People that commute by car spend an inordinate amount of time staring at taillights. There’s no way they’re getting around that traffic in front of them. But what about bike commuters? This group of Latvian cyclists recently created a powerful demonstration of the large footprint created by cars that carry just one occupant.
The four cyclists strapped on fragile frameworks shaped like cars, then hopped into the local traffic in Riga to show how much room they would occupy on their daily commute. The difference communicates loud and clear: if these cyclists were actually in cars, they would seriously add to congestion.
This is a great and original way to tangibly visualize the impact of cars on city space, but it’s far from the first time. The planning department of Münster, Germany created a three image poster in 1991, visually comparing 72 people on bicycles, in cars, or on a bus:
As much as we love our cars, it’s hard to argue with the street filling congestion in the center image above. That’s probably why the idea has been recreated multiple times – like this example from bike friendly Canberra, Australia in 2012:
British folding bicycle builder, Brompton, even remixed the idea for an ad highlighting the parking space required for 42 of their bikes – just as much as a compact car:
All of these images remind us that next time we’re being passed by bicycles in traffic, it may be time to start peddling.