People have been driving cars for over 100 hundred years now, and it’s considered to be the main mean of transportation. But unfortunately, it’s not the most convenient way to get around anymore. For example, in London, it’s much faster to get wherever you want to by bicycle rather than by car. Every country has cities where traffic is absolutely insane. Therefore, more cities now have started to make pedestrian zones where automobile traffic is prohibited.
We would be extremely happy if we were able to have a lovely stroll downtown where there wouldn’t be any cars. Some cities are making this dream come true!
1. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen has the smallest amount of cars in Europe. Back in the 1960s, the city government started broadening pedestrian zones and narrowing highways downtown. Today, Copenhagen has over 200 miles (320 kilometers) of bike lanes; it’s also planning to develop new bike superhighways in order to reach surrounding suburbs.
2. Hamburg, Germany
Though cars aren’t strictly prohibited downtown, the city hall is trying to do its best for citizens to start conveniently walking and getting around by bikes and public transport. A «green network» project was also started in order to build a network of closed walking and cycling paths isolated from motor traffic. In the next 20 years, there will be a plenty of parks, cycle lanes, and sidewalks in Hamburg. The network will cover over 40% of the city’s space.
3. Madrid, Spain
Many central city streets in Madrid are car-free zones and anyone who enters there will have to pay a fine $100. The only exception made for the residents of this neighborhood. Moreover, people whose cars are the most polluting have to pay more for parking. The city hall is also planning to make the downtown absolutely free of cars and redesign busy streets for walking in the next five years.
4. Paris, France
Two years ago, the level of smog increased dramatically in Paris, so the city government banned cars with even-numbered plates for one day to entry and odd-numbered plates for the other day. It worked, and the level of pollution decreased by 30%. By 2020, the city hall plans to increase the number of bike lanes and allow only electric cars entry to downtown. Today there are several pedestrian zones in Paris’ downtown, and residents from local neighborhoods aren’t allowed to drive there on weekends.
5. Helsinki, Finland
The population of Finland will increase in the next 10 years. But on the contrary, the number of cars will decrease. In a newly proposed project, car traffic will only be in the suburbs, and there will just be public transport downtown. Many mobile apps were developed for the city residents to help easily find the closest bike rental or a tram stop. Therefore, cars are becoming gradually less needed for Helsinki.
6. Chengdu, China
The streets of this Chinese suburb were originally designed in such a way that it’s possible to reach any location in 15 minutes on foot. The car traffic is allowed only half of the road area and the other half is allotted for cyclists and pedestrians.
7. Bogota, Colombia
In Bogota, bike lanes and pedestrian zones were created in the 1950s. Today, there are 185 miles (300 kilometers) of bike lanes. Most of the downtown streets are car-free and only public transport is allowed.
8. Milan, Italy
The city government of Milan gives away free public transit vouchers to citizens who leave their cars at home on purpose. All cars are registered in a special system. When a car stays parked, the owner gets money for a ticket on the bus or train on the card.
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