Feet, Bikes, And Automobiles

by Patrick Appel

Ryan Avent takes me to task. My comment was sloppy. I agree with pretty much everything he says, partially because I've no car in DC and rely on my bike for almost everything. The anger this debate inspires among readers always amazes me. When I lived in the suburbs, I drove everywhere; living in the city I either bike, walk, or ride public transit. I've no anger at any mode of transportation, though bikes are often given little consideration by urban planners, at least in DC. That fact is going to have to change when oil spikes again. This reminds me that I've been meaning to post about this statistic: you would need a 228-lane Brooklyn Bridge to replace NYC's subway system:

At best, it would take 167 inbound lanes, or 42 copies of the Queens Midtown Tunnel, to carry what the NYC Subway carries over 22 inbound tracks through 12 tunnels and 2 (partial) bridges. At worst, 200 new copies of 5th Avenue. Somewhere in the middle would be 67 West Side Highways or 76 Brooklyn Bridges. And this neglects the Long Island Railroad, Metro North, NJ Transit, and PATH systems entirely.

Public transit and biking aren't a cure all, but maximizing those options where we can is common sense.

(Hat tip: Kottke)