German private industry vs. American military industry transportation choices

The beauty of a brain in retirement is letting one’s thoughts wander.

For instance, as I was driving back and forth from unrestricted territory down a long road into a restricted American military base, I looked around me.

I remembered when I used to commute via airplane and taxi from the U.S. to Germany on business.

In Germany, I noticed that some companies, such as Fujitsu-Siemens in Augsburg, offered large covered parking areas nearest buildings for people who commuted by bicycle or motorbike.

Here in the U.S., at the local military base called Redstone Arsenal, those who carpool (more than one person per vehicle) are allotted spots to park nearest one of the buildings but motorbikes were allotted uncovered spots in the middle of the carpark.

Which got me thinking…

When are we going to design our infrastructures to optimise the mix of devices we use in our transportation systems?

In other words, if we make token efforts to promote efficient means of transportation, then people will continue to pay for the convenience of inefficient methods.

Only when we make it difficult and/or inconvenient to use relatively expensive transportation vehicles (cars/trucks/SUVs) will we change our habits.

For instance, what if people had to use mass transit to get onto a U.S. military base, with tiny carparks and large bicycle/motorbike storage facilities located at mass transit pickup points throughout walk/bike-friendly [sub/ex]urban neighbourhoods?

Would we encourage people to walk or bike to work rather than the majority piling into their one-person occupied metal-and-plastic contraptions lined up one-after-another in traffic jams morning, noon and night to get on the base?

Would we worry less about the dangers of large carparks full of uninspected vehicles on military bases?

Would we find better ways to spend our time than wait on crowded roads for our turn to drive through traffic-light controlled intersections?

Would we have more time to spend with family before and after our workdays are done?

Makes an argument like the one cited here at wired.com moot, doesn’t it, when you eliminate the need for the motorised/EV transportation devices altogether?

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