If only politics would abide, planners would create vehicular exclusion zones around all city centres, like the one that keeps growing in Florence. If they were bike nuts like me, those planners would litter city centres with free city bikes. Purchased in bulk, bikes such as these cost less than shopping trolleys. Any that are stolen, actually save public money, by giving their thieves more years of good health. Those bikes would also increase the productivity of city centres.
Here in Launceston (my latest canard), hardly any discretionary shopping is done. People are too concerned about the time left on their parking meter, to just wander the city and spend the day. If those coming in from the outer suburbs or country, could park their cars outside the exclusion zone at no charge, and ride a free bike into the city (a free bike with a huge basket for shopping), they could waste time in the city, as retailers would like them to do.
An exclusion zone would turn mugging spaces mid-block, into sites for new apartments (without any garages, of course). And I know I don’t need to explain the advantages of having more people living in city centres.
If only politics would allow an exclusion zone for this city! Perhaps the city council could fund free trips to Florence for all of Launceston’s shop keepers? They would easily recoup the expense, when property values increased and, with that, council’s revenue increased via land rates. I’m fairly sure a population of shop keepers, just back from Florence, or Modena, or Milan, or any of those, would be the most vocal opponents of cars in the city.
The none shop keepers, who will miss out on a free holiday, will have to content themselves will a self-directed online education. Here’s a video to kick you off: