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 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).
The following is intended to provide for our readers a useful overview of the cycling component of the EC’s European Mobility Week, with a view to being useful both for cycle planning and programs and eventually as background for the planned city cycle audit activity presently being discussed as a possible component of a certain number off cooperating cities’ 2014 Car Free Days. This information has been extracted from their European Mobility Week Handbook which is available at http://goo.gl/ahWEyO
We are already close to one-seventh of the way through this very different 21st century: an era not of “order” in the older and more comfortable sense. But rather of chaos, that illusive universe that combines mystery and a certain sense of order . Chaos however is not the end; it is only a beginning. And while we are on the subject, this in from Jarrett Walker in his blog Human Transit in which he reminds us of the power and potential of informal transport. His concluding recommendation is especially interesting and to the point. The full original piece is available at http://goo.gl/TW5meY.
In the context of our search for creating a method for reliably and usefully benchmarking the sustainable transport performance of cities around the world – see http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/benchmarking/ for first background – we would like to address our readers’ attention to the Copenhagenize Index for Bicycle Friendly Cities. In this short article you will find background information and reference on how they carry it out, as well as links to their results and conclusions.
We intend to continue to seek out and report on important benchmarking projects that can help us in our own thinking and efforts to create a more general approach to understanding city performance in the face of the tough challenges of sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. In addition to performance indicators for city cycling we are inventorying the state of the art in such areas as walking, public transport performance, parking, car restraint, mobility for specific underserved groups, shared transport, etc. Stay tuned.
(And why it is a critical 1%)
This article is excerpted from the opening pages of our on-going report for the Dutch government Knowledge Platform for Transport and Mobility (KpVV)which will be available from them this month. Contact: Mr. Friso Metz, Friso.Metz@kpvv.nl. Your comments are welcome here or to the author: email@example.com
The learning process has been long and painful. But it is soon 2015, the results are in, and we now know this one thing for sure: There are no one single, mega-dollar, build-it, big bang, fix-it solutions for transportation systems reform.
No, the process is far more complex than that. Successful 21st century transport policy depends on the coordination and integration of large numbers of, for the most part, often quite small things. Small perhaps in themselves, one by one, but when you put all these small things together you start to get the new and far better transportation systems that we need and deserve. Large numbers of small things, each doing their part in concert. We call them “one percent solutions”. And carsharing is part of that complex , heavily interactive process.