There should be no question that something profound is happening in major Western cities, if not in other parts of the world as well. The introduction of dockless bikes and scooters is forcing people to reconsider the current configuration of our streets which heavily favors automobiles over pedestrians and cyclists. Is that finally about the change?
, two of the companies who have led the charge on the scooter explosion in North America, recently celebrated a year of operation, are in over 100 cities each, and have both surpassed 10 million rides
as they set their sights on global expansion. However, there are plenty of questions and differing opinions on what they mean for the future.
points out, in Streetsblog, how social democracies are better places to ride a bike
because they take a “pragmatic and humanistic view of transportation,” which provides some context when considering Yuval Karmi
’s argument that this revolution in urban transportation could get really messy
“with metal bodies of bicycles and batteries polluting every street corner,” reflecting the disruption that happened when cars transformed urban space a century ago. Did Denmark and the Netherlands have such a “mess” as it changed its infrastructure?
Karmi says that “20 years is the time it took the car to change the urban perception. It took cities 50 more years to adjust to them and give in completely.” It will take time to shift away from automotive dominance, but only as long as we want it to.