Every December one of the most important car shows in Italy – and perhaps Europe – takes place in Bologna. For two weeks the city’s transport system is put under ever-more pressure as car-crazy enthusiasts flock to the city to see the latest glitzy models (in the traditional and automobile sense) on display.
Walking back from the train station on Saturday I was delighted to encounter a horde of jolly critical mass cyclists reclaiming the road. They small but significant group riding slowly, singing and joking, and generally giving off good vibes to all – except the motorists clogged up behind them.
Discussing this with some friends afterwards the usual arguments came out, that it’s all very well but what if you were in your car rushing somewhere etc. The simple response to this is that motorists who opt to use their cars for short distances, for reasons of comfort or laziness, are surely more of a problem – and the huge amount of cars on the road in the city results in pollution that affects us all. Get off your high-horse and onto your bike or bus is this monkey’s rant this week.
On another positive note, the emphasis at this year’s motor show is on less damaging vehicles – let’s not swallow the publicity guff that they’re ‘eco-friendly’.
And finally, I was happy to see TMO publishing an interview with Chris Carlsson, activist and one of the founders of the Critical Mass movement. You can read it here