Photos: Delcio G.P. Filho and Matthew Maaskant.
Do you want more proof that encouraging car use in a city is only going to lead you to traffic hell? Take a look at Sao Paulo: the city of ridiculous car jams, where there are more privately held helicopters than anywhere else in the world.
The thing is, not even the air has solved the traffic problem, and the new highways that are being planned for the city won't solve it either. It seems so obvious that the right way to go is to discourage the use of cars (like Bogota or Curitiba did), but now we have proof (a great treat for World Car Free Day).
A group of cyclists have put up a test and had 18 different combinations of transport travel a distance of about 10 kilometers (over 6 miles) during rush hour. Guess what? Two of the cyclists turned out to get to destination faster than the helicopter, and all the cyclists, a runner, the bus and, ¡a skater! took less time than the car. This last one took a nerve-racking 82 minutes to cover that distance.
More details in the extended.The different means of transport and combinations tested were:
-Fast-Cyclist (trained for deliveries)
-Unexperienced cyclist, alternative streets
-Experienced cyclist, alternative streets
-Experienced cyclist, major avenues
-Folding bike cyclist combining with bus
-Experienced cyclist on a fixed bike
-Experienced motorbiker (delivery boy)
-Train + Subway
-Train + Bus
-Bus + Subway
-Train + Special bus connecting with subway + Subway
-Disabled person on public transport + bus
And the results, in time, CO2 emissions and money spent, the following:
So as you see, the fixed-bike cyclist and the experienced biker for deliveries both ended up in a great mark of 22 and 25 minutes, 10 minutes earlier than the helicopter and a quarter of the time that took the car to get to place.
And, as mentioned, even the ¡skater! took less time than the car to get to place.
What does this say? It's pretty obvious: cars are not the way to go to manage mobility in ever-expanding cities. Giving space to more cars only creates more single person trips and jams. What else does it say more clearly and loudly? If you're spending more time in traffic jams than moving around, drop your car and try to pick up a bike.
Check out the video of the challenge and find more details at CicloBR.com.br (in Portuguese).
Thanks Vitor for the tip!
More on biking and traffic:
Bike Rush Hour in Portland
In Copenhagen Bicycles Overtake Cars