Great Bulldog contributor K.A. takes on the issue of banning cars:
Why do some people think banning cars from stretches of road is good for businesses?
Ottawa is a sprawling city, many live outside of the core and some have families. Banning cars from an area keeps people away and deprives the businesses. Just making it harder getting to an area (without outright banning cars) has consequences for businesses and their employees’ livelihoods.
Before we start banning cars, let’s acknowledge we’re not very good at making beautiful, useful and good use of car-free public spaces. Let’s do better with what we have now. Think of Sparks Street, last year’s Ottawa 2017 ship-container refugee camp down York Street with the awkwardly placed Ottawa sign, the ByWard Market and the struggle to set up a board to look after Ottawa’s markets, the concrete-heavy play area in Lansdowne and the random haphazard and unsafe creation of bike lanes.
People look at Copenhagen or Amsterdam and want to copy bits and pieces of things they liked without looking at the full picture. Copenhagen and Amsterdam didn’t build bike lanes and then to see everything else develop around it. It’s deeply misguided to see bike lanes as an end itself. Bike lanes should help you get to somewhere, but you need a vision of what that place looks like.
I love cycling, but I want interesting places to visit on my bike.
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