Toward a new paradigm for transport in cities: Let’s see what Carlos Pardo has to say

The construction of a well-defined, broadly accepted agenda for New Mobility  until the present time has been sadly lacking. But what we and a numb er of our international colleagues have managed to develop over the last two decades is a certain number of agreed basic principles spanning many different areas and kinds of operational situations, but somehow until now we have failed to put them all together into a well-defined, convincing operational and policy package. We think of this as the move toward a new paradigm for transport in cities – and it all starts with . . . slowing down.

Today I would like to extract and comment on some of the graphics and thoughts developed by our colleague Carlosfelipe Pardo in a presentation which he entitled “The psychology of urban mobility”. I have extracted from his presentation three sets of images which I would now like to present you and comment briefly. (For the full original presentation please click here.)

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Current conditions for cycling STOP Britain cycling!!!

France-paris-velib-tourTransport in cities is a steep uphill affair. If we ever are to transform the quality of the mobility arrangements in our cities, there are certain basic truths about it that need to be repeated again and again. By different people, in different places and in different ways.  Until we win.

Cycling in most cities:  You and I know it. It is broke. It cannot be “fixed”.  It needs to be reinvented from the street up. All of which is easy enough to say, but what in concrete terms does that mean? This article which appeared in the Guardian a few days back by Peter Walker,  reports on the testimony of Dave Horton a cycling sociologist who pounds the table on five basic truths of cycling in cities. Continue reading

Missing in action: “Zone 30″ in WP in English???

Oops. I have been asked to open the plenary  on “Urban mobility: Achieving social efficiency” at next week’s Smart Cities conference in Barcelona (full details on which available here , and one of the central themes of the talk is the high importance of taking a strategic approach to slowing down and smoothing traffic in cities.   As part of my due diligence I decided to check out the Zone 30 and Twenty is Plenty entries in Wikipedia. Where I found to my disappointment: (a) that there was no entry on Zone 30 in English (and if in French, German, Italian and Dutch, not (yet) in Portuguese, Spanish, etc.) and (b) nothing at all on the important Twenty Is Plenty program out of the UK. Continue reading

The New Mobility Agenda gets a hearing in Barcelona with a “Come argue with me” session

This is to invite you to “attend” at least part of a session of a conference that is to take place next week in Barcelona on the topic of “Smart Cities”. You can find full information on the conference here, along with links to all working papers and videos that will be presented over the four days  The particular bit I would like to point you to is my keynote talk and challenge which opens the plenary on “Urban mobility: Achieving social efficiency”. A full set of working notes and background materials for my presentation is available here. As you will note I have serious reservations about pushing the concept of a “smart city”, which to my mind is a pretty loaded phrase, complete with tandem mindset. I invite your comments and critical remarks on any of the points that appear here, and I shall try to deal with them as possible. Thanks in advance. The final talk will be available on video, as will the presentations for all the speakers in this interesting session. Continue reading

Toward a new paradigm for transport in cities: Let’s see what Carlos Pardo has to say

The Stuttgart conference of Cities for Mobility this year represented an important step forward in the construction of a well-defined agenda for new mobility that up until the present time has been sadly lacking. But what we have managed to develop over the last two decades is a certain number of basic principles spanning many different areas and kinds of operational situations, but somehow until now we have failed to put them all together into a well-defined, convincing operational and policy package. We think of this as the move toward a new paradigm for transport in cities – and it all starts with . . . slowing down. Continue reading

SLOWTH: Or why it is so very important (and so very easy) to slow down traffic in cities

It is the consistent position of this journal that much of what is wrong with our current transportation arrangements in cities could be greatly alleviated if we can find ways just to slow down. It is very powerful — and it’s just not that hard to do.  Get comfortable and have a look. Continue reading

Streetsblog: Doing its job in New York City. In memoriam 2010

Each year our friends over at Streetsblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city’s streets and the cost in terms of lives lost by innocent pedestrians and cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens and activists in every city on the planet to do the same thing, holding those public officials (and let’s not forget, we call them “public servants” and for excellent reason) responsible for what goes on under their direct control. Continue reading

No need for speed

As our regular readers know well, World/Streets believes that there are a lot of excellent reasons for slowing down. And every time we run into something that we think can help advance this worthy objective, well here we are. This time the irrepressible Elizabeth Press, peripatetic videographer from New York City’s StreetFilms project, got on a plane and made a short film about what happens when cities slow down their traffic in a uniform and substantial way – in this case the terrific UK program ” 20’s Plenty for Us”. Her five-minute film went on-line yesterday. Continue reading

Kaohsiung 2010 Papers: Are streets meant for travel alone?

This essay contests the idea that streets are for travel alone by critically examining the logic and language employed by the elite to delegitimize two marginalized groups using streets for non-travel purposes: hawkers and pavement-dwellers. Further, court cases interpreting constitutional guarantees in the context of hawkers and pavement-dwellers are examined. Based on these discussions, an attempt is made to provide an alternative framework for the governance of streets, in which streets are seen essentially as shared commons whose use is subject to democratic decision-making based on shared goals of society. Continue reading

The New Mobility Strategy

Step 1: Say good-bye to Old Mobility:

“Plan Zero” – also known as “old mobility” – with its stress on supply, more vehicles  and more infrastructure as the knee-jerk answer to our mobility problems, has been the favored path for decision-making and investment in the sector over the last 70 years. It is well-known and easy to see where it is leading. Aggressing the planet, costing us a bundle, draining the world’s petroleum reserves, and delivering poor service for the majority . . . Plan Zero is a clear failure. It’s time for Plan A : The fifteen steady steps to sustainable transport and a sustainable city. Continue reading

No Accident! Traffic and Pedestrians in the Modern City

As most of our regular readers are well aware, World Streets is no friend of speed in cities. To the contrary, it is our firm position that a considerable number of the basic objectives associated with sustainable mobility and sustainable cities can be achieved if we do no more than to reduce top speeds in and around our cities in a strategic and carefully thought-out way. The great technological virtuosity of traffic engineers and technical planners permit us to do this, while at the same time retaining a well working transportation system, a healthier city, and a viable local economy. Listen to what John Rennie Short and Luis Mauricio Pinet-Peralta have to tell us on the subject.
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Honey, you gotta slow down

It is the consistent position of this journal that much of what is wrong with our current transportation arrangements in cites could be greatly alleviated if we can find ways just to slow down.  A bare five miles per hour over the speed limit on a city street, and . . . Continue reading

Honk! Complex thinking on reducing traffic signals in cities

What is that old saw that goes something like “the definition of high intelligence is the ability to keep two contradictory ideas in mind at the same time without ones head exploding?” Well, whatever the exact wording there is no doubt that this is an imperative capability for making wise policy in terms of our transportation arrangements. Here is an exchange taken from several leading newmobility discussion fora, which offers some complex views on the advantages of removing at least some, possibly many, traffic lights from our cities. Maybe.

