Twenty questions to light the way to improving cycling in your city.
This is the first revision of the initial listing of questions and criteria for the proposed first runs of the Citizens Cycling Audit, as initially published as a fetture artcile in World Streets on 27 August at http://wp.me/psKUY-3HQ . As you will note as a result of additional inputs and suggestions from helpful colleagues, there are now a bit more than twenty questions. Not a problem and we can sort this out once we feel comfortable that we are moving in the right direction.
What is our goal in the sustainability wars? If it is to feel noble because we are doing the “right thing” and to build our programs and plans of attack on that (call it “moral suasion”), we run the risk of ending up a proud soldier lying dead on the field of action with the last words from our mouths, that of Gott mit uns (god is on our side). Those of us who feel deeply enough about these issues to wish to act effectively have to put our pious thoughts and personal preferences aside and gear up 100% for a single goal — to win! Sun Tsu had a few thoughts on that in The Practical Art of War.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
The following draft listing is part of a report in progress of by EcoPlan, being carried out for and with CROW/KpVV, the Dutch Knowledge Platform for Transport and Mobility. The goal of this particular section of the report is to prepare and comment briefly a synoptic timeline identifying major events shaping and reshaping the carshare sector over the last half century plus. Here are some of the milestones we would hope to get on that timeline. Your corrections, comments, additions will be most welcome.
This issue of World Transport Policy and Practice is a significant milestone in the life of the journal. It marks 20 years of publication and for anyone with a serious interest in understanding the importance of transport, the links between transport, mobility and accessibility and the links with sustainability, health and quality of life, there is more than enough material here to work on.
At the outset we chose to emphasise the word “policy” and that remains a strong focus. 20 years of publication have examined policy in detail, more often the lack of intelligent policy, but always with a keen eye on “this is what we have to do if we want to improve things”. There is now no excuse for anyone anywhere in the world to sit at his or her desk on a Monday morning and wonder how to sort things out. The answers lie in our freely available archives.
As original organizers of the World Car Free Days movement, we are always attentive to finding ways to make real use out of these generally festive occasions. We have been working consistently on this task since the first program announcement in Toledo Spain at a major European conference in October 1994 under the title of “Thursday: A breakthrough strategy for reducing car dependence in cities“. (See http://wp.me/psKUY-U9)
This year we propose that considering cities may give some thought to the possibility of organizing on a pilot basis a special core Car Free Day event — specifically intended to examine, encourage and support cycling in cities. This makes sense: a Car Free Day is seen as an occasion to step back and think together about how your city is doing in the challenging transition from an essentially private car-based to an equitable and efficient mobility-based society. With this in mind we are proposing at the core of the other planned CFD events this year the tool of a “Civil Society State of City Cycling Audit” — in order to provide independent background and perspective on the state of safe and abundant cycling in their city. The following posting sets out the latest proposal for this “collaborative citizen self-audit”.
By Friso Metz, CROW-KpVV, the Netherlands
Recently a medium sized Dutch city asked my counsel about carsharing. The city wants to promote carsharing and is looking for ideas. While discussing with the city officials and their marketeers, we discovered a particular issue in carsharing. I explained that an average parking bay for carsharing in the Netherlands only shows a sign explaining that it’s intended uniquely for carsharing. The road surface shows a white cross which tells you that it is prohibited to park there (unless you are driving the shared vehicle).
How, when and by whom exactly does the actual self-audit or collaborative benchmarking exercise take place. This is a matter for each city team to work out for themselves, but here are some first suggestions based on our past experience.
In laying the base for this project it is important to bear in mind that the three key elements include (a) the Twenty Key Questions and Criteria which are set out here, (b) the evaluation criteria (starting with the 0-4 scale), and (c) the composition and method of the local evaluating team.
Audit panel composition: (a) Local residents. (b) 100% daily cyclists. (c) Minimum 1/3, preferably full female parity. (d) Several seniors, several school cyclists.
With these in hand we are ready to start.