- 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.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Electric cars are not the answer

Interesting little piece from Reuters HERE, again suggesting that electric cars are not the answer to environmental problems caused by automobiles. And hydrogen cars are not either as you must factor in how the hydrogen itself was generated and of course its transportation to refueling stations. No - in modern urban societies we must look to options that are more efficient by design.

I have not verified this yet, but I recently heard on the radio that in order for a highway to carry the same capacity of people at the same speed into town as a regular commuter train line, it would need to be 60 lanes wide. Even if I misheard and it was only 20 we are talking many times if not orders of magnitude greater efficiency by rail than by car. It is simply that efficiency which makes it more friendly to the environment than the automobile.

Must try to look into that line a bit further. It is a compelling one.

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