Nobody likes to sit in traffic. It’s possibly one of the most hated things drivers experience. Driving essentially has become a chore for most of us and when it comes to commuting to and from work, it’s the most preferred mode of transport. Created by Swedish producer and director, Fredrik Gertten, Bikes vs Cars is an informative documentary that shows an insightful approach on the preferences of transport in various cities around the world. Gertten makes an impressive impact by showing the difference one could make if more people travelled by bike. Here, it would alleviate the effects of air and noise pollution caused by the increasing number of drivers in many countries.
Not only did this documentary offer a set of perspectives from different people but it also became one that appreciated the culture of countries that had certain transportation preferences. Looking at cities like São Paulo and Los Angeles, the documentary addressed issues of traffic congestion and the cause and effect of politics coming into play when proposing decisions such as opening up new bike lanes or adding another lane to a congested freeway. Simple decisions like this are not taken lightly as most drivers aren’t willing to share the road with cyclists. Considering the fact that bike lanes eliminate parking spaces for cars, it becomes a never-ending war between drivers and cyclists.
The film also managed to show the city of Toronto and its issue of traffic congestion while showcasing the tragedy of bike riders getting killed by drivers. Even though the documentary itself was light-hearted and funny at times, there were emotional parts to the film that saw the grief of families and friends losing loved ones who travelled by bike. It really brought the perspective that cyclists are underappreciated as they help alleviate the negative impacts caused by cars. Gertten has shown the audience that taking the bike has several benefits for both your well-being and the environment.
In the city of Copenhagen, it was interesting to see a driver’s perspective on sharing the road with cyclists and how this places an inconvenience for people driving around the area. Comparatively, the documentary also displayed a cyclist’s point of view on how they were able to form a special relationship with other cyclists on the road. Not to mention, seeing the influence of a teacher to those at a young age to appreciate cycling for what it is brought an inspirational take to the film.
Bikes vs Cars is a documentary filled with stories worthwhile to share. Not only does it justify the negative effects of cars by traffic congestion and air pollution but it also encourages viewers to consider their options when it comes to choosing their main mode of transport. The take-home message to this is that we need to start taking responsibilities for our actions by taking care of the planet we live in. If riding a bike breaks this cycle of pollution and helps the economy, we have every right to take advantage of this opportunity.