- a collection of notes and reflections on urban living from the perspective of a family of five in Tokyo. My epiphany was many years ago, but being hit by a motorbike and seeing my life flash before my eyes caused a sudden change that slowly made me reflect on whether American style auto-centric urban transportation of the Roosevelt era really is a capital G "Good Idea" for civilized modern cities in the 21st Century. This blog explores the good and the bad in urban planning and design, here and elsewhere. The goal is simple - not "death to all cars," just more walkable communities, quiet tree-lined streets, good public transport, traffic calming, Velib style bicycle sharing and a bit of common sense. The bolg is mostly theraputic, so I don't go wanting to throttle every dangerous driver I come across, but partly also out of a real desire to see positive change. This blog explores how it can be done, the people who do it, and how, in many small ways, this very old idea may at last have found its zeitgeist. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Has the Tide Already Turned?

There was a fascinating article in the Washington Post on Saturday about a massive new program in Paris to provide cheap and easy bicycle rental throughout the city - with a rental station every 250 metres! Absolutely incredible. There are similar plans afoot (pun intended) in other large cities throughout the world, including Sydney and Melbourne.

Why Tokyo has not latched onto this I don't know. It would be perfect here. There appears to be not enough public pressure for change away from the nasty old "more, bigger, faster roads for cars and everyone else be damned" attitude. If only we had some politicians who would stand up for "everyone else".

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