Got the plug and was able! What to do with it? European experience


Достали пробки и смог! Что с этим делать? Европейский опыт

Traffic jams in the sky through a light haze of smog from exhaust gases of cars in the city. You have not bothered to tolerate such a situation? In many European cities – the people are obviously tired, as some of them literally over a couple of decades managed to make it so that half of the population travels by bike, the infrastructure comes to life with the active development of car sharing and public transport.

This was told by a member of the European Parliament, the German Michael Kramer

In the field of activities of German development of ecological transport. According to Michael, more active introduction of environmentally friendly transport is beneficial for the people, and the problems to implementation are exclusively political in nature and linked to value priorities of the citizens themselves:

Michael Kramer: This is a problem of political will. The first time I was in Moscow, there were so many cars, drive a few miles it took us a few hours. Of course, if you have a bike… I came from Berlin, and the average distance that the cars travel in Berlin is 18 kilometers. So I have no car. I use the bike because I don’t have as much time to waste on sitting in the car.

In Russia, people often think the car not means of transportation, but rather a status thing. This may be one reason why Cycling is not so popular. The Russian people want to have a big, expensive car to seem important person in public.”

Michael Kramer: I’m used to it. Because the same thing happened in Germany for many decades. But now great changes are taking place. Young people – they have such urgent need for driver’s license, in possession of the car. iPhone – much more important that they remain connected in different ways. In Germany, there was a big change. And, I think, throughout Europe and around the world too. Because the negative impact, especially in cities, from cars is the main problem, which deals with the transport division. We make cities comfortable for people, not for cars. This is a new experience, but I feel it’s a step in the right direction. This is not a problem of only Russia, it is all over Europe.

Most interesting is that this problem need not solve the whole century, because changes can occur very soon:

Michael Kramer: For example, Copenhagen: if I was 20 years ago told you that in the future 50% of Copenhagen residents will commute to work on bicycles, you would say to me, “crazy boy, keep dreaming!”But now is a reality, you can do it. And in Berlin, the figure had doubled: the number of people traveling by bike has increased from 8% to 16%. And they use bikes, not because politicians have developed the infrastructure, it was even against their interests. People do it because it’s a healthy lifestyle, environmentally safe, quickly. And cheap! You save a lot of money!

The environmental issue in this case is closely linked to the problem of perpetual traffic jams:

Michael Kramer: If you look at Moscow, Beijing to European cities, traffic is everywhere. And it’s crazy. This is a problem not only Russia. And, of course, the concentration of exhaust gases is very high. 70% of the emissions that affect the climate in cities, are created by transport. Therefore, we need to change the transport infrastructure to take public transport, taxi, car sharing, and, especially, on bikes. And if infrastructure is improved, people will follow.


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