This is a question that came to my mind the other night when emergency roadworks, caused by one of the MANY broken water mains here in the UK, closed our road. It is a major road and very rarely closed.
If cars were made illegal tomorrow, what would be the first thing you’d notice in your street?
What if cars (but not buses and other vehicles, just the private transport vehicle) weren’t just not allowed on your street, but actually disappeared? What do you imagine would be the immediate (and long-term) changes you’d see in your street and town / city?
I’ll go first (since I can)
As a London resident, I imagine that most people would resort to public transport - buses on the streets, and make much more use of our station that already combines mainline trains and the ‘overgound’ (strangely one of the London Underground rail lines).
I imagine a great many pedestrians in the first instance, walking to the station, and standing in orderly queues for buses.
As I specifically did not ban trucks and delivery vehicles, I actually imagine these would multiply on our street, because with fewer cars to get in the way, businesses would feel more able to move goods around. It means that for whatever reason the cars were banned, it would be important to also ensure that polluting trucks were limited in some way.
Over time, I can see electric bikes and scooters taking over, and other innovative solutions that become safer to use on streets free of cars, like updated versions of the Segway or hoverboards, becoming more popular for “personal transport”
I imagine that all the “out of town” shopping would have to be transformed, with that retail space converted for green housing, and a revival of convenient local shops (offering local delivery by bike).
I particularly imagine that local residents would get to see and greet each other in ways we don’t or can’t in cars, so it would create a more personal and friendly local shared space.
I wouldn’t miss my car to be honest. But I realise that my vision is specific to my City life so keen to hear how you see it affecting you?
Interesting topic to think about!
I live in Kessel-Lo, nearby the small city of Leuven. For me personally it wouldn’t change to much to my daily routines, since I do 80% of my trips by bike. It would make the street where I live on, more focused on alternative ways of transportation (like the hoverboards Rob mentioned ).
I also think the need for more public transport throughout day & night would grow. I definitely think there aren’t enough options to take -reliable- public transport in Belgium, especially during weekends/ sundays / evening hours. How would this be in Londen @Rob_Telraam ? Or how is this in your city / municipality for other readers of this thread?
We’re lucky in London to have a (reasonably) well integrated transport system, so I imagine many more would be able to take this option … however, even today it is congested, so we’d need to see how that capacity could be increased.
One thing that caught my eye recently was how the Dutch train system increased usage by a huge amount (100%?) in the past few decades, not through an investment in trains, but by increasing the bike parking and bike rental opportunities at home / destination stations.
I’d love to see something similar, where decent bike options might change the concept of the “commute” away from car > office, to being bike > train > bike > office instead.
Does anyone here do this (bike to the station)?
That’s interesting, did not knew our Belgian train system increased that much because of the bike parking and bike rental opportunities.
I think the variety of possibility to get to a trainstation is increasing as well. Nowadays you not only have a bike, but as well e-steps, elektric one-wheelers, foldable bikes, elektric skateboards, …
For myself, I prefer to take the bus to the train station. Since I don’t trust leaving my electric bike for a whole day unattended in the bike station near the station. A lot of bikes have been stolen over there.
I’m curious to know how other people get to the train/bus station :)?