Is that possible? Cities without traffic chaos? Or is this just a dream?
Guanajuato, this colorful city in central Mexico, capital of the state of the same name, seems to be real enough. At least it houses 95.000 real people. As it is located in a narrow valley, its streets are also narrow and winding. Most are avenues that cars cannot pass through,. Many of the city’s thoroughfares are partially or fully underground and some are long sets of stairs up the mountainsides.
What a delight! Imagine that: Cities without traffic chaos! That adds to the beauty and charm of a city, right?
When I first drove through Vienna, this beautiful city, I could admire it meter by meter as we slowly moved forward in the thick traffic of the afternoon rush hour. Although, admiration was not exactly what I felt. “Is that not the “Steffl” (St. Stephen’s Cathedral) over there? Could we not get any closer?” No, there was no way of getting out of this slowly meandering snake of cars.
I easily forgive Vienna for this inconvenience because it has 1.7 million people living in its boundaries. Half of this population tried to get out of the city to go home while the other half drove back into the city to go to restaurants, concert halls, and theaters. Well, not really – but that was the impression I got in the traffic chaos of afternoon rush hour.
So, what is the solution to traffic chaos?
Dwell in remote places or small villages? What if you want to live in a city, do you have to move to one of those cities nestled in narrow valleys like beautiful, colorful Guanajuato?
Or are there other options? Could you not dream of cities in which you could move with ease and grace at all times? I mean not only dream about it at night but also during the day. As my composer friend in Spain uses to say: “Dream with your eyes open.”
If you do this often enough, you and others like you, there will be new solutions, better solutions. That’s what we people do. We dream, imagine, plan, calculate, build, create. We create!
Let’s create cities without traffic chaos!