Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Car Boom Puts Europe On Road To Smoggy Future

That's the title of a recent New York Times article noting that despite high gas prices the combination of greater prosperity, sprawl urban development and higher rates of auto ownership more Europeans are traveling by car, leading to much higher levels of traffic congestion.

American transit geeks have long held up the Old Country as the way to go on transportation issues, with much justification. However, the article reports that Europe is in the midst of a road-building boom and that most countries lack the political will to raise taxes or create other disincentives to further market penetration by the private auto.

The article describes the kind of "draconian" measures necessary keep people from succumbing to the charms of the automobile. Denmark, for example, has resorted to "imposing purchase taxes that are sometimes 200 percent of the cost of the vehicle." As a result of these and other measures, such as congestion pricing in Copenhagen, bicycle use has increased among the Danes.

The likelihood of the Moving Beyond Congestion folks recommending 200 percent surcharges on auto sales and other disincentives to auto use are about the same that we will see Jim Reilly, the head of the RTA, tooling around the six counties in a Nihola bike.


Anonymous said...

I covered bicycling in Copenhagen on my series.

Tuesday, January 23, DISH Network will show Episode 94 of "Perils For Pedestrians".

Contents of Episode 94 (2004):
--We visit a roundabout in Malmo, Sweden.
--We look at bicycles in Copenhagen, Denmark.
--We talk about transportation with a planner from Spain.

DISH Network Channel 9411 -- The Universityhouse Channel
Tuesday -- 9:30 pm Eastern, 6:30 Pacific

Episode 94 is also available on Google Video:

Note: Public access cable channels are showing different episodes than DISH Network.

Thank you.

John Z Wetmore

John Z Wetmore said...

After April 29, Google Video will no longer host videos. "Perils For Pedestrians" 94 is now on Blip TV at http://blip.tv/file/5058707

Thank you.

John Z Wetmore said...

The video with bikes in Denmark is moving again. "Perils For Pedestrians" 94 is now on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX7wB8PoxFI