Saturday, October 20, 2007

Creating an Alt. Trans. Mental Picture

We have so little in the ways of examples of truly progressive municipal thought processes locally that it is difficult to picture what a lot of the global experts are talking about when it comes to thinking generationally about transportation planning. It is hard for the everyday Joe/Anne on the street to envision any alternatives, when we are constantly surrounded by an asphalt-loving road-widening mentality. This is precisely the reason we occasionally must look to other countries on far-flung continents to help us build our alternative-transportation mental picture.

Which is why I'm leading you across the pond to Bodø. The city of Bodø in the County of Nordland in northern Norway wants to become a bicycle city. NPRA and the municipality of Bodø have suggested building in a foot and bicycle path between the College of Higher Education and the city centre to make cycling easier and more attractive. Some years ago a glass roof was constructed over a part of the main street and the experience with the project was so positive, now the inhabitants of Bodø gladly look forward to the tube being built. The idea, which was introduced by the City Plan Director, Jørn Roar Moe, is to construct a framed structure covered with transparent plastic plates. The bicycle tube will have a number of roofed openings for access and ventilation. There will also be internal illumination. The tube will hold physically separated roads for cyclists and pedestrians.

Some people take the idea of traffic abatement seriously. I just wish we didn't need to look to other countries to find examples such as this. Want an idea of what they're thinking of? Click here.

How about a little closer to home? Bill, a reader here in Windsor, sent along this link he found to The Indianapolis Cultural Trail. It turns out that Indianapolis, Indiana is making what could be the boldest step of any North American city towards supporting bicyclists and pedestrians. Known as an extremely auto-oriented city, most closely associated with the Indianapolis 500, this is one of the last cities we would have expected to see systematically removing vehicle lanes and replacing them with bicycle and pedestrian space.

Now, tell me why we have such a difficult time implementing even the slightest change here in Windsor?

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