How cities place human experience to the side

Bryson Davis, Guest Reporter

        In the US, cities and suburbs have become car centered as opposed to being centered around the human experience within them. Streets have little room for human life, the only way to travel is via a car, and carbon emissions pollute the cities alongside noise.

   Besides large buildings, roads fill most of the space in cities, giving only small sidewalks for people to walk on, figuratively pushing people to the side. In most cities, there is little space allotted to people that aren’t taken up by motor vehicles and roads.

   A city that contrasts many in the US is the city of Leipzig, Germany; although the city once was highly focused on motor vehicles, it has slowly become a much more livable area as a result of reshaping its idea of car-centered urban planning. It once shoved people into dark underpasses to make room for cars to travel, and now it has dedicated lanes for bikers and large bike rack areas to promote other forms of transportation that keep the roads clear.

   The theoretical concept of roads in America is that one has the freedom to travel however one chooses, whether that be by car, bike, bus, or any other fancy; however, this is rarely the case on most roads.

   Biking is extremely unfavorable for most because of how dangerous it is. According to the CDC, nearly 1,000 bikers die in car-related accidents each year, and over 130,000 others face mild to severe injury as a result of taking their wheels to the road. Bike lanes are not made to provide safety to bikers, but rather only provide a small space of the room for them to use.

   Using Fishhawk as an example, if one wants to take a bus they are essentially out of luck. The only bus stop that exists for miles has only three arrival times between 5:10 a.m. and 6:20 a.m. and makes only three trips back between 3:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The time window to get from point A to B and back is very tight and limiting if one plans to wake up any later than 6:00 a.m. or leave Tampa any later than 4:30 p.m.

   The US could take some tips from the urban planning of many European cities; it shouldn’t be normal that cars have taken over as much as they have.