I have a dream.
Imagine stepping outside your front door into the street. The street doesn’t have an ugly black strip running down its centre; there is instead a lawn stretching left and right, with bushes and small trees, ponds, park benches… a long, thin, peaceful park branching throughout your neigbourhood. Ideal for short strolls, jogging, relaxing, bird-watching.
The pavements remain for foot, cycle, and personal buggy traffic: but they’re now, by tradition and for convenience, one-way on either side of the ‘street.’
Overhead (or, perhaps, underground), there’s an ‘on-demand’ monorail. The nearest access point is within easy walking distance. It’s a personal rapid transit (PRT) system that can get you to work, to the library (now, there’s a thought), to… anywhere you want to go in the country. One day soon, the link-ups with your neighbouring countries will be complete and you’ll be able to go anywhere you want to go in the world from this PRT stop just outside your house.
This is, so I’ve been told, a utopian pipe-dream.
But I believe that something like it will happen eventually, sooner or later, one way or another.*
Such a thing will only ever happen with massive investment, and a huge mindshift. Humongous resources would be needed just to counteract the road and oil lobbies. One way this could come about might be if those who have already chosen to voluntarily give up their obsolescent motor cars were to invest in such a future. Such foresighted people** are saving themselves, what, something like £3000 a year? If all of those people were to voluntarily invest a portion of that saving into a fund, maybe we could get things moving.
I’ll stump up my share. Anyone else?
* Unless we kill ourselves, or our civilisation, off first.
** I’m not yet one of them, I admit: I still need my car to get to work. I live in the sticks, and public transport is currently, well, let’s face it, a bit of a joke even in town centres. Might be a bit better if there were somewhat fewer traffic jams — which can only ever happen if the number of cars on the road are on the decline (rather than on the increase). Building more roads will never be the solution.