A simple question from our kids

Somehow we seem to lose a large part of our common sense when we become adults. We invest a great deal of energy in justifying illogical choices we make as a society and daily as individuals, like pushing an unsustainable growth based economy and considering a concept like money more important than resources like food and water.

My good friend and great photographer Dorin Bofan just told me how he got his kid his first bike. And how it was instant love, from day 1. And how, on day 2, his kid had this simple question:
“Why aren’t there special streets for bicycles?”

That’s how simple it is. It took one bike ride among car filled streets (and these were the “quiet” ones) to understand it’s not right. It’s so incredibly obvious. And we have no good justification for why we didn’t build safe bicycle infrastructure. We were able to build millions of miles of gigantic highways and we put asphalt in the most unnecessary places, but we can’t build some bike lanes? Of course we could, we just don’t have that common sense anymore and we don’t really pay much attention to our children. Or even care about them as much as we like to believe. Otherwise, why would millions of parents wait outside of schools and kindergartens with their engines turned on? Why would we build highways next to homes? Why would we transform our cities in parking spaces and high speed roads instead of making them places to really live in?
Why wouldn’t we build special streets for bicycles?

I took this picture in Stockholm, where things are a lot better, but not perfect, compared to Romania, where the question came from. Still, most cities in the world are clogged with cars and nowhere near to a proper solution to this very basic necessity: safe cycling infrastructure for kids, parents, commuters, disabled people, for drivers who want other options, for everyone.