How Much Space Do Cars Take? Cyclists Demonstrate How Bicycles Fight Congestion

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.

The demonstration came during International Car Free Day and was posted by cycling group Let’s Bike It on social network

Lets Bike It 2

Lets Bike It 3

Lets Bike It 4

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.

(via Vox & BikeHub)

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  • A really clever idea. Hopefully it will make people start thinking that bicycles and cycling more make sense!

  • Estoy Hasta La Madre

    Big false assumptions, this is called a syllogism.

    The author and the propagator of this falasy are shamesly missleading ignorant people about urban mobility.

    The city of Munster Germany is lying to its citizens and the world because the “green” took the gif and spread out all over the world.

    Here the reasons:

    The automobile: 72 DISPERSE ORIGINS to 109 POSIBLE DESTINATIONS 4.1 times daily

    72 automobiles carry 1.51 passengers in average therefore: 72 x 1.51 = 109 passengers 4.1 times a day = 446 trips/man/day the average trip distance is 12.11 km for a total 72 automobile mobility = 22,127 km / 109 users per day.

    The Bicycle:

    72 bicycles carry only 72 passengers from 72 disperse origins to 72 disperse destinations x 4 trips average 288 trips/man/day x 3.7 km = 72 Cyclist mobility= 1,066 km/day 288 users a day (Not every day, not all weather, not all errands.)

    But with a very distinct and important difference, the average mobility distance in the city of Munster Germany is 49.64 km/day

    the average cyclist travels 14.8 km daily 70% less mobility compared to the automobile.


    One bus may carry the same 72 passengers but some very strict conditions have to be met, the 72 passengers have to travel from the same origin to the same destination on a linear route AT THE SAME TIME. BUSES ONLY TRAVEL FULL 15% of the time 85% of the time travel with 7 – 9% capacity. worst even is the fact that urban travel demand origin-destination IS DISPERSE not LINEAR.

    This condition forces the transit user to travel in linked trips or transborder to other routes these characteristics make the public transit travel the must contaminant per passenger-km travelled in urban areas even worst is the case of the light train.

    Due to transfers, the average urban trip in transit requires up to twice the distance to get to a destination when compared with the automobile and 3 times the travel time or delays. (waiting times at the Bus Stops notwithstanding. making a market, taking the kids to school, weather, etc.)

    There you have it….more lies in order to push for the Agenda 21, the Global Warming, (Climate Change sic)

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