Being pro bike and pro walking is also pro car – opinion

The founder of Transport Strategy consultancy Mobility Lab is arguing that road closures narrowing to make more room for walking and cycling is not an attack on motoring.

Writing on LinkedIn in response to criticism of the road changes which are being blamed by some as leading to more congestion, James Gleave wrote, “Being pro-pedestrian and pro-cycling is also being pro-car.”

The former executive at MobiHub and TravelSpirit wrote, “Pro-car is not being able to drive where you want and park where you like for free. It is not more identikit roads and saving 10 seconds at a [traffic] light.

“Pro-car is reducing traffic levels and making driving a pleasure. Helping more people to walk and cycle by prioritising them does that. Less space for unnecessary trips is better for driving overall as those that take place really are essential.”

He argues that there must be open dialogue with people to “bring them with you.”

His comments have been widely praised on his LinkedIn page, with global modelling expert Tom Van Vuren commenting that by “providing alternative choices for less essential car trips you can free up space for the essential ones (with which I mean those for which car is the most attractive alternative).”

John Hacker of TPS Transport Consultants added, “Travel planning is seen to be anti-car, often because of the way it is presented and because the measures and engagement tend to exclude car drivers. The truth is that travel planning is often delivered for the benefit of those who have little choice but to drive. It is there to support those car drivers, as much as anyone else.” while Mark Ames of Connect Macquarie Park in Sydney simply added, “There’s a reason the Dutch are the most satisfied motorists…”

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