Climate-proof your transportation costs by going car-free.
If your hometown makes an effort to help.
Anticipating growing transportation costs caused in part by global warming, certain cities are leading the way in the car-free movement. Urban planners are creating spaces for pedestrians to commute easily and affordably, while lowering CO2 emissions from cars.
Oslo is replacing miles of roads with bike lanes and plans to ban parking spaces in the city center by 2019. Copenhagen, arguably the leading city in the global car-free movement, has over 200 miles of bike lanes and one of the lowest percentages of car ownership in Europe. Their latest project is to build a bike superhighway that extends to the surrounding suburbs. Already over half the city’s population bikes to work everyday, but the Danish city pledges to be completely carbon-neutral by 2025. Elsewhere, Chicago-based architects designed a new residential area in Chengdu, China on the basis that residents will be able to walk anywhere in 15 minutes.
The United States appears to be in a game of catch-up. Only a few weeks ago, San Francisco announced its plan to ban cars and add bike lanes along Market Street, one of the city’s busiest streets. This is no small project. Already eight years in the making, it’s a $604 million project. Adding bike lanes is costly, but there are low-cost solutions as well. But think of all the money you could save by not even needing an automobile!
Could your hometown be next on the list of cities working towards banning cars to help climate-proof your transportation costs? You might get your town to discourage cars by fining drivers with the most polluting cars, like Madrid. Or institute a car-free Sundays rule, like Paris. Maybe put in place a Peak and Plate program like Mexico City, which bans even or odd license plates on certain days of the week.
Leaving your car at home may seem daunting, but ditching your car and biking to work can save time, money, and improve your physical health. To get started, check out our Where-to-Live Scorecards to see how your hometown ranks on the walk- and bike-score spectrum and evaluate your town’s walkability to make sure there are accessible alternatives to the automobile.