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@1: Because you have to convince all the people who hate public transportation to help pay for it, and there's a shitload of them. But yes, we should be working full-steam on developing the city around anything other than private motorized vehicles.
Posted by tiktok on January 31, 2013 at 12:06 PM · Report this
Fnarf 4
Um, Charles? Beijing was just a BIT different in 1984. In 1984, China was an economically paralyzed and impoverished giant; no one could AFFORD to even look at at a car. You may have missed this, but there's been a bit of economic upheaval there in the last TWENTY-NINE YEARS.

The bicycles have all been replaced by scooters and again by cars. China is the hottest car market on the planet; they bought 15 million cars in 2012, and that number will increase in 2013. Beijing famously has some of the worst traffic in the entire world; in 2010 there was a jam on the freeway that was 62 miles long and lasted for nine days.

Fewer than 20% of Beijing residents ride bicycles today; frankly I'd rather ride on I-5 than any street in that smog-choked clusterfuck.
Posted by Fnarf on January 31, 2013 at 12:21 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 5
The birds probably died off due to all the iron foundries in people's backyards, Charles.

There's been economic upheaval going on in China for a few thousand years. Before those meddling Europeans.
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 31, 2013 at 12:34 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 6
The car is the mobile extension of the suburban home.

With a car, my living room goes directly to the mall or supermarket. The food court at Southcenter is my dining room.

If you understood this, you'd be a happier person.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http:// on January 31, 2013 at 12:36 PM · Report this
Charles Mudede 7
fnarf, is that not my point?
Posted by Charles Mudede on January 31, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Report this
@7, you don't know? Then how can we?
Posted by sarah70 on January 31, 2013 at 1:01 PM · Report this
emma's bee 9
I like your nod to the urban bike, Charles. Here's my trusty urban steed:…
Posted by emma's bee on January 31, 2013 at 1:18 PM · Report this
My experience in Bogota is that most people take the bus or cab when they can. Biking? not so much. Traffic there can be a major clusterfuck. You really would be taking your life in your hands if you attempted to bike it. Out of the city you see a fair number of cyclists but they are all athletes. It is a popular place to train because of the high altitude there.
Posted by Senor Guy on January 31, 2013 at 1:40 PM · Report this
Fnarf 11
@10, they bike on the one day a week when the main thoroughfare is closed to vehicles.

@7, I don't think so. Bicycles in cities is generally an indication that the city in question is no longer economically vibrant, but has entered the museum or boutique stage. Tourist cities have lots of bikes; cities where the money gets made don't. Amsterdam is full of bikes; Rotterdam much less so, Essen and Dortmund even less. A hundred years from now, China might have some twee spots with cycle paths too.
Posted by Fnarf on January 31, 2013 at 3:54 PM · Report this
My understanding is that it is basically a Sunday morning thing but to be quite honest the times I've been to Bogota I didn't see it in action. I will say cabs are in abundence and seem to pop up everywhere. Bus rides there are always interesting to say the least. I'll probably be back this Christmas. I'll have to check out the Sunday closed street biking.
Posted by Senor Guy on January 31, 2013 at 5:01 PM · Report this

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