This exchange took place on the several indicated discussion fora.

Mayor identifies 140 traffic signals for removal

Source: http://www.transportxtra.com/magazines/local_transport_today/news/?id=21956

—–Original Message—–
On Behalf Of Eric Britton
Sent: Friday, April 02, 2010 4:09 PM
To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com; Sustran-discuss@list.jca.apc.org; WorldStreets@yahoogroups.com;
Subject: London Mayor identifies 140 traffic signals for removal

Transport for London has identified 140 traffic signals across the capital that may no longer perform a useful role and could be removed.

Officials are finalising the collection of data on traffic flows and accidents from each site to verify that the signals are no longer useful in traffic, pedestrian or safety terms.

David Brown, TfL’s managing director for surface transport, told last week’s meeting of the TfL board that 28 sets of traffic signals had already been removed in the capital this financial year, ten of which were on TfL’s road network.

Board members also received an update on the proposed trial of pedestrian ‘countdown’ signals. TfL submitted plans to the DfT at the beginning of March to trial the technology at eight locations in the capital. If approval is granted the first trial site could be installed as early as June.

Countdown signals will show pedestrians how many seconds are left in the ‘blackout’ period – the phase between the green man being extinguished and road traffic receiving a green light.

Brown also provided the board with details of TfL’s lane rental plans under which utility companies would have to pay a charge for the time they occupy the road when conducting streetworks.

Brown said utility companies could avoid paying the charge if they undertook work at non-traffic sensitive times or employed “innovative working practices” so that the carriageway was returned to traffic use at peak times.

Brown said TfL’s plans would need amendments to existing legislation. Lane rental powers were included in the New Roads and Streetworks Act but have only ever been trialled, in Camden and Middlesbrough.

Transport minister Sadiq Khan said in December that the DfT would consult on lane rental this summer and that regulations could be introduced in October 2011. They would only be available for use on the “most sensitive roads in the most congested urban areas”.

(Thanks to Ian Perry for the heads-up)

—–Original Message—–
From: Simon Bishop, Delhi
Sent: Monday, 05 April, 2010 08:01
To: Eric Britton
Subject: RE: [sustran] London Mayor identifies 140 traffic signals for removal

Dear Madhav, Paul, and Everyone,

This raises an interesting issue Eric. Here in Delhi you may be aware that there are a comparatively very small number of signals, 700 whereas London has around 6,500 for a similar land area and lower population density.

In some senses then you have ‘naked streets’ in Delhi. However, on most roads in the city this is an unenviable state of affairs. The rising motorized middle class neither want to see more signals hindering their path and are pushing for ‘signal free’ stretches where they can drive non-stop and unhindered. The results are there to be found in the road casualty statistics.

In this scenario I find myself arguing for the implementation of many more signals in Delhi precisely because the ‘roads’ are designed to facilitate car movement (ironically like many of the ‘roads’ in London too). There is also an ‘imperialistic’ attitude towards vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists, ignored most of the time and hooted at when they get in the way. So called zebras are worth less than the paint they use to make them with.

A combination of these reasons leads me to think that it is very well to have naked streets when a) you clearly have a ‘street’ and not a ‘road’ (many of the ‘colonies’ or residential areas here in Delhi would come under this category and could work as such with minor traffic calming measures, and b) equally importantly, you have a sufficiently ‘democratic’ approach to the use of road space and a respect for vulnerable modes. It is questionable that both exist in Delhi or London.

I’m a bit out of touch with London but I understand that Boris also wants to remove signals because they are a hindrance to motorized vehicles. If this is the case then I’m afraid I’m not in favor of the concept. The UK has a long way to go to reach the attitudes of Dutch drivers when it comes to sharing the road – one of the main reasons because cycling is still an activity of health freaks and eccentrics (so you’re not mowing down a friend or family member if you drive fast).

In the UK there has to be a change in mindset and an effort to remove all of the risk averse, health and safety regulatory culture which leads local authorities to make roads out of streets if naked streets are to work. At the same time, we have to start somewhere and attitudes will change when our urban environment becomes more friendly to vulnerable users, so let’s get the ball rolling.

In London removing signals could be started on quieter streets with appropriately designed traffic calming measures. Delhi could leapfrog London by going straight ahead for traffic calming on streets. But in London and Delhi signals are still needed on main roads designed for traffic movement.

I have an idea, Boris can give the signals he’s removing to Delhi to put on their roads….. Who could facilitate this I wonder?

# # #

Hell is a gyratory system . . . so we want our cities back – Views from Britain on our one-way past

We put in traffic lights and stop signs in order to make our streets safe. We convert from two-way streets to one-way streets in order to permit cars to move more rapidly down them. And in almost all cases these decisions are made not on the basis of a broader systemic understanding of the traffic network as a whole, nor from an explicit philosophy as to what the basic underlying values and priorities should be, but always piecemeal, ad hoc, and one of the time. All of which renders the networks of most of our cities ripe for rethinking and redesign. Here is one view from London.

Hell is a gyratory system,
so let’s celebrate the return of cheerful anarchy to our roads

- Stephen Bayley, from The Times

It is the end of the road for the detested one-way street. Transport for London, perhaps the biggest manager of one-way systems in the world, at last acknowledges a truth painfully proved by harrowed pedestrians, bruised bicyclists and infuriated drivers: one-way systems do not work. Cities have been wastefully sacrificed to the false gods of efficiency and rationality. Now we want our cities back.

After a consultation in 2006 Tottenham Court Road — and soon Piccadilly, Pall Mall, Gower Street and the notorious Wandsworth one-way system (a congealed eternity of hot metal and annoyed people) — will return to two-way traffic. So a ruinous experiment is under final notice after 50 years of fuming. A culture that thought speed a measure of success and volume a measure of prosperity is being driven down the off-ramp.

This is a powerful metaphor for the new, more liberal, reasonable, responsible, lightly governed future that we are told awaits us. Certainly the one-way past created absurdities we could do without.

