Many New Yorkers get by just fine without driving a car very often. The city provides plenty of access to public transportation taxis and other alternatives to driving. But what if New York City went so far as to ban motor vehicles?
It would certainly be a major change, one that would likely be very controversial. One thing that would happen is that there would be no more car accidents, and emergency rooms would probably have far fewer people coming in with serious injuries.
Believe it or not, a major global city has announced it is actually ending motorized traffic, at least in its city center. Officials in Oslo, the capital of Norway, said it would implement this plan by 2019. Clearing up air pollution is one of the plan’s main goals, but a negotiator with Oslo’s Green Party also framed it in terms of improving safety. She specifically referred to making the city center “better for pedestrians, cyclists,” Fortune reports.
To achieve this, and to make it easy to get around without cars, the city will add 60 km of bike lanes and expand public transportation investment.
Oslo’s population is around 600,000. Residents own nearly 350,000 cars, so car culture is quite prevalent there. So it could take time to adjust to this plan. But if achieved, it will almost certainly reduce car crashes in the city.
As far as we know, there are no plans to take all passenger vehicles off of New York’s streets and highways. This means that auto accidents will continue to happen, and victims will need legal representation to collect damages from those responsible.