An article in Slate talks about three old school technologies that can go a long way towards solving our transportation challenges.
The elevator is perhaps the foremost example of a relatively ancient transportation technology that could allow people to live and work in closer proximity, reducing the length of commutes and fostering commercial and social vitality. Unfortunately, in most American communities the elevator has been functionally outlawed because zoning requirements will permit no building taller than a small tree.
The bus is another overlooked piece of technology that could do far more. In most American cities, buses are hard to depend on because they run infrequently, slowly, and often on routes that are holdovers from streetcar systems abandoned decades ago. Give a bus its own lane, its own route, its own authority over signals, and it can permit car-free land use to flourish alongside.
And no technology holds as much promise as the humble bicycle—especially when we include its newfangled, electrified cousins—to solve the geometry problem that is getting people short distances around a big city. Even in the United States, where everything is fairly far apart by global standards, 48 percent of automobile trips in the biggest U.S. cities travel less than 3 miles—a distance that, with the right infrastructure, could be easily covered by a smaller vehicle.