Two good pieces in yesterday’s New York Times. Tom Friedman writes from India, where last week …
I was driving through downtown Hyderabad and passed the dedication of a new overpass that had taken two years to build. A crowd was gathered around a Hindu priest in a multicolored robe, who was swinging a lantern fired by burning coconut shells and praying for safe travel on this new flyover, which would lift traffic off the streets below.
The next morning I was reading The Sunday Times of India when my eye caught a color photograph of total gridlock, showing motor scooters, buses, cars and bright yellow motorized rickshaws knotted together. The caption: “Traffic ends in bottleneck on the Greenlands flyover, which was opened in Hyderabad on Saturday. On day one, the flyover was chockablock with traffic, raising questions over the efficacy of the flyover in reducing vehicular congestion.”
Friedman thinks India might want to avoid our mistakes (which, with mass-production of a $2,500 car, they clearly don’t intend to do).
Suggests Sunita Narain of New Delhi’s Center for Science and Environment:
“I am simply asking for many more buses and bus lanes — a complete change in mobility. Because if we get the $2,500 car we will not solve our mobility problem, we will just add to our congestion and pollution problems.”
Charge high prices for parking, charge a proper road tax for driving, deploy free air-conditioned buses that reach every corner of the city, expand the existing beautiful Delhi subway system, “and then let the market work,” she added.
Helpful advice, no? The whole column is here.
The other piece – a video, actually – discusses Portland’s bike economy. Yes, cycling is now considered part of the economy.
You can find the video here. With related article here.