What is more existentially exasperating than a No Entry sign? This graphic of universal urban frustration was standardised by the League of Nations in 1931 (the year that the same ineffectual busybodies merely tut-tutted about the Japanese invasion of Manchuria).

Roads are not natural; they are inventions. And sealed roads to carry heavy traffic are inventions as typical of the 19th century as the typewriter and the diesel engine. MacAdam created the information superhighway of Victoriana. One-way streets were the final, and now obsolete, refinement of the road as a communications medium. They remain as dread memorials to vanished concerns, alien values and hopeless, irrelevant targets.

The concept began with good intentions. Albemarle Street in Mayfair became uni-directional in 1808 when crowds attending Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s lectures at the Royal Institution made traffic-planning necessary. But the modern theology of traffic management dates back only to 1963 when Colin Buchanan, a town planner, published his ruinously influential report Traffic in Towns.

Wheeled traffic has been successfully mingling in towns and cities since the Etruscans, but Professor Buchanan took great exception to the idea and intended, with great athletic earnestness, to separate people and cars, the better for us to prosper by accelerator. The official attitude to cars in 1963 was curiously similar to Victorian ideas about prostitution: a mixture of acceptance and disgust.

With a fixity of purpose perhaps inviting Freudian interpretations, Buchanan wanted flyovers, clearways and pedestrianisation. Out went the clutter of accumulated townscape. Towns were to be cleansed of intimacy, hazard and surprise. In came Mr and Mrs Citizen swooping at high speed along urban motorways in a bizarre dystopia where your Cortina “saloon” would drive you to a Ballardian destiny in a tower block (where unspeakable crimes might be perpetrated).

In towns, the false god of the one-way street was an agent of change that proved catastrophic. This, of course, was the very moment that other visionaries thought it wise to, quite literally, decimate the railway system in the interests of “economy”. The M25 between Junctions 8 and 9 northbound on a Monday morning is their memorial. And the hell of Wandsworth, Vauxhall Cross or Hammersmith is Buchanan’s.

One-way systems are wrong because they are counterintuitive and seek to impose a spurious logic on human behaviour, something always at its most interesting when irrational. There is surely something very nasty in the concept and expression “gyratory”. It suggests circles of Hell and invites the conjoined idea of futility and an endless quest for an impossible goal.

To enter any gyratory system — often survivable in a car, more precarious on a bike, but suicidal on foot — is to go on bargaining terms with urban aggression and the one-dimensional solutions of the traffic engineer. In pursuit of something that looks good on a graphic, but does not work on the ground, sinister gyratory systems generate millions of unnecessary miles and thousands of tons of pollution.

And people hate them. Best to reinstate the Darwinian struggle of the two-way street and re-create cities that respond to the cheerful anarchy of individual purpose, not a chilly master plan. This is a prospect pleasantly hinted at in a new exhibition. The architectural publisher and bike evangelist Peter Murray has created a series of enamel plaques mocking London’s one-way system. Of Fitzrovia he says it “fails in its aspirations to speed the traffic, but succeeds in confusing cyclists and traffic alike”.

One-way was designed to “reduce congestion”. In true conformity with the Orwellian model, it did the opposite. One-way ? “Wrong way, go back” as the signs say on US freeways. I’m glad to say we are.

# # #

About the author:
Let me quote the author directly from his website you can find at http://www.stephenbayley.com/: “Stephen Bayley was once described as ‘the second most intelligent man in Britain’. This is controversial and very possibly untrue, but what is indisputable is that – as the author of more than ten books, nearly thirty exhibition catalogues, countless articles, broadcasts and newspaper columns – he is one of the world’s best known commentators on modern culture. Tom Wolfe said of him “I don’t know anybody with more interesting observations about style, taste and contemporary design.”

Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article7097837.ece

Cycling should be dull

” (Government) policy is not to make cycling safer but to encourage more people to be brave.” The author, Janice Turner writing for the Times, puts her finger on one of the greater truths of public policy and cycling, which every city and every New Mobility activist will do well to bear in mind. In her words: “Cycling. . . should be banal. Because it is safe” Continue reading

Learning from each other: New York looks at London (So who are you looking at?)

We started World Series last year not because we felt that we were going to tell you everything you need to know about sustainable transportation, but rather to offer you a lively independent platform with worldwide coverage in which all of those of us were concerned with these issues can exchange ideas and commentaries freely. Here is a good example of a shared learning process that does not have to stop with the two cities directly involved in this report. Continue reading

Message from Mumbai: Streets are for People

When we set out to lay the base for this journal in 2008, we never for a moment considered calling it “World Roads”. Our focus was and is on the fact that if roads are for vehicles, streets are definitely for people. Let us have a look at what one young “lapsed engineer from India” has to say about this in the context of his home city of Mumbai, with lessons that ring just as true in places like Manhattan, Madrid, Melbourne . . . or surely your city as well. Continue reading

Listening to children

Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice
Volume 15, Number 1. March 2010
Editorial – John Whitelegg:

This issue contains two articles that on first reading may appear totally unrelated. This is not the case. The Kinnersly article – “Transport and climate change on a planet near you ” – is a comprehensive reflection on the links between economic growth, poor quality democracy, lack of will to deal with sustainability and biodiversity and the perversity of reckless decision taking that supports a business as usual (BAU) model of the world.

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"We need faster horses."

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. – Henry Ford

Hmm, sounds quite good but, well, I am not quite sure how I feel about this — but anyway those are Henry Ford’s famous words, as quoted by German Federal President Horst Köhler in a challenging speech on January 14th of this year to ADAC, Germany’s and Europe’s largest automobile club – a speech widely ignored by the German media.

He then added this: “In other words, mobility has to be thought ahead. You, leading representatives of the car industry, be ahead of your customers! The phrase “that’s what the customers wanted” is not set in stone for all eternity. As leaders you have a responsibility to lead. And part of that is to recognize shifts in the tide – on the markets and in society – and to react promptly and get new products ready for the market.”

The fact that he then segues into the importance of a massive move into electric cars troubles; it repeats one bad old habit of some parts of the political and administrative establishment in many places, which is to assume that they somehow can make wise determinations about technology. They cannot. That’s not their competence, that’s not their job. What we expect of wise governance is to set ambitious, but achievable performance parameters, standards if you will, that lead us toward better, cleaner, safer and fairer mobility. But not to tell us which technology is best suited to do the job. They, quit frankly, do not and can not know.

And in any event if you ask me, what we need is slower horses. It’s at least a start. Someone please tell that to whoever it is in Germany who continue to resist setting speed limits on the autobahn.

