On the Level- Car Free Blog
On the Level is a reference to remaining ‘down to Earth’ by deciding to forgo air travel. It also refers to the prerequisite of a flat grade for rail transport and the benefit of one for bicycle transport. The blog attempts to be a progressive discussion about the reality of transport and atmospheric damage happening right now in the 21st Century, and what the hell we’re going to do about it.
About the blogger:
Josh Hart was born in 1976 in Stuttgart, Germany the so-called “cradle of the automobile” where Porsches and Mercedes are manufactured. Obviously, he’s not too fond of these estranged members of his extended family. The son of a ballerina and a former oil company executive, he grew up in the suburbs south of San Francisco, studying social psychology as an undergraduate at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he started cycling to his classes. Shocked by the horrific impact of heavy car dependence on quality of life in the seaside town, he gave up his Volkswagen for good and began to campaign for environmental and social change.
He has worked as a professional transportation planning advocate for the last ten years in San Francisco, first as project coordinator for the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and then as program director for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. He obtained his MSc in Transport Planning at UWE Bristol in 2008, and completed research entitled Driven to Excess, presenting the social and quality of life impacts of automobile traffic on local residents. The research was covered in over 100 international media outlets including the BBC, the Guardian, Tehran Times, and the Daily Mail.
His writing has appeared in Surveyor Magazine, Walk Magazine, Make Magazine, Carbusters and Lonely Planet’s recent anthology Flightless: Incredible Journeys without Leaving the Ground.
Josh has given up flying and car ownership, because it’s just wrong. Plus he hates airline food and oil changes.
You can e-mail him at joshuanoahhart [at] gmail [dot] com
The header for this blog depicts the underground bicycle parking garage in Groningen, Netherlands. The facility parks up to 6000 bicycles, cost 10m Euro, and offers round the clock valet bicycle parking, bike repair, rentals, and transit and route advice. The red bike paths go everywhere in the town, and get priority over motor traffic. With the respect given to cyclists, it’s not surprising that 60% of the City’s trips are made by bike. You can read more about my visit to the town here.