In my view, communities seeking to discourage the predominance of oversize vehicles and encourage use of smaller, lighter, and slower vehicles could consider taking such steps as:

  • Creating prioritized parking spaces closer to stores for all forms of mobility that are narrow or less than 8 feet (2.5 meters) long.
  • Using posts or bollards, which can be removable, to limit vehicle access to commercial areas and neighborhoods where pedestrians, bikes, and smaller cars get priority.
  • Radically narrowing travel lanes on streets to force traffic to slow down and free up space for wider sidewalks and bike lanes.
  • Limiting or ending vehicle access to streets near schools and economically vibrant commercial districts, either permanently or at high-use times of day.

This is what I would call the absolute minimum. I too drive a giant SUV, and I actively despise it. But I don’t feel safe, and frankly am less safe in a smaller car or worse on my bike. While I cycle on the weekends, my office is a meager 3 miles away and I drive. There is a bike lane the entire way. It is unprotected and cars regularly go 40-50 mph on what is a 35 mph road. It is simply not a matter of if I were to be hit by a suv or truck, but a matter of when.