You can read the full text of his talk which touches on matters of mobility, technology, entrepreneurship and governance here: http://www.bundespraesident.de/en/Speeches-,11165.661675/Speech-by-Federal-President-Ho.htm?global.back=/en/-%2c11165%2c0/Speeches.htm%3flink%3dbpr_liste.

Thanks to Markus Heller of Autofrei Wohnen in Berlin and Pascal van den Noort of VeloMondial in Amsterdam for the heads-up.

Tribute to Streetsblog and New York City Think Local, Act Local, Act Strong, Act Now!

In closing out the old year we would like to invite you all in your cities around the world to reflect on this. Something that our friends over at Streetsblog in New York City have just published and which is part of their long term commitment to drawing attention to the terrible injustices (the phrase is not too strong) our transportation arrangements and enforcement and legal systems are perpetrating on innocent pedestrians and cyclists on the streets of our cities every day. Shouldn’t you be doing something like this in your city?

Have a look at this uncompromising, no excuses editorial that appeared yesterday in Streetsblog’s New York City edition. You will see their sentence: “Of the 66 pedestrians, seven cyclists and one wheelchair user known to have died since January, in only 12 cases was the driver reportedly charged for taking a life.” At least one city now has someone who is doing the arithmetic and making it public. Surely a first step in the process of redressing these outrageous wrongs.

[Source: http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/12/28/in-memoriam/]

In Memoriam

Post by Brad Aaron

Each year, scores of pedestrians and cyclists die on New York City streets, while thousands are injured. Though the total number of road fatalities is trending down, those who get around the city on foot and by bike have seen their casualty rate rise.

Incidents of vehicle-inflicted violence are so frequent that many go unreported in the papers or on TV news, even when the outcome is death. Based on Streetsblog coverage, media stories and reader accounts, what follows is a record of those known to have lost their lives in 2009.

The victims listed below were killed on their way to and from work, church, or the corner store, while taking their dogs for a walk or coming home from a birthday party. They were grandparents, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, best friends. Many died alone or anonymously, their names never appearing in any public forum. Others were mortally wounded within sight of loved ones. With few exceptions, thanks to lax enforcement and scattershot prosecution of weak traffic laws, their killers are behind the wheel today. Of the 66 pedestrians, seven cyclists and one wheelchair user known to have died since January, in only 12 cases was the driver reportedly charged for taking a life.

As this list is undoubtedly incomplete, please use the comments to share remembrances of those named here, and the names and stories of those we missed.

memoriam_array.jpgSuzette Blanco, Janine Brawer, Miguel Colon, Yvette Diaz
  • Howard Adrian, 84, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 23 on Staten Island; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Ibrihim Ahmed, 9, Pedestrian, Killed Jan. 6 in Queens; Driver Charged With Suspended License (Streetsblog 1, 2, 3)
  • Suzette Blanco, 20, Pedestrian, Killed June 7 in the Bronx; 1 Driver Charged With DWI and Leaving Scene, 1 Driver Hit-and-Run (News, Post)
  • Janine Brawer, 17, Pedestrian, Died Nov. 19 on Staten Island; Drivers Not Charged (Advance)
  • Donald Bryan, 31, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens Aug. 23; Driver Not Charged (News, Courier)
  • Guido Salvador Carabajo-Jara, 26, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 11 in Queens; Drivers Not Charged (City Room 1, 2)
  • Francisco Chapul, 21, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens Nov. 14; 1 Driver Hit-and-Run, 2 Drivers Not Charged (Post, NY1)
  • Miguel Colon, 37, Pedestrian, Killed July 12 in the Bronx; Driver Charged With Manslaughter, Homicide (NYT, News)
  • Angela D’Ambrose, 15, Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 8 in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Post, News)
  • Concetta DiBenedetto, 78, Pedestrian, Killed in Queens Nov. 19; Driver Not Charged (Post)
  • Yvette Diaz, 28, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 15 in the Bronx; Hit-and-Run (News)
  • Li Qun Fang, 43, Pedestrian, Killed March 12 in Queens; Hit-and-Run (News 1, 2)

