Reality will soon enough reform our habits. Pressing reality to fit our selfish habits will just get more evidently quixotic as the rest of the planet demands the same selfish lifestyle.
We keep echoing here the desire to keep up with the automobiles. The grocery store bound housewife in the absurdly overqualified Yukon. The equally overqualified 400 hp, 4wd, f350 dude, alone, on his way to get a goddam cheeseburger.
Every discussion I come across on transportation and the environment seems to gloss right on over this present "reality" as if it's an immutable state. But it's a habit of mind more than any necessary condition for travel. This is especially true for a discussion here at MA.
No, I am absolutely NOT for restricting the freedom of anyone who desires the Yukon and the road space and consideration to go where they want whenever they want. But 98 percent of us here short hop on mopeds/scooters. I'd argue as well that 98 percent of the time we're in no great hurry to arrive anywhere.
I've tried for years to generate some interest in a hybrid that inexplicably fails to interest anyone. A bicycle that shares all of the lanes, parkways, pathways, speeds, and habits of other bicycles, with a high efficiency, quiet, clean 25 to 50cc Honda motor geared not to exceed the pace of other bicycles, capable of comfortably covering greater distances than bicycles generally, yet capable of being bicycled 100 percent free of the motor's transmission when desired.
The idea is by now passe. Ebikes are filling that niche almost exactly as described. Yet in discussions like this we still go on about keeping up with the "cagers".
When I inherited my ZA50 Newport ten years ago it maxed out at 25mph. Avg speed was more like 20 to 22 mph. I had to share the bike lanes. Occasionally a fast bicycle would pass me! Oddly enough I never felt as lacking or as vulnerable then as I do now that my peds go 30 to 35 and it's no longer reasonable to threaten the bikes in the bike lane, and I more often have to swim with the Yukons and cheeseburger eating dude in the F350.
For a couple of centuries now bicycles have offered us a pretty wise mode if travel for most of our needs (climate permitting of course).
So why keep on about adapting our peds to the automobiles conditions, and not the eminently more reasonable bicycles? Are you really in that big a hurry? (edited)