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Bike, pedestrian-friendly transportation changes in cities may last beyond pandemic

Still, it’s important to implement these changes correctly, said Giovanni Circella, director of the 3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis.

“There is a general goal that means we cannot really let our cities just suffocate in an ocean of cars, which could be a very likely outcome if we let cities self-adjust, and if people just drive their car because they’re scared of getting on public transit or because there are less options,” he said.

One caveat: Congestion could increase if roads are reduced to make way for cyclists but at the same time, more people want to drive their own personal vehicles.

The surrounding ecosystem also is a critical component of consumer adoption of transportation alternatives.

Consumers won’t be comfortable trying forms of micromobility if the city isn’t conducive to them, for instance, or if mobility stakeholders and city authorities are not on the same page with what consumers need, Circella said.

“There is no one-size-fits-all that can apply to all cities,” he said. “In the end, we don’t want these actions that do something that promotes either infrastructure that nobody uses or infrastructure that is not potentially interesting to users, or is potentially even damaging to the users, if we think about infrastructure that might be poorly designed and done in a rush.

“An isolated type of infrastructure in a place which is not conducive to do a type of activity usually doesn’t really work.”

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