In my last post Cities where Cars are not Needed I gave examples of some cities where cars did not play an essential role in the daily commuter lives of citizens. In this article I briefly described the concept of the Bicycle Subway described in greater detail in a previous post Bicycle Subway of the Future. The question was concerning the safety in such subways where women and others vulnerable people might become prey to the criminal elements.
In order to implement such a bicycle subway system concerns of crime need to be addressed before building such a system. Here is my take on safety: these subways will be well-lit all the time with no place for people to hide with cameras capable of viewing every inch of the tunnel. It will be far safer at night than the streets above. As such traffic might be heavier in these tunnels at night than the streets. Remotely controlled gates will be located at strategic locations throughout the subway that can be closed to isolate any section of the tunnel in case of a crime is seen by cameras until police can be summoned. Such subways will probably happen some time into the future where 3D very high-resolution severance systems will be available and perhaps something better than gates used for catching criminals. Because of the confined nature of these subway tunnels criminals will be far less likely to commit crime there than elsewhere.
These tunnels will be for people who want to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible any time of the day all year around. those who are biking to enjoy the out-of-doors will bike above ground. These tunnels will be maintained at a constant temperature of about 68 degrees F. They will connect directly to all major subway stops and many buildings, public schools, and shopping and eating areas. As I mentioned in the article bicycles in the future might be free to the public so all one needs to do is take a bike from a nearby kiosk, ride it to ones destination and drop it off at another kiosk located throughout the bicycle subway.
The other question was about the adverse effects of reducing the number of subway stop upon the handicap. I am a senior myself who is starting to experience mobility problems so I am not unsympathetic to the plight of the handicap and have given much thought to their issues. The fact that I have mentioned the handicapped in the last article is indicative that I have given them consideration. If free bicycle cabs which are equivalent to those taking the handicap around today seem inadequate I envision electrically operated wheel chairs that are controlled by Google-like controlled technology such as control Google cars today that will wheel the handicapped along these bicycle subways giving the handicap far greater free mobility than they have today including more distant subway stops. Batteries in the future should be able to take them many miles on a single charge. Perhaps there will be a special handicap lanes for them enforced by cameras and bicycle patrols.
One must keep in mind that technology is growing in leaps and bounds and will solve many of our security and mobility problems. I can only guess about solutions based upon what I know today. But if we are to get away from the use of car and transition into bicycles (or cycles since not all will have only two wheels), solutions will be found. There are many European countries especially in Norther Europe where entire nations are trying to make such transitions happen. Cars have been a major form of mobility for only about 100 years so what did mankind do before then? Cars will not last forever as was the case for the horse and carriage. I’m sure there were many then who thought it ridiculous that cars would ever replace the carriage.