Our 21st century cities and those of us who live and work in them have transportation requirements that have little in common with the historical patterns. Our actual service needs are closer to what we can see in successful car-based systems than the patterns associated with traditional public transport. That is to say, user requirements in this new-life system are for the most part not linear (i.e., many-to-many) , nor strictly time-cadenced.
The just-elected new Mayor of Paris, Madame Anne Hidalgo, has prepared a revolutionary sustainable mobility project whereby virtually all of the streets of the city will be subject to a maximum speed limit of 30 km/hr.
The only exceptions in the plan are a relatively small number of major axes into the city and along the two banks of the Seine, where the speed limit will be 50 km/hr, and the city’s hard pressed ring road (périphérique) where the top permissible speed has recently been reduced from 80 to 70 km/hr. At the other end of the slowth spectrum are a certain number of “meeting zones” (zones de rencontre) spotted around the city in which pedestrians and cyclists have priority but mix with cars which are limited to a top speed of 20 km/hr. A veritable révolution à la française.
This article by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute has just appeared in the December 2013 issue of the United Nation’s “Transport and Communications Bulletin for Asia and the Pacific.” It reinforces many of the strategies and principles set out in the New Mobility Agenda 2014/15 program, and provides useful reading for anybody concerned with transportation, mobility and public space improvements in Penang and George Town. A summary introduction to the full paper follows extracting a final section on Optimal Congestion Solutions and the Conclusions. The full paper is recommended and freely available at http://www.unescap.org/ttdw/Publications/TPTS_pubs/bulletin82/b82_Chapter1.pdf.
- Csaba Mezei reports from Budapest
In the field of mobility, Hungary typifies the formerly communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Municipal public transport is well-developed and its modal share is relatively high (e.g. 61 percent in the capital city Budapest). However, the quality of public transport systems is declining due to decreasing state subsidies. Car ownership is still a status symbol and governments are keen to placate car owners and support motorised individual transportation rather than sustainable community solutions. In cities the health impacts of transport include a high rate of respiratory decease and allergies. The situation can be expected to get worse with increasing air pollution (especially particulates), noise, and congestion.
Phase 1 Report & Work Program for 2014
A Public Enquiry by Think City & EcoPlan International
Eric Britton, 21 November 2013