memoriam_2.jpgConcetta DiBenedetto, Li Qun Fang, Marilyn Feng, Paula Jimenez
  • Marilyn Feng, 26, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 7 in Manhattan; Driver [Jersey City PD] Charged With DWI, Manslaughter (News, Post)
  • Kyle Francis, 13, Pedestrian, Killed May 18 in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News, Post)
  • Joshua Ganzfried, 9, Pedestrian, Killed Sept. 12 in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Suspended License (News, Post)
  • JoAnne Hayden-Weissman, 55, Pedestrian, Killed April 16 in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Linda Hewson, 50, Pedestrian, Killed Sept. 26 in Manhattan; Driver Driver Charged With Manslaughter, DWI (Post, MT)
  • Javier Jackson, 79, Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 8 in Manhattan; Driver [NYPD] Not Charged (Post, News, NY1)
  • Hugo Janssen, 73, Pedestrian, Killed Dec. 13 in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (News, Post, NY1)
  • Paula Jimenez, 34, Pedestrian, Died Aug. 30 in Queens; Driver Charged With Homicide (News, Post)
  • Jerome Johnson, 48, Pedestrian, Killed June 12 in Manhattan; Hit-and-Run, Charges Unknown (News, Post)
  • Seth Kahn, 22, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 4 in Manhattan; Driver [MTA Bus] Charged for Failure to Yield (Streetsblog)
  • Matthew Kim, 30, Pedestrian, Killed July 3 in Queens; Hit-and-Run (Post, News)
  • Violetta Krzyzak, 38, Pedestrian, Killed April 27 in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Manslaughter, Homicide (Streetsblog 1, 2)
memoriam_3.jpgJames Langergaard, Harry Lewner, Diego Martinez, Eliseo Martinez
  • James Langergaard, 38, Cyclist, Killed Aug. 14 in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Harry Lewner, 58, Pedestrian, Killed Dec. 17 in Brooklyn; 1 Driver Charged With Leaving Scene, 1 Driver Not Charged (NY1, Gothamist)
  • Vivian Long, 73, Pedestrian, Killed May 26 in Manhattan; Driver [Access-A-Ride] Not Charged (News)
  • Diego Martinez, 3, Pedestrian, Killed Jan. 22 in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (NYT, Streetsblog)
  • Eliseo Martinez, 32, Cyclist, Killed Sept. 7 in Brooklyn; No Known Media Reports (Ghost Bikes)
  • Virginia McKibbin, 65, Pedestrian, Killed Dec. 2 in Brooklyn; Driver [MTA Bus] Not Charged (Post, NY1)
  • Julian Miller, 45, Cyclist, Killed Sept. 18 in Brooklyn; Motorcyclist Also Killed (The Local 1, 2)
  • Virginia Montalvo, 71, Pedestrian, Killed April 7 in Queens; Hit-and-Run (News, NYT)
  • Hayley Ng, 4, Pedestrian, Killed Jan. 22 in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (NYT, Streetsblog)
  • Drana Nikac, 67, Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 30 in the Bronx; Driver [Off-Duty NYPD] Charged With DWI, Homicide (R’dale Press)
  • Robert Ogle, 16, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 1 in Queens; Driver Charged With DWI, Manslaughter (News, NYT, Post)
  • Axel Pablo, 8, Pedestrian, Killed Aug. 13 in Manhattan; Driver [Yellow Cab] Not Charged (Post, News)
memoriam_4.jpgJulian Miller, Drana Nikac, Hayley Ng, Robert Ogle
  • Alex Paul, 20, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 1 in Queens; Driver Charged With DWI, Manslaughter (News, NYT, Post)
  • Nathan Pakow, 47, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 26 on Staten Island; Driver Charged With Homicide (Streetsblog)
  • Pablo Pasaras, 27, Cyclist, Killed Aug. 8 in Queens; Driver Charged With Homicide (Streetsblog, Gazette)
  • Sonya Powell, 40-42, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 27 in the Bronx; Driver Charged With Leaving Scene and Suspended License (News, Post, NY1, WABC)
  • Ysemny Ramos, 29, Pedestrian, Killed March 27 in Manhattan; Driver Charged With DWI, Manslaughter (NYT, News)
  • Solange Raulston, 33, Cyclist, Killed Dec. 13 in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News, Post, Bklyn Paper, Gothamist)
  • Luis Rivera, 22, Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 31 in the Bronx; Driver [MTA Bus] Not Charged (AMNY, News)
  • Lillian Sabados, 77, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 25 on Staten Island; Driver Charged With Leaving Scene and Suspended License
  • Peter Sabados, 78, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 25 on Staten Island; Driver Charged With Leaving Scene and Suspended License (NYT)
  • Edith Schaller, 87-88, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 30 in Brooklyn; Drivers Not Charged (News, Post)
  • Susanne Schnitzer, 61, Pedestrian, Killed April 8 in Manhattan; No Known Media Reports (NYT, Streetsblog)
  • Juan Sifuentes, 67, Pedestrian, Killed July 15 in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (AP)
memoriam_5.jpgAxel Pablo, Nathan Pakow, Sonya Powell, Solange Raulston
  • Matvey Smolovich, 25, Pedestrian, Killed May 26 in Brooklyn; Driver [School Bus] Not Charged (News)
  • Catorino Solis, 48, Pedestrian, Killed Dec. 21 in Manhattan; Driver Charged for Unlicensed Operation and Moving Violations (News)
  • Andrzej Suchorzepka, 48, Pedestrian, Killed Aug. 2 in Queens; Hit-and-Run (News)
  • Dan Valle, 26, Cyclist, Killed Feb. 18 in Brooklyn; No Known Media Reports (MTR)
  • Vionique Valnord, 32, Pedestrian, Killed Sept. 27 in Brooklyn; Driver [NYPD] Charged With Manslaughter, DWI (NYT)
  • Dorothea Wallace, 38, Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 3 in Brooklyn; Driver [Off-Duty NYS Corrections] Charged With Suspended License (News, Post, NY1)
  • Fred Wilson, 66, Pedestrian, Killed Sept. 12 in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News, Post, Post)
  • Hui Wu, 26, Pedestrian, Killed Feb. 20 in Brooklyn; Driver [MTA Bus] Not Charged (News, NY1)
  • Stanislaw Zak, 65, Pedestrian, Killed June 9 in Brooklyn; Driver Charged With Manslaughter, Homicide (News, Post)
  • Unnamed Cyclist, 72, Killed June 27 in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News, Bklyn Paper)
  • Tina [Surname Unknown], Pedestrian, Killed Sept. 12 in Manhattan; Driver Not Charged (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Jan. 21 in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run (Post)
memoriam_6.jpgYsemny Ramos, Peter and Lillian Sabados, Edith Schaller, Hui Wu
  • Two Unnamed Pedestrians, Killed April 8 in Manhattan and Queens; Hit-and-Runs (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, 20, Killed April 15 in Manhattan; Driver Charged With DWI (Post)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed May 15 in Manhattan; Driver [Yellow Cab] Not Charged (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed May 26 in Queens; Driver Not Charged (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed July 26 in the Bronx; Hit-and-Run (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Aug. 2 in Manhattan; Hit-and-Run (NYT, News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Aug. 9 in Brooklyn; Driver Not Charged (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Oct. 22 in Queens; No Known Media Reports (Gothamist)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 15 in Queens; Driver Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, 48, Killed Nov. 15 in Brooklyn; Hit-and-Run, Driver Not Charged (Post)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, Killed Nov. 15 in the Bronx; 1 Driver Hit-and-Run, 1 Driver Not Charged (News)
  • Unnamed Pedestrian, 79-80, Killed Dec. 15 in Brooklyn; Driver [Ambulance] Not Charged (Streetsblog)
  • Unnamed Wheelchair User, Killed Sept. 1 in Brooklyn; Charges Unknown (News)


# # #

Look at those faces. Think of those lives so terribly truncated, simply because we are not smart or fair enough to do better. But it does not have to be that way.

We know of course the answer to this: (a) Fewer cars on the street, moving far more slowly (we trap them through slow street architecture), far better protection for all others out on the street, and drivers who when at the wheel have the fear of their life of what will happen to them in the event they are the source of incident, injury or death. This coupled with (b) clear and simple laws, that are made widely known, together with draconian enforcement coupled with strict and immediate punishment which is comparable to the offenses committed. And no exceptions or exemptions. Sometimes life is simple.

