What if Austin were a bicycle-first city?

June 20th, 2007

This question comes to mind after reading this item from Worldchanging:

The Future of Carbon-Free Transport: Groningen, Netherlands

A key quote:

Groningen’s bicycle planning has not occurred in a vacuum, but rather complements an integrated scheme that includes low-priced parking facilities for cars, strong public transport and careful public transit linkages between car parking areas and centers for employment and education. With these amenities, cars use, especially in the city center, was successfully restricted without impacting local business.

Sounds nice, huh? I mean . . . forethought. What a concept.

Austin has been putting its money where its mouth is on the green front, albeit not as quickly, and not as much, as it should. The author of the Worldchanging piece, Warren Karlenzig, is also involved with SustainLane, which ranks Austin as the 14th-greenest city in the United States. The fact that Austin hasn’t earned its way into the top five cities in the world — I mean by universal consensus — is a testament to how much is left to be done. Making the city pro-bike in a BIG way would mean great progress toward that goal.

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