Monday, February 5, 2007

Packing Pavement

One of the major threats to quality of life in my hometown - Boise, Idaho - is the ever-increasing volume of vehicle traffic, virtually all of it SOV (single-occupant vehicle).

Since I'm a dedicated transportation cyclist, I'm largely just an observer. But I DO have to breathe the junk all those SOVs are spewing out, be wary of Ricky Racers who are trying to get an advantage by swerving between lanes, jack-rabbeting to the next light, etc. Everybody is impacted in some way.

Way back in 1999, Jim Beamguard of the Tampa Tribune had a good notion. Why not show readers, in pictures, the cost of single-occupant-vehicle transportation, just in road congestion?

The following photos were the result, taken by Phil Sheffield.

Pretty self-explanatory. Hard to dispute.

In this photo, 40 people fill four lanes of downtown Tampa's Marion Street in their single-occupant automobiles. (Coincidentally, the transportation-of-choice for 90-plus percent of Treasure Valley residents.)
Packing Pavement 1

Then each trades the driver's seat for a chair.
Packing Pavement 2

Next they assume the pose of transit riders, clustering their seats in one bus-sized space.
Packing Pavement 3

Finally, they take their places in the urban landscape as pedestrians and cyclists.
Packing Pavement 4



Anonymous said...

Pretty much says it all.

Anonymous said...

This ROCKS. Thank you so much for this. I will now commence to email this post to EVERYONE I KNOW.

(sorry for two deletes, I cannot type, apparently)

Deferr said...

Just think of the decreased wear and tear on the road systems in the later type of environment.