The editor, World Streets

Car Free Days: 1. Origins & Timeline

“Every day is a great day to take a few cars off the street and think about it.”
Here is how the car-free days movement got started and has taken shape over the last 15 years. You will find the full story in the World Car-Free Days Consortium website at www.worldcarfreedays.com. * And the latest car free day news here. Continue reading

20’s Plenty Where People Live in Portsmouth

In the firm belief that you cannot get too much of a slow thing, here is a second piece in a row on how they are slowing things down in Portsmouth and Britain more generally. We present it as a step toward building your own tool kit for slowing things down in your city. Look at Portsmouth and build on their example to do better yet on your streets. As Newton reminded us, real progress occurs only by standing on the shoulders of giants

Twenty’s Plenty Where People Live in Portsmouth

- Rod King, 20’s Plenty for Us , UK

On 14th May 2008 in a United Kingdom House of Commons Transport Committee evidence session the respected head of the Netherlands Road Safety Institute, Fred Wegman, commented :-

“Until 2000 we were always looking to the United Kingdom when it came to road safety. You were the inventors of many good activities and polices. All of a sudden, somewhere in 2000, you stopped doing things and we continued with our efforts. A simple figure to illustrate that is that, compared to 2000, in 2006 you had 7% fewer fatalities in this country. We have one third fewer.”

The resultant critical review of road safety in the UK by the Transport Select Committee was tellingly entitled “Ending the Scandal of Complacency: Road Safety beyond 2010”

Experts will debate the reasons for the slow down in better safety on UK roads. Some will put it down to an over-reliance on engineering measures which may well simply keep prevailing vehicle speeds higher and inevitably make it more dangerous for our vulnerable road users. Indeed whilst the number of total road fatalities has dropped from 3,221 in 2004 to 2,538 in 2008, the percentage of these which were pedestrians has been steadily rising from 20.83% in 2004 to 22.54% in 2008. In fact UK’s skewing of road fatalities towards pedestrians is one of the highest in Europe where the average across the EU14 countries in 2005 was just 14%. In 2005 in the Netherlands it was just 9.4%.

However, things are changing. In 2006 the Department of Transport issued some new guidelines to Local Authorities for setting speed limits. One city, Portsmouth, seized upon a slight change in the guidelines for 20 mph limits without traffic calming and decided to embark upon a new initiative based upon the premise that 20’s plenty where people live.

And last week at a special conference “Portsmouth – Britain’s First 20 mph City” the presentations in the Guild Hall in Portsmouth may well have created a pivotal point in road danger reduction in the UK.

Until now, speed management has mainly been implemented by means of localised interventions on streets to make the driver slow down. Whether they are speed cameras, or speed bumps the essential engagement has been with the driver on the road whilst he or she is driving.

At the conference, Portsmouth City Council and the Department for Transport reported on the results from the completely different approach taken by Portsmouth when in March 2008 they completed their setting of all residential roads, bar arterial routes, with a speed limit of 20 mph. 1,200 streets were set to 20 mph over a 9 month period. No bumps or humps, but most importantly a decision not just made by Traffic Officers but by the whole community as they sought a way to deliver lower speeds and a better quality of life for their residents. Quite simply, Portsmouth people decided to slow down wherever people live!

Of course, setting lower speeds with traffic calming is so expensive that one only usually does it where you have excessive speed problems. But when you make the decision as a community to slow down wherever people live then it is inevitable that many streets will already have speeds below 20 mph. In fact in Portsmouth they monitored 159 sites. 102 already had mean speeds of 20 mph or less. 36 were between 20 mph and 24 mph, whilst on a further 21 the mean speed was above 24 mph.

And because of that mix it was found that overall the mean speed for all the roads did not change very much. In fact it reduced by just 1%. But what was very significant was the fact that in those streets where speeds previously were 24 mph or above then a huge 7mph reduction in mean speed was recorded.

Whilst casualties also fell by 15% and total accidents by 13%, more time will be needed to establish statistically significant collision figures. However, the presenter noted the changes in child and elderly casualties in before and after numbers :


Portsmouth’s success is as a community that has debated how the streets should be shared more equitably and has gone through the due political, democratic and administrative process to take that community commitment and turn it into a framework within which everyone can take their part in making their city a better place to live. One where casualties reduce and people have quieter streets with more opportunities for cycling and walking.

The spaces between our houses, which we call streets, will never be the same in this country. Portsmouth has shown that communities can change their behaviour and sensibly embark on a 20’s Plenty Where People Live initiative that delivers real benefits to every road user. More and more towns, cities and villages are following this trend to put citizenship back into the way we drive and share our roads. The same plan is proposed in Oxford, Leicester, Newcastle, Norwich and Islington, with widespread trials being conducted in Bristol and Warrington.

But people in Portsmouth are perhaps no different from us all. But what they have found is a way to enable them to turn an aspiration for safer and more pleasant streets into a reality. I suspect there will be plenty more similar communities saying 20’s plenty for them as well. And that may well put the United Kingdom back on track in improving the safety of vulnerable road users and bringing a little more calmness to our urban and residential streets.

# # #

Rod King is Founder of 20’s Plenty for Us, a national voluntary organisation formed in 2007 to support local communities who want lower vehicle speeds on residential and urban roads. 20’s Plenty for Us works with local groups around the country as well as lobbying central and local government. He can be reached at 20’s Plenty for Us – http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk Tel +44 07973 639781 . E: rodk@20splentyforus.org.uk

Portsmouth – Britain’s First Twenty is Plenty City (mph)

One of the pillars of the New Mobility Agenda approach to sustainable transport in cities, is to slow down the traffic. It works as an environmental trigger. Thus when you start to go slower, when you organize your daily life around this principle, you necessarily end up going less far. Which in turn sends out a whole range of signals for land use in our cities. The exact opposite of the forces behind urban sprawl and all that goes with it. If there were one first step to take, slowing things down would have a strong claim to this place of honor. And this movement is gaining real force in Britain.

Portsmouth – Britain’s First Twenty is Plenty (mph) City

Portsmouth has many claims to fame, home of the British Navy, Western Europe’s most densely populated city and now the first city in Britain to set a 20 mph limit across its residential road network.

What sets the 20 mph speed limit in Portsmouth apart from the other two and a half thousand 20 mph zones in England is not just that it is city wide, but also that it relies not on traffic calming or speed cameras for enforcement, but simply signs and publicity to encourage driver behaviour change.

It could be argued that this is one of the largest travel behaviour change initiatives in the country, and although the main objective for the scheme is safety, there are potential modal shift benefits which the city hopes to realise.

How the scheme works

The scheme was made possible by the amendment to Section 84 of Road Traffic Regulation Act in 1999 which allowed local authorities to set local speed limits without the need to get Secretary of State approval.

