LPT* (Lightweight Portable Transport) is on the rise and so is the Earth’s temperature. The idea: Just take a few long roads or routes in a city and make them car-free. At first on weekends, using road blocks, and later perhaps keep them permanently car-free. Simple, cheap, effective, and completely reversible. The pictures below are of Taipei, but this idea could be used in almost any city.

UPDATE: MAY 2020 – We really need to do this NOW to allow people to avoid enclosed spaces together and give them safe, healthy travel options. Bike lanes will quickly become too busy to accommodate everyone safely. This can be done immediately with zero infrastructure!

Road in Taipei with no sidewalk Street in Taipei
car-free road design for Taipei

Chongqing South Road

Chongqing South Road, Taipei

Chongqing South Rd

As a car-free road (‘greenway’)

Chongqing South Road as a green lane

Chongqing South Road as a green lane + pod cars

2013-10-30 16.57.26

Fuxing South Road, Taipei

Fuxing South Rd as a Green Lane

Fuxing South Rd as a Green Lane

Fuxing South Rd as a Green Lane + Ultra pod Cars

Fuxing South Rd as a Green Lane + pod Cars

YongKang Street in Taipei

Yongkang Street, Taipei

A green lane in Taipei

A lane in Taipei               Turned into a Green Lane

Copy of Taipei - a green future

What about the residents parking?
Residents would be given free parking nearby, compensation or special access to a side lane along the road on condition they drive below 5mph.  Electronic ID could automatically open the gate or barrier if there is one.

What about all the cars that need the road to drive on? This just means the adjacent roads will become busier!
At first nearby roads may have more cars but if that happens then they will be less pleasant to drive along so less people will. Less pleasant car journeys and more pleasant LPT journeys may well mean that many drivers replace their cars with LPT for certain journeys decreasing the overall number of car journeys in the city. Another important point is that in the beginning nearby roads may also have less cyclists and others on LPT.

What about emergency service vehicles and delivery vehicles? 
They would be given special access (electronic ID could automatically open the gate or barrier if there is one). It’s highly likely that small lightweight delivery vehicles would emerge rapidly.

I don’t believe this can be done. It’s just silly. 
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” (George Bernard Shaw)

It already has been and is being done very successfully in many places all around the world. See HERE and HERE. The only addition here is to keep the road and devote it to LPT rather than just give it to pedestrians alone. As technology improves and transport tools become lighter, smaller, safer and more efficient, and as cities become taller and more densely populated this is just one of those things that will need to happen anyway because it makes sense. Let’s just make sure we do it right.

You can get an idea of what this could be like from this video taken in Kuala Lumpur

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*LPT (Lightweight Portable Transport) is a term coined by the Peacemaker Foundation meaning any transport tool that is small and light enough to be carried or moved by hand. Examples are bikes, skateboards, rollerskates, scooters, electric wheels (Eucs),  self balancing foot scooters (Hoverboards) and Segways.  

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