Tuesday, May 12, 2009

happy bike week

everyone in des moines, and all of iowa, for that matter, is all "i wanna be bike friendly" -- although what they are REALLY saying is "i want my city to receive a bike friendly STATUS." there's a hell of a big difference. you know it. i know it. most REAL cyclists know it. but for some reason, politicians just don't quite seem to grasp it.
neither do engineers, nor city planners.
here's an interesting article about ONE city that DOES get it.

In German Suburb, Life Goes On Without Cars
VAUBAN, Germany — Residents of this upscale community are suburban pioneers, going where few soccer moms or commuting executives have ever gone before: they have given up their cars.
Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community. Car ownership is allowed, but there are only two places to park — large garages at the edge of the development, where a car-owner buys a space, for $40,000, along with a home.
As a result, 70 percent of Vauban’s families do not own cars, and 57 percent sold a car to move here. “When I had a car I was always tense. I’m much happier this way,” said Heidrun Walter, a media trainer and mother of two, as she walked verdant streets where the swish of bicycles and the chatter of wandering children drown out the occasional distant motor.
Vauban, completed in 2006, is an example of a growing trend in Europe, the United States and elsewhere to separate suburban life from auto use, as a component of a movement called “smart planning.” [for complete article, click here]

1 comment:

Buckshot77 said...

Kim, something along those lines on a smaller scale in the US is communities set up using the www.cohousing.org thought process. There's one looking to open up around Grimes.