I went to see Bikes vs Cars yesterday as part of the Sydney Film Festival.  It's a documentary about urban planning really.  

There's some real gems in there and worth watching if you get the chance.  It looks at the centrality of cars in planning and infrastructure decisions in Sao Paulo and LA as well as contrasting this with the priorities of urban activists.

Some gems of interviews such as with a Copenhagen taxi driver who is resigned to having to be a careful professional driver who must contend with thousands of cyclists who seem to get all the resources.   And a professor who thinks congestion is a good thing because it will force other choices. 

But I really like the Sao Paulo woman who is a cycling advocate who rides fearlessly through the traffic despite one person being killed every week.  The vision of her splitting lanes, riding no hands on a single speed wearing a dress in heavy traffic is something else. I wanted to be her :-)

There's a lot to think about.  Many activists in the doco were convinced the car industry lobbyists were to blame.  I'm less sure about that in Australia and think that might be one influence but perhaps not the dominant one.  Anyway, will think more about that. 

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Here it feels like the car industry lobbyists moved on and got themselves elected into parliament.

I liked the closing comments too..."you own the car. You don't own the street" and "Its not a war. It's a community."

oh, and the way the mayor without prior notice took out 40,000 car parking spots in one night. Not sure of the number. It seems big.

Also worth a look at Carlton Reid's book: Roads were not built for cars.

And there are his podcasts, to which Dr Bean posted a link.

Dr Bean links from 4th May and 31st March.

Thanks, Snowy - you saved me finding them myself! The podcasts are good: they're hour-long (from memory) discussions, and involve other players in cycling/cycle infrastructure and urban design, mainly from the US. A lot of the principles under discussion are universally applicable, however. 

No probs,Dr Bean. :)

I remembered your threads and found it in the search bar at the top.

I just ordered it. 

Thanks for the link - I'll probably buy it.

Here's another book on the subject I read some time ago - does it cover similar material?


For those with a iPad/tablet etc, the Amazon Kindle app allows you to download the first couple of chapters of Reid's book as a free preview.

both recommended reading.

Sounds interesting Eleri

Is the video available anywhere?


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