Last week in Kaunas, Lithuania, youngsters were riding some very unusual vehicles: bicycles with car ‘skeletons’ around them. The reason they did this was simple: to raise awareness about how much spaces cars take, and how silly it is to use a car by yourself.
If you live in an urban area, you’re probably no stranger to traffic jams. Rush hour is a drag across the world, with countless cars clogging city streets on all continents. The problem is, no matter how well you optimize streets and highways (and that’s a challenging aspect in itself), at some point you just have too many cars on the road.
To make that problem even worse, many times, there’s only the driver riding in the car. So you take up a lot of road space for a single person — you can try this in your hometown by the way; sit by a crowded street for a few minutes and watch how many of the cars have just one or two people inside.
With this in mind, an Erasmus+ project was organized in Kauna to discuss potential solutions to these issues. “Cycle and the City”, gathered 40 young people representing Lithuania, Spain, Italy, Poland, the UK, and Denmark. They came up with this neat idea.
“Sometimes to make people think about the issues you need to be creative. Therefore, we’ve decided to create these extraordinary vehicles. The goal was to show that cars clog the roads and cycling could be a solution. And indeed, we could fit 14 bikes in the constructed car skeleton.
Using a bike for your regular commutes is one of the healthiest and greenest things you can do. It’s good for yourself, it’s good for the local community as it saves road space, and it’s good for the planet.
However, it’s not just about the environmental aspect, safety is also a major issue. Being a cyclist is never an easy task, no matter what city you live in, but some places are an outright hell for cyclists. In London, for instance, hundreds of people are killed or seriously injured every year, and many big cities have no proper marked roads or safety measures. Using a bike, while very healthy and eco-friendly, can be quiet punishing.
Hopefully, projects like this can help more people understand what a difference bikes can do and pay more attention to protecting cyclists on the streets. We would sure need that.