cars also increases and car stuck comes in a few days. In this case the problem is even greater because space for pedestrian has been reduced and the more cars, the more pollution and noise.
One common argument of those who are blind to the improvement in sustainability produced by bikes lines, is to say that car lines reduction would be make everybody worse off. Note that the everybody in italic means “only themselves”. As the story I have explained earlier indicates, improvement in car infrastructure only causes more cars on streets. On the other hand, making bike lines on roads (and then reducing at least one car line) makes citizens better off as air quality improves and noises reduce. Moreover, as bikes take up less space as cars do, it is common that pedestrian space increases as bike line is built.
When car lines are reduced, dimwit car drivers blame against bike infrastructure instead of changing the car for the bike, the public transport or just walking. Replacing a habit by another is costing but if only they be open-minded enough to realize that everybody (now meaning each and every person) get better and improve their health.
One of the main problems when surveys are done regarding urban mobility is the conflict between bikers and pedestrians. Riding on sidewalks (outside bike-lines) is fined in a lot of countries. The bike is logically considered as a vehicle and thus it should move on pavement or bike-lines. Bikers who ride their bikes on sidewalks probably do it because:
– They act as pedestrians, following the same paths and mental schemes as if they were walking. But not, they are riding and this can cause problems due to the higher speed than human step and/or the potential accident caused by the fact that it is an almost noiseless transport.
– This kind of bikers also can present fear to ride on pavement. This fear is understandable in some cases specially in avenues in which cars and motorcycles do not usually respect the speed limit. This reason makes it difficult to convince those bikers to move to the pavement since the more bikers on it, the more calmed traffic we will enjoy. In order to avoid going around in circles, government actions on sustainable mobility should calm traffic and, at the same time, bikers should take the pavement.