Cycling, Walking and Transit Are Real Climate Solutions
A study from the UK prioritizes energy efficient forms of transportation such as walking, cycling, rolling and transit acknowledging that the adoption of EVs will not happen at a rate anywhere near fast enough to mitigate climate change. It recommends systemic support for clean healthy choices including increased investment and priority use of road space.
Shifting the focus: energy demand in a net-zero carbon UK's overall recommendations include:
- Prioritise energy demand solutions
- Consider and promote all the benefits of demand-side solutions
- Scale up policies that work
- Develop long term plans for demand-side innovation
- Build effective institutions for delivery of demand-side solutions
- Involve a wider range of stakeholders to build capacity across society
The Mobility recommendations include:
Systematic support for the very lowest energy modes of transport
Enabling and encouraging a shift from private motorised travel to more energy efficient modes requires systematic support for the very lowest energy methods of transport – walking, cycling (including e-bikes and e-scooters) and public transport, through investment programmes on both capital and revenue spending, priority use of road space, and an expansion of ‘soft’ or ‘smarter’ methods of encouraging behavioural change. The goal would be to design “a mobility system where it is more normal to take part in activities using the most sustainable modes more of the time”.
As in B.C., the study notes than in the UK that people, especially younger folks, are using sustainable modes more than transportation planning models predict. Policies and investments need to be updated to reflect what people are doing and want to do instead of assuming that people want to drive everywhere. This is needed to avoid self-defeating over spending on and allocating too much space for roads, parking and other motor vehicle infrastructure and subsidies.
In communities large and small around B.C. where substantial investments in transit, cycling and walking have been made, many people are choosing healthy transportation proving that many don't want to drive. Systemic changes need to be made and budgets need to be reprioritized to ensure that everyone in B.C. has access to healthy clean transportation choices.
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