Historically, the expansion of humanity’s horizons has often been paid for by the public. As Neil deGrass Tyson often points out, governments have frequently bankrolled endeavors whose costs were very high and whose risks were unknown such as such as long sea voyages or space exploration. These ventures mapped out the risks, learned by trial and error, innovated, and subsequently paved the way for commercial ventures.
In a curious turn of events VCs and entrepreneurs took on the risk themselves, pushing the boundaries of electric micromobility with the force of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Over the last decade, Elon Musk has been crying out his solution to urban mobility from the mountaintops. His vision is replacing our polluting, fossil fuel based cars with electrified cars and replacing (very) fallible human drivers with machine learning algorithms. At first glance, not terrible ideas.
Now having lived in Los Angeles for the past few years, he’s noticed another problem with our urban mobility: traffic. So he has another solution: tunnels. Lots of them.
His solutions are dead on. That is if you take his ideas and do the exact opposite!
LA has a bad, terrible, abhorrent mobility track record. It was just crowned the worst city to bike in the entire country (not a surprise to anyone living here, with most of our streets the size of most other city highways).
Its sprawl is notorious, overshadowed only by its traffic.
And it seems LA has gone out of its way to maintain the status quote, going so far as completely ignore IT’S OWN bike plan and carrying on its deadly, polluting, and carbon emitting car-centric ways.