Category Archives: cities

An Update on Barcelona and its Superblocks

For quite some time, urban areas have been relatively helpless against the onslaught of cars. Traffic congestion, gridlock, you name it. Build bigger roads, and you get even more congestion!

The tide may be turning. Congestion pricing is changing things in great cities like London. It may come to New York as well.

But Barcelona leads the pack in embracing a huge vision to take back the city from cars. It is a big story.

And here is a great summary of what is going on.

Go for it!

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Something Amazing is Happening in Brussels

Here is the background

Right now, there can be an almost eerie calm to some sections of central Brussels. Take an evening stroll down down Boulevard Anspach, the broad avenue that forms the Belgian capital’s spine, and you may find the roadway empty, its limestone and wrought-iron facades echoing the footsteps of a rare passer-by on the sidewalk.

A major city goes quiet and ped friendly? Find out more!

E-Bike Sales Overtake Bike Sales in the Netherlands

Keep in mind that a lot of Dutch folks use bikes as a prime commuter technology. Be that as it may,this tidbit surprised me!

. … According to new market statistics 40% of all bicycle sales in The Netherlands last year were e-bikes. However, when you strip out of the total the 11% of all bicycle sales that account for childrens’ bikes then the majority of adult bikes sold were e-bikes.

London Congestion Pricing Works

I remember the bad old days. You would get on a bus, and 45 minutes later, get off just to move around in the center of the city. Traffic in London was horrendous.

The solution is simple. Charge people to drive in the heavily congested central part of the city. It was controversial when first imposed. And it is working. People are moving from car travel to public transport.

The economic point is simple. Access is a valuable public commodity. People will abuse it if they can (the tragedy of the commons). That means it has to be regulated to insure that access is not made less valuable by overuse.

Over time, I expect all major cities to impose similar systems — unless tony Seba is right, and rapid advances in EV and AV will revolutionize urban transport.