Are 4 wheels better than 2? Los Angeles once boasted commuter routes dedicated exclusively to bicycles. Today, 70% of the city is dedicated to freeways and parking. Across North America, cars choke up every available artery. But can we reverse this trajectory and put bikes on an equal footing?
Director Fredrik Gertten (Big Boys Gone Bananas!*) investigates the daily drama of traffic worldwide and the bicycle as a tool for change. Travelling from São Paulo, Los Angeles and Toronto, where cyclists fight daily for their right to the road, to Copenhagen, where 40% of the population commutes by bike, Gertten meets activists and thinkers who are working for revolutionary changes. Beautifully crafted, Bikes vs Cars is an intimate and powerful look at how to move away from car-centric models and toward livable cities.
Born in a city where the bike is the natural choice for going from one place to another, I’ve travelled the world wondering why there are so few bicycles. Now, the car model as we know it has reached an extreme level with constant gridlock and millions of productive hours lost. Frustration is growing and cities need to look into new models.
The new urban biking is pushing this development. It’s a growing movement, which I’ve now seen around the world. People who simply put a sign on their bike saying “ONE LESS CAR.” A Do-It-Yourself attitude towards a global crisis.
It’s a positive message. If all cities adopted the model of Copenhagen, where forty percent commute within the city on bikes, it would be a radical change for the world. Something you can measure in health, pollution, oil usage.
And now the conflict. The car industry is in the center of our economic system. For the car owners and commuters that have become so invested in their lifestyle, it will be painful to change. It’s a conflict that interests me, and that is why I’ve decided to take on this project. A project of passion.
Guest Panel Q&A at first screening. Confirmed speakers for the panel: former Vancouver city planner Brent Toderian, Colin Stein (HUB cycling), and Vancouver magazine editor John Burns (moderator).
Colin grew up walking, cycling and taking transit in Toronto, moving to Vancouver in 1995. After 20 years working in the private sector & government, he joined HUB in a communications and advocacy role in 2013. Colin supports HUB's 10 volunteer-based local committees, which work to improve prioritization of active transportation improvements and investments, education and events across Metro Vancouver.