Car Free Day – Wellington

This photo below shows the space fifty people in cars take, and the space taken by the same amount of people in a bus.  It’s also supposed to show the space the same number of people on bicycles take up, but the cyclists seem to be mingling in sociably with pedestrians and and other gadabouts and gossipers.  There’s even a couple cuddling in the corner! So the end result is you don’t really get a good impression of the space cyclists would take up if they all sat in tidy rows. I guess that’s either the benefit or problem with cycling, depending on your point of view.

Car Free Day Wellington

The photo shoot was organised by Gareth Hughes at the Green Party’s transport policy launch in Wellington yesterday (which I’ll blog about shortly). From what I hear he and his team had to work the phones quite hard to find 50 Green Party supporters who could survive the irony of driving their cars into the city to highlight Car Free Day.

19 Comments Posted

  1. fastbike, I was assuming it was one of the longer tandem axle buses. Yep the single axle buses do mamage left turns ok as long as right turning cars don’t get stuck forward of the stop line when the lights change. Most car drivers in that situation will rather risk a fine for running the lights than inconvenience bus drivers 😉

  2. Kevin said

    I Although I’m not sure a bus that big could make left turns within the four avenues even with the current right turn lane setbacks.

    Looks like a std city commuter bus to me Kevin … and they manage it quite OK within the (Chch) 4 avenues at present.

  3. Oh dear, this discussion is getting too tedious and predictable for such a lovely spring day. Mayne I’ll just take the roof off the ZX and cruise down to the beach 😛

  4. >>fuel prices will eventually force people to use their cars less

    Those driving electric cars won’t give a toss.

    >>50 different embarkation and destination points

    And clutter Gareths propaganda shot with the truth? A sea of buses doesn’t look so hot….

  5. Will the Greens mention where the funding source for all the public transport requirements will come from.

    Cant come from tax payers cashflow as the government has forecast deficits for the next four years (not to mention that te two billion provisions for kyoto and state housing insulation are not even shown in those budgets – All two billions dollars worth for these two items alone).

    So will the Greens advocate borrowing?

    Or increased taxation?

    A false representation in that photo is the fact that one bus is good to move those 50 people from one spot to the next (say from Lower Hutt to the cake tin for a game of rugby) and back.

    It is a very poor substitute for those people if they had 50 different embarkation and destination points, plus 50 different load times for the incoming and outgoing trips.

  6. I agree with Kevyn, “It takes a bit of imagination to see how big the difference is when the vehicles are moving, even at a crawl.”

    If you had a string of 50 cars moving at a steady 50 km/hour, and all obeying the “two-second rule”, they would take up a total of nearly 1.4 km of road space. The bus by comparison would only take up about 20 metres, including the length of the bus. The ratio of road space for cars to bus works out to about 70 to one!

  7. Now, BB, you know that’s not true.

    And in any case, fuel prices will eventually force people to use their cars less as new reserves of oil will become more difficult to find and extract.

  8. “Greens don’t say that people should not own cars. What we do say is that there should be sufficient public transport infrastructure to enable people to use cars less, and that would benefit both people’s pockets and the planet”…………and if they don’t use their cars less than they do now we will legislate to make them use public transport.

  9. BluePeter said: So the 50 cars belong to Greenies? How amusing.

    BP, most Greens own a car – I’m actually the exception among Greens in choosing not to (although my partner owns one).

    Greens don’t say that people should not own cars. What we do say is that there should be sufficient public transport infrastructure to enable people to use cars less, and that would benefit both people’s pockets and the planet.

  10. >>At least the cars are likely to be more fuel-efficient than average

    Dunno. I see a fair few wagons and people movers in there.

  11. Well, it certainly illustrates the amount of space wasted by kerbside and ground level car parking.

    It takes a bit of imagination to see how big the difference is when the vehicles are moving, even at a crawl. Although I’m not sure a bus that big could make left turns within the four avenues even with the current right turn lane setbacks.

    I presume the point is to illustrate the impact during peak periods? Off-peak most buses would eliminate just one row of those cars.

    Frog, for safety’s sake cyclists need to be given the same road width that cars have. Currently that is achieved two-thirds by marked cycle lanes and one-third by the majority of car drivers hugging the centre line when passing cyclists. The problem if you make cycle lanes twice as wide is sociable cyclists and “sunday drivers” will obstruct commuter cyclists leading to road rage between cyclists instead of between cycle drivers and motor drivers. What is the safe following distance for cyclists travelling at “normal” speeds? Unless bike brakes have drasticly improved in the last couple of years the safe following distance has to be a bit longer than for the average car, approx one metre at 25km/h but only 0.15m at 10 km/h.

  12. At least the cars are likely to be more fuel-efficient than average.

    It’s quite a striking photo, you might want to put the full-sized version on Flickr.

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