Greetings from Holland, the country you lauded because of our ubiquitous bicycle use. However, theres an important factor in the way cities and neighborhoods are shaped. The Dutch always had to deal with shortage of space. Many cities here weren’t developed around the car as you see in the U.S. for instance. Shorter distances and a flat countryside also stimulate cycling. Still, governments can do a lot to stimulate cycling, like making them tax deductible and protecting cyclists in case an accident happens (when a car is involved, the driver needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it is not his/her fault that the cyclist was hit). They can go further, and reclaim road space on the car in favor of two-wheelers in general, perhaps even ban SUV usage in inner cities (according to the IIHS and ETSC, SUVs are the main culprit of the sharp increase of pedestrian deaths over the past decade). However, people will always be using cars (range, comfort, passenger safety). The real challenge therefore is to reduce car footprint, not only for safety reasons, but it also makes electric drive more affordable, plus governments have the chance to let the present road infrastructure be utilized more efficiently. On the chart below, the second and third are excellent examples of sleek-footprint vehicles. The third is a so-called 1+1 enclosed three-wheeled scooter (called the Toyota iRoad), the second is a semi three-wheeler with three-seat capacity, working title smart-for-three.

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Identify how high-tech bypasses common sense to sell us a solution that frequently misses the point | country: Netherlands

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