Carsharing changes our relationship with the cars we owned and loved and hated over much of the century just behind us. And one of the points we hear from proponents again and again is that carsharing offers substantial savings, because the cost of owning a car has become much higher than in the past. Surely the cost of car ownership in the 21st century — and all that goes with it including direct and indirect costs, among them depreciation, insurance, petrol, maintenance, parking, etc., — is no light burden. But how expensive is it really? In this article, carsharing expert Dave Brook digs into the numbers and reflects on the true cost of ownership for most car owners in the United States.
[Have a look at this good historical piece by Christopher Gray which appeared in today's New York Times under their Streetscapes/Traffic Wars rubric.]
IN the future, perhaps our time will be known as the first decade of the Bicycle Wars, with righteous armies fighting over traffic lanes, bike paths and sidewalks, indeed over the very purpose of the streets themselves. Like many wars, it’s a question of territory, and the pedestrian has been losing for years. Continue reading
As we have seen in a certain number of articles over the last year or so — click here to review — the totally unexpected dark horse of carsharing which has emerged and is presently galloping with surprising speed in quite a number of places around the world is the concept of peer-to-peer (think do-it-yourself) carsharing. Here is a good resume of the present state of play of P2P in the United States that has just appeared in a popular American newspaper. And since carsharing. is a critical components of the overall sustainable transportation package for cities — you can bet on it! — there is good reason to stay on top of that if you are a decision-maker, entrepreneur, competitor or source of counsel in our sector.
Every time I go into a city that is struggling with its transportation/environment situation, I have the feeling that it would be a great thing for them to develop for themselves a “sharing and learning film” along these lines. Perhaps one day . . .
In the beginning was New York City and its historic transportation mess:
Streetfilms, the sharp media end of the innovative www.streetsblog.org program out of New York City, has recently put on line for free download a full feature version of a documentary originally produced in 2006 as part of the New York City Streets Renaissance Campaign. The film, “Contested Streets: Breaking New York City Gridlock“, explores the history and culture of New York City streets from pre-automobile times to present. Even now, five years later, it gets its important points across.
What was the song? “If you can do it here you can do it anywhere. New York New York”? Well there just may be something to that. Here is some of the latest on how the proponents of more and safer biking in New York City are using social media to gain support from the citizen base, while at the same time an irate lobby is doing its best to keep the streets as they were and, as they hope, ever shall be. Amen Sister. (BTW, this is by no means a unique conflict. It could be your city.) Continue reading
On Sunday, the NYC Street Memorial Project held the 6th Annual Memorial Ride and Walk. According to the New York City Department of Transportation, 151 pedestrians and 18 bicyclists were killed on the streets of New York City in 2010. Participants called for stronger measures to reduce traffic fatalities. The ride culminated by installing a “Ghost Bike” in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall for the unnamed pedestrians and cyclists killed in 2010. Continue reading
Let’s see what our friends at Streetfilms have to share with us today on the topic of “Floating Parking” & Bike-Buffer Zones in Separated Cycletracks”. Here is their short introduction with a narration by the noted traffic engineer Gary Toth of Partners for Public Spaces, by videographer Clarence Eckerson, Jr. who shot and edited the film.