As this photograph from Camden attests.

Ryan Croft of TransitScreen tweeted the following photo of 10 bikes taking up the rough equivalent of a single car parking space in Camden Town, London:

The auto-shaped bike rack evidently comes courtesy of cyclehoop, a U.K.-based design firm that specializes in bicycle parking infrastructure. Cyclehoop isn’t alone in this type of car-jabbing bike-port design. There have been similar efforts to demonstrate the scarcity of street space that bikes require relative to cars by EcoBici, the bike-share system in Buenos Aires, and Seattle’s Department of Transportation.

Such demonstrations aren’t limited to parking. As our Laura Bliss reported last fall, bike advocates in Latvia draped themselves in skeletons of regular-sized passengers cars then cruised through the streets as part of International Car Free Day—“adding noticeably to overall traffic congestion.” Point taken:

(Let's Bike It/VK)

Then there’s the ubiquitous triple-street scene of showing how much space is consumed by an equal number of people traveling in cars, a bus, or on bikes:

All these images serve to remind us that, spatially speaking, cities make the most inefficient choice possible when they give all their street space to cars. It’s probably time to move away from a bikes-versus-cars mentality and towards one that acknowledges our need to maintain several types of traffic flows. But that shift starts with a recognition from all parties that bike lanes (and dedicated bus lanes) play an integral role in a balanced mobility network.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    Don’t Throw It Away—Take It to the Repair Cafe

    This series of workshops aims to keep broken items out of the landfill, and it might help you save a few bucks, too.

  2. Passengers line up for a bullet train at a platform in Tokyo Station.
    Transportation

    The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations

    The nation’s famed mastery of rail travel has been aided by some subtle behavioral tricks.

  3. POV

    What ‘Skyscraper’ Doesn’t Get About Skyscrapers

    The Rock’s new movie should have gotten more thrills out of high-rise design, an engineer argues.

  4. An illustration shows two alleys in Detroit.
    Design

    Finding the Untapped Potential of Alleys

    “We’re starting to realize they’re just as powerful as a park or plaza.”

  5. Design

    The Sensory City Philosopher

    Architect, engineer, and inventor Carlo Ratti envisions a future for urban design that's interactive.