They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and one Instagram account put that to the test when they posted pics of one avenue in a French city before and after it introduced a new light rail.
Cars Destroyed our Cities (@cars.destroyed.our.cities) often posts before-and-after photos that illustrate positive changes in transportation infrastructure in cities across the world.
Recently, the account posted two photos from Toulouse, France, which installed a new light rail — known as the Toulouse Tramway — on the avenue Jules Guesde, according to the post.
The top photo, dated 2009, features a city scene that most of us are accustomed to — intersections with cars, stop lights, and no real room for pedestrians.
The second photo, dated 2017, features the light rail train sitting on a street that is now lined with a sidewalk that serves cyclists and pedestrians.
“Toulouse, France, and its new light rail line on All Jules Guesde, 2009 vs today. No other caption needed,” the post said.
Expansions in public transportation have a variety of benefits. First off, public transit decreases traffic because more people can fit into less space.
Public transportation also experiences significantly lower crash rates than auto travel. According to a 2014 study, public transportation passengers have about one-tenth the fatality rate per mile compared with automobile passengers.
Of course, public transportation is also better for the environment, as it improves air quality because of fewer cars on the road. Plus, it frees up space for more trees and other greenery.
Instagrammers were completely awestruck by the images.
“Infrastructure looks so sexy. I can’t wait to move. 😭” one person commented.
Another added, “It never ceases to amaze me how hostile car-centric infrastructure looks and how inviting human-centric infrastructure looks by contrast.”
“It’s so important for everyone to understand that we can CHOOSE what our environment looks like,” said another person. “We just need to make sure our politicians work for our best interests and not private corporations 🙌🙌🙌”
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