My cargobike is changing my life… despite much of the infrastructure
I’ve banged on about my cargo-bike on here before, but I recently made this video about the bike, why it solves my big green transport dilemma (my car mileage is already so low that an EV makes no sense in terms of cash or carbon) and how much fun it is.
The lesson I have taken from this is how much we can and should change our lifestyle patterns for Sustainability. We have become car dependent because our cities have been designed for car owners. It takes a lot of different thinking to design them with the transport hierarchy in mind as the Dutch have mastered over the decades and the way Paris is now going.
A few months ago, I cycled on the cargo bike to Silverlink, a local out of town shopping centre, and the official cycle route from the dual carriageway cycle path took me across at least 4 separate toucan crossings all with tight 90° turns which weren’t very cargo bike friendly – it took at least 3 minutes to move less than 100m. This route was installed a couple of years ago as part of a £75million upgrade to a junction between two dual carriageways – and it is, frankly, pathetic.
Interestingly there’s an unsigned track a bit further along that takes you straight in to the carpark in seconds – I don’t know why it isn’t signed as the cycle route. Presumably nobody thought of that. When we talk about thinking outside the box, sometimes that box is very small indeed.
The solution? I’m a big fan of experiential learning. Route designers should cycle a lot – they’ll soon learn what works well and what is a dismal compromise.