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Climate activist Eric Holthaus likes COVID lockdown impact on car travel: ‘Cars are the problem, not the answer’ – Rips ‘monstrous highway systems’ – Envisions ‘car-free era’ in cities

Excerpt: Taking back cities from cars has been a cause for urban activists for decades, but in an era of social distancing, the movement has become urgent as a counterbalance to isolation and to closures of public infrastructure, like parks and buses. We know that a liveable future will mean one with fewer cars, but it’s still an open question if cities will see it the same way, or double down on the past. The modern open streets movement – ciclovía – got its start in Bogotá, Colombia, in the 1970s Read more about cicloví counteract the global spread of an alliance between car companies and the fossil fuel industry
Read more about the birth of the interstate highway system.that gave birth to monstrous highway systems in the US and Europe in the 1950s and 60s. Now, amid the pandemic, the movement to ban cars from key streets is rapidly spreading around the world, from New York
New York is planning to close 75 miles of streets to vehicle Mumbai.

The open streets movement is part of the climate movement, because motorised road vehicle transportation is responsible for about 80% of the rise in global emissions over the past 50 years.
Read WRI’s roundup of the stats on global transportation emissions.In many ways, the climate problem is primarily one of figuring out how to move ourselves from place to place using the least amount of fossil fuels possible.

But the open streets movement is just beginning. Once the lockdown is over, there need to be vigorous campaigns to make pedestrian-focused streets the norm, not the exception. Bike commuting, not socially-isolated recreation, will drive the adoption of bike-friendly cities. Cities can’t make this transition simply by adding bike lanes,
Read why bike lanes are bad, actually, from CityLab.they have to reinvent themselves for a car-free era. And that’s where the hope lies: with some effort, on the other side of this pandemic, our cities could become radically bike friendly, right away.