Dhaka, Bangladesh
Better ways to get around town

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Better ways to get around town

The debate continues on how to make New York City's less crowded, safer and better for people as well as vehicles. The editorial commentator of The New York Times feels that New York and other American cities should look to Europe for ideas about solving the urban traffic and safety crisis. London and Stockholm were the first European cities to have congestion zones and Sweden also gave Vision Zero. Amsterdam and Copenhagen are the cycling capitals of Europe. although they have taken different approaches to making places for cycling and walking. The best of their ideas can be used in New York-and indeed in other American cities-to reduce driving, air pollution and traffic deaths, and make streets where people want to get out of their cars and walk. American traffic laws require pedestrians to cross most streets in marked crosswalks and painted and protected bike lanes are all the rage in the United States cities today. But in Amsterdam, walkers, bike riders and drivers share the streets. Any pedestrian or cyclist may legally walk or ride anywhere on a vast majority of the streets in the centre of the city. Like Amsterdam, Copenhagen in the 1960s had a strong culture of cycling threatened by a booming economy that filled its streets with cars and trucks. In response, Copenhagen went in a different direction than Amsterdam, making some roads in the centre car-free while rebuilding major thoroughfares to give pedestrians and bicycles equal access. In Manhattan, and many cities around the US, walking is the new driving and the people are now ready for something different. — The New York Times

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