Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pedestrians of the Future

This great find from the blog Paleo-Future provides a fascinating look at what people at the turn of the 20th century predicted (or maybe just hoped) would happen over the next 100 years in the fields of energy, education, linguistics, transportation, and many others. It's good for a laugh, although some of the guesses are remarkable prescient. A preview of the pedestrian-related predictions:

There will be no street cars in our large cities
Transit advocates might cringe at this one, but the point was to place noisy, high-speed vehicle traffic above- or below-ground, separating it from the pedestrian-oriented streets at ground-level. It's an idea that's been floated before, notably by Da Vinci in the late 1400s.

Automobiles will be cheaper than horses
True...until you factor in the external costs of cars and private vehicle travel, including the costs of all those pedestrian injuries and deaths.

And my personal favorite:

Everyone will walk ten miles
"A man or a woman unable to walk ten miles at a stretch will be regarded as a weakling." Health advocates, rejoice.

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