Bikes vs Cars: How did it come to this?

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bikes vs cars

Many people still don’t get that bikes are not just recreation, they are transportation. Even fewer people realize the impact that getting people out of cars and on to bikes can have on our cities. Bikes vs Cars, a new film by Fredrik Gertten, looks at the struggle to find a place for the bike in this world of cars that we live in now. Because as we have said on TreeHugger and Gertten says in his Director’s statement:

If all cities adopted the model Copenhagen, where forty percent commute within the city on bikes, it would be a radical change for the world. Something you can measure in health, pollution, oil-usage. And now the conflict. The car, oil and construction industry is in the centre of our economic system. They are the ones who don’t want change, and if only in their pace even if the planet needs instant action.

Gertten visits cities around the world, meeting bike activists who are fighting to improve cycling. It starts in Sao Paulo with Aline Cavalcante, who rides her fixie with toe clips in some of the worst traffic conditions I have ever seen. I am surprised that she is still alive. Also in Sao Paulo is the wonderful Raquel Rolnik, a professor at the School of Architecture and urbanism trapped in her little Fiat complaining about traffic.

cycleway photo

Then it’s off to Los Angeles, where Dan Koeppel (seen on TreeHugger here) gives a history lesson in how cars took over, pushing cyclists and streetcar users off the road. He even takes us to the location…

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