Due to a high population density, Portsmouth streets were largely already slow moving, so while the decision to go for a city wide 20mph limit was brave; it was not without local support.

The 20mph limit was launched in six city sectors, with the first introduced on 1st October 2007 and the last in March 2008.

In line with DfT guidance the streets included in the scheme were largely residential where average speeds were already below 24 mph, and while the strategic roads network was excluded, they have included some high volume routes where average speeds were above 30 mph.

Following a media campaign and wide scale community consultation process, streets that were to be included within the 20 mph limit had roundels painted at the entrance together with 20 mph signs, with repeater signs placed at 150m intervals along the length of the route.

The speed limit has been largely self-enforcing, with local residents being proactive in reporting speeding traffic. Traffic speed surveys have been used to identify problem streets, which have then been reported to the partnership of police and council officers, which swoop on offending drivers several times a year. The support of local motorists to the 20 mph limit is essential, so rather than just issue a penalty notice, police offer offending drivers an option of attending a half hour seminar educating them on the danger of speeding, which has proven very effective.

How Behaviour Change Interventions have been used

For a project of this nature, where the aim was a culture change, promotion and consultation has been the key.

To highlight the benefits of lower speeds the city first targeted the most vulnerable road users, school children, and issued each school child with pamphlets listing the roads which were to have a slower speed limit. The pamphlet included a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ section and a hotline was set up for further information.

Posters and informational leaflets were distributed at public places such as schools, community centers, health centers, libraries, churches, sports clubs and universities.

Neighborhood forums were extensively consulted, with city officials going out to talk to them about the proposals and to listen to their concerns.

The local media and press, while initially skeptical, soon understood the potential benefits, and published many positive articles about the scheme. While the city also published statutory notices in local newspapers.

While of course there were some very vociferous objections from a small minority, overall objections were in fact minimal, and the vast majority of messages received by the city were in support of the proposals.

How effective has it been?

Since the scheme is so new, it has been difficult to gather clear robust evidence of effectiveness, but initial results appear positive.

Speed surveys show that there has been a reduction of about 0.9mph in the residential roads where average speeds were previously at or below 24 mph.

The most effective measures were actually on streets where speeds were previously above 30 mph, which have seen average speeds fall by as much as 7 mph.

While very few physical calming measures have been used, extra space has been provided for pedestrians and cyclists, and straight roads have been made to meander in those streets which had recent fatalities.

Initial evidence show a reduction in traffic incidents, and overall casualties are down across the city since the implementation of the 20 mph limit.

The potential for modal shift

There is anecdotal evidence that some modal shift has already been achieved, but so far there has been no study to confirm if this is the case. However since road danger is usually cited as the primary barrier to cycling, it seems logical to assume that a city wide reduction in speeds would have some impact.

Promotion of the 20mph limit initially targeted schools as an extension of the safe routes to school programme, and children have been encouraged to celebrate the introduction of the lower speed limits. This link between school travel plans and the safe speeds initiative should reinforce each other and help increase sustainable travel to school in the future.

It is known from other initiatives that when packages of measures are applied together such as parking controls, PTP, WTP, bus priority, then this does have a significant impact on modal shift.

While this has not yet been applied in Portsmouth, the smarter choices team have been included from the beginning and future modal shift promotion is planned, with ideas such as community street parties being considered.

Conclusions

While the overall speed reduction and impacts on accidents is much greater for a traffic calmed 20mph zone, than a city wide 20mph limit without accompanying calming, there are distinct advantages of a city wide limit.

The costs are much lower, and issues over emergency vehicle access, noise generation are avoided. With lower costs and less resistance to the initiative from the media and public, it has been possible to roll out the limit city wide in a very short space of time. This is a huge benefit in itself, since residents of the city all gain from living in a 20mph street themselves; they are also much more likely to respect the speed limit for neighboring communities that they drive through.

While it has so far not been possible to evaluate the full benefits of the limit, initial evidence seems to show that road safety has improved, and with a coordinated smarter choices follow up initiative it seems certain that significant modal shift benefits could be gained from the scheme.

Thus the ultimate benefits could be many; public health, well being, noise, pollution, climate change, reduction in accidents, deaths, reducing NHS and police costs.

# # #

About the author:
Rory McMullan works for PTRC Education and Research Services, which organises training events for transport professionals on topics such as Portsmouth’s introduction of a 20 mph speed limit. As a cyclist and father, Rory is a strong supporter of slower speed limits in cities, because road danger caused by fast moving traffic is one of the main barriers to the take up of cycling, and the biggest concern for protecting the safety of children, whether walking, cycling or playing on our streets.

References:
* Speed limit to be cut to 20 mph in government bid to reduce number of road deathshttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1171706/Speed-limit-cut-20mph-government-bid-reduce-number-road-deaths.html
* 20mph speed limit on residential roads in Portsmouthhttp://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/living/8403.html
* Related World Streets articles: http://newmobilityagenda.blogspot.com/search/label/slower

 

Bogotá’s Ghost Bike

Nicole Cañón, a 10-year old student on her bike ride to school, was run over by a bus and, when thrown to the street, was killed by a taxi. As if this were not enough, both drivers of bus and taxi escaped, leaving the child on her deathbed with no one to take responsibility.

Ghost bike ceremonies as memorials and calls for action

By Carlos Felipe Pardo, ITDP country director, Colombia

As of last Friday, Bogotá now has its own 9-11 to remember. Though it is of much smaller scale, it is equally tragic. Nicole Cañón, a 10-year old student on her bike ride to school, was run over by a public transport bus and, when thrown to the street, was killed by a taxi. As if this were not enough, both drivers of the bus and the taxi escaped, leaving Nicole on her deathbed with no one to take responsibility.

Later that day, the taxi driver was found, but due to legal technicalities, he was let go, provided that he would not leave the city. The police did not even revoke his driver’s license.

In response, we at the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) took action. As has been done since 2003 in St Louis, we bought a used bicycle that resembled what a little girl would use, painted it all in white, and held a “ghost bike” ceremony at the crossing where Nicole had lost her life. More than 100 people came with flowers to commemorate her death, and a local advocacy group (Ciclopaseos de los Miércoles) kindly redirected their Sunday bike ride to arrive at the location of the accident as well. Local media were present to record the event.

Our message at the ceremony was not only specifically related to Nicole’s death, but also in general to confront the lack of effort by the city to continue promoting sustainable, and cycle and pedestrian friendly transport.

