Hours of time are wasted sitting in dangerous traffic backups every week in the USA. So many cars in such close proximity, tempers flaring, and everyone in a hurry cause accidents that never needed to happen. Our downtowns are snarled with loud, polluting traffic. And it gets worse every year. But I’ve got an idea that could solve this, and lead to Americans becoming more active, and more connected as a community.
It’s simple. Simply determine a perimiter around every major city inside which personal vehicles are not allowed. Commuters would park well outside the city in parking garages and ride public transport such as trollies, subways, and buses, or ride bicycles or Segways to work. Maybe even some si-fi style moving sidewalks. The only vehicles allowed inside the perimiter would be emergency vehicles, mass transit, and delivery trucks.
This creates an industry providing secure parking outside the city. Opens the possibility of privately owned commuter bus lines. Encourages walking and bicycling. Frees city streets for pedestrian traffic. Reduces the number of vehicle accedents. Gives us cleaner air inside the cities, and a more peaceful environment. And as people get out of their isolating metal shells to walk they will begin to use outdoor green spaces more often, to meet one another, to break out of routines and explore more of the city increasing busness at little corner markets.
Imagine: You stand on a street corner in downtown Anycity, USA. Today you would be assaulted by the sound of engines and horns and innundated with the unhealthy stench of car exahust. But you could be looking out on a serene scene of people walking and biking and tooling along on Segways and rollerskating, passed by only an occasional bus. The air would be clearer and more healthy, and so would the people. Hours of time would be saved by commuters. And there would be more room for green spaces as unused roads are turned into gardens and parks.
Current mass transit systems would be woefully inadequate as they are now, and this would take a massive investment in transit infrastructure, but think it would be worth it. New businesses will be created – parking, bicycle and Segway rentals, privately owned bus lines and trolleys, and more street vendors.
If you think this is a good idea there are three things you can do to help it become reality. First, start with yourself. Research your local mass transit system and strive to use it rather than driving whenever possible. Secondly, spread the idea to your friends and family and encourage them to use mass transit, and third, write to your local city government and explain to them why this is a good idea and press for movement in this direction.
Leave me comments and let me know what you think about this idea, please.