With this plan cars would be banned from half of all roads in the city center, and vehicles passing through on access roads would be limited to 15 mph. The ban is intended both to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety, and reduce emissions.
This line in the article pops out: “…future-proofing the Square Mile”. The area of the entire city of Asbury Park is 1.4 square miles, and almost one-third of all households in Asbury Park are zero-car households. If London can make this work for the currently 480,000 people who work there, and for another 90,000 expected to join over the next decade, it’s possible that a city with a population of only 16,000 can do it. American cities and cities all over the world are dealing with the same issues regarding cars: human and environmental health, deaths and injuries, traffic congestion, parking, and speeding. All of these issues can be alleviated by eliminating or at least drastically reducing numbers of vehicles.
As the need to reduce carbon emissions from cities becomes ever more clear, London sets itself on a path to ban cars from half the streets in its city center.
“Top of mind for the City of London Corporation is ensuring that people will be able to navigate the district in the future. Chris Hayward, the City’s chair of planning and transportation, called it “future-proofing the Square Mile,” where currently, 480,000 people work, with another 90,000 expected to join over the next decade. To Hayward, prioritizing walking, cycling, and public transit over private cars is a matter of pure geometry. According to a report from the City, over 600 square meters of street space is needed to move 80 people in 55 cars or taxis; the same number of people traveling in five buses need 170 square meters, and 160 if traveling by bicycle.”
“If the City moves forward with the plans, which are up for a vote later this fall, it will not be the first step the district takes toward creating a more human-scale and sustainable streetscape: Over the summer, the local parking authority began adjusting parking fees in accordance with a vehicle’s emissions, and its also considered banning high-emission vehicles altogether from some streets (Central London is notorious for terrible air quality). It also falls in line with policies under way in other cities. Oslo, for instance, is moving toward a car-free city center next year, and Madridplans to outlaw cars from 500 acres of its city center by 2020.”