Contrary to what had been done by Bogotá’s former mayor Enrique Peñalosa during his 1998-2000 administration, Bogotá is currently giving in to motorized traffic, and policies are slowly regressing to the previous paradigm where the car is king and pedestrians second-class citizens.

We want to stop this trend and revive the policies of the Peñalosa administration. This is what we transmitted on that day: a city must have sufficient infrastructure for bicycles and pedestrians, no matter what the consequence to motorized traffic.

The big problem with implementing sustainable transport policies in many of the cities in the developing world is not that these policies are hard to implement, but that it is hard to show to traditional politicians how these policies are not only better for the city, but better for them and the entire world. Many of them remain in their cocoons, riding in their bulletproof cars and thinking that decisions in transportion should be made from the back seat blind to the realities out the window.

Neighbors of Nicole had asked for a proper pedestrian crossing for more than 10 years, and nobody had paid attention to them. We still have a long way to go, but at least we have inspiration from many places. Bogotá was one of them, and it must continue to be.

# # #

Carlos Felipe Pardo is a psychologist interested in transport. Mainly, any strategy that reduces the dependence to car use and improves access of all population to affordable transport modes. He is director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) in Colombia

Spending taxpayer money for transport and quality of life

On Wednesday of this week Gabrielle Herman, a researcher with ITDP-Europe posted a call for help to the Global South/Sustran working group asking for statistical information on “what current road infrastructure budget allocations look like in terms of road safety”. World Streets Sentinel Morten Lange responded from Reykjavik, challenging the project team to rethinking their approach. (And your comments on this are warmly welcome here.)

Some additional quick background to set the stage for Morten’s comments. Gabriel Hermann has been asked to prepare a section for the forthcoming UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme ) paper, “Share the Road: Minimum 10% for Safety, Sustainability, and Accessibility”, funded by the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society. The FIA site is at http://www.fiafoundation.org/. The UNEP site at www.unep.org . That of the ITDP Europe – http://www.itdp-europe.org/

__________________________________________________________

Reykjavik Iceland, 3 September 2009


Hi Gabrielle Hermann,

I am sorry that I cannot answer your question on specific examples of 10% spending on infrastructure for NMT. (Hmm, wait ,I have heard that Copenhagen spends a large portion of the road budget on cycling, and the same must hold true in many Dutch settings. No concrete figures or references though )

But your request did spark the following suggestion for a wholly different approach on the matter.

I think the first item on the agenda should be to do some investigation and critical thinking into different approaches to achieving improved road safety for Healthy Transport (HT), or Human Powered Transport (HPT).

It is paramount that the Global South does not copy the mistakes of the North, although some of statistics suggest that segregation and expensive infrastructure is working. At what price have they been working? Materials, huge costs, enormous land-use, and land degradation, pollution, at times long detours for cyclists and pedestrians, improved access for cars, bad health problems because of lack of exercise as part of the daily routine, blame the (HT) victims if they are run over, overdependence on very expensive and very unsustainable cars etc, etc.

Furthermore the situation in the Global South is completely different from the countries with the lowest figures for the number of deaths yearly per 100.000 inhabitants. The modal split is an ocean apart from what Sweden or the UK has, and thinking that modals splits should change in the Global South to mimic the North would be a big mistake.

Healthy Transport (HT) and Human Powered Transport (HPT) are not generally used as concepts, I think, but I suggest these concepts or something of the sort be taken up as alternatives to the term non-motorized transport NMT, or vulnerable road users, mainly because they define cycling, walking et al positively, not as something “other” than cars etc.

In evaluating the different approaches I suggest that the potential for win-win situations figure very prominently. Does the approach

- improve accessibility and efficiency for HT/HPT
- improve the competitiveness of HT/HPT
- reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- reduce other pollution to air, water, soil + noise pollution
- improve the psychological / aesthetic environment
- increase the livability and / or attractiveness
- entail flexibility and cooperation or rigid rules, with sharp edges
- use resources in a close to optimal way
- help the car, oil and tire lobby

Road safety “activists” (Is it fitting to call FIA an activist?) often overfocus on just that, and “forget” to see the whole picture. The road safety problem is one in a big set of problems that have to do with the overuse of the car, and in part the overuse or wrong use of roadgoing motorized transport.

The largest public health problem connected with transport is probably sedentary lifestyles and the resulting obesity, and a long range of life-threatening diseases. Some are associated with obesity, others not. It is estimated that in the US 40.000 die in road accidents, and 400.000 from obesity. It has been suggested that half of the 400.000 stems from sedentary lifestyles, not getting the daily gentle exercise that cyclists and walkers get. WHO has publishes a large study showing that in many major Europeans cities fumes and suspended particulate matter ( mainly from cars exhaust pipes ) kill substantially more people than road accidents.

I and many others are looking to solutions that slow down cars, and change the aesthetics of places so that they are more similar to cozy streets than the tracks for racing in computer games.

Bring down the speeds of cars. Plant trees and bushes along roads. Bring life to the streets. Some experiments in urban settings with taking the infrastructure, including signs and traffic lights away, have been successful. Motorists and HT / HPT start to interact. Accidents have been reduced.

Another approach in roughly the same vein, and then regarding cyclists specifically, is to paint bike-and-chevron markings in the streets. The markings remind both cyclists and motorists that cyclists are welcome on the streets. Very cheap, and effective in improving interactions between drivers and cyclists as well as safety. And a small piece of bicycle advocacy that is a constant reminder to all. Used in Paris, San-Francisco, recently in Reykjavik, and in many other cities. (e.g. in Australia and North America )

Rural settings and some major roads in cities can demand different solutions. There higher speeds of cars can have its merits and separation will increase the accessibility and competitiveness HT / HPT. But the lessons from urban areas should still be kept in mind. Big detours or bad designs or lousy maintenance should be avoided.

I am sorry if my style conveys that I purport some great authority on the subject. That was not my intention. I wish the proponents of segregation and expensive infrastructure would also include similar disclaimers :-)

If anyone wants references to studies that support my claims, I guess many on the list will be able to help, including myself.

Best Regards,

Morten Lange,
Reykjavik Iceland (and a former resident of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania)

Some background:
Original note of Gabrielle Hermann to the Global South/Sustran group under the title ” Road Safety Infrastructure Spending devoted NMT–project examples and figures needed!” – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sustran-discuss/message/5535

The author:
Morten Lange describes himself as “as advocate for cycling and other health transport (in my spare time and then some)”. He lives, works and pedals in Reykjavik Iceland

Discussion:
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