In Santa Monica, 64% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from motor vehicle transportation, mostly from private cars. Indeed, this is true throughout much of the world. Clearly, this paradigm must change to prevent further impacts of climate change. To achieve a meaningful reduction in our carbon footprint we must drive fewer miles. While transitioning to electric cars is important, that option is not a silver bullet. We need more options, and they already exist.
We can increase the proportion of local trips that are made by walking, cycling, scooters, electric bikes and other low-speed mobility devices if we re-shape current road designs to serve all road users equitably. Santa Monica, with its abundant sun and relatively flat topography is ideally positioned to take advantage of new mobility technology, with bicycles (and electric bicycles) playing an important role.
Reducing car use and car ownership delivers enormous, much-needed co-benefits such as significant financial savings for individuals, improved air quality, vibrant, human-oriented streets where businesses can thrive, fewer deadly collisions and a natural way to integrate activity into our lives that keeps us healthy and more resistant to disease. Walking, cycling and low-speed mobility are solutions that we can no longer afford to leave under-developed and untapped.
We invite you to join us and our partners in promoting a healthier, more sustainable vision for our streets. For additional information about climate-friendly transportation choices, visit these sites:
- Smart Cities World – Bogotá expands bike lanes to curb coronavirus spread
- The Guardian – London cycling could increase tenfold after lockdown, says TfL
- UK Government – £2 billion package to create new era for cycling and walking
- NY Times – After Spike in Deaths, New York to Get 250 Miles of Protected Bike Lanes
- NYC Government – NYC Bike Safety Plan