Gridlock Sam: Avert Climate Catastrophe, Ride a Vespa®

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While Parisians are starting to complain that "an invasion of noisy scooters and motorcycles and a rise in accidents involving pedestrian and motorcyclists" is one of the "unintended consequences" of Mayor Bertrand Delanoe's traffic reduction policies, "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz's consulting firm just issued a report claiming that New York City could better meet its long-term sustainability goals by adding more scooters to the traffic mix. Commissioned for Piaggio, the Italian manufacturer of Vespa scooters, the study says:

Data from a new traffic model released today demonstrates that the nation's largest city could significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a key factor in the global warming debate, and reduce fuel consumption while saving a great deal of time lost to congestion by simply incorporating more motor scooters into the commuting vehicle mix.

By shifting the daytime vehicle mix to 80 percent cars / 20 percent scooters, the following would result annually: 

  • A total decrease in delay of more than 4.6 million hours per year - which translates to time savings of nearly 100 working hours per person
  • A reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by over 26,000 tons (52,000,000-pounds) per year
  • A decrease in fuel consumption by over 2.5 million gallons per year
  • A total savings for New York City of more than $122 million per year in fuel and labor productivity.
Photo: 718 Shooter / Flickr