Announcing World Streets Editions (The Plan)
World Streets Editions is at present a start-up project under study whose purpose is to work with international authors with high expertise in their fields and publish highly readable and affordable pocket books on the topics of sustainable transport, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. To this extent it will generally reflect the scope and values found over these last years in World Streets. We are also looking at publishing children’s books and possibly other media dealing with these topics in imaginative ways.
Did someone say, White Chairs?
During Rotterdam’s public art festival Wereld van Witte de With, urbanism office M.E.S.T. reanimated this idea. But instead of bikes, the designers left 350 white chairs in public space in Rotterdam. The chairs served as a terrace for all the decentralized performances, and fed a discussion about public space and ownership at the same time. People were allowed to use the white chairs freely and to take them to any other location as long as they remained part of public space. The white chairs were slowly spread across the city. According to the festival organization, they were even spotted at the Central Station of Leiden, a town somewhere between Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Continue reading
Behind the Rape in the Bus
Over at India Streets today – http://www.facebook.com/IndiaStreets – the distinguished Indian journalist and writer, Vidyadhar Date, posts an article entitled “Rosa Parks, The Power of Resistance and the Rape In The Bus In Delhi”. He makes a point which I believe is central to understanding a great part of both (a) the what and (b) the why of this tragic event in Delhi, when he writes: Continue reading
My basic theory about 2013 is this:
If what we try to do in 2013 looks like something that we would have done back in the late years of the last century, it will not be good enough. That’s the test I try to apply to my work every day.
Being different is not a guarantee of success. But NOT being different is a guarantee of sure failure. Continue reading
Heads-up: To avoid duplicate mailings from Facebook
Dear Patient Reader,
To avoid duplicate mailings from our various programs and fora, it may be useful to note the difference between our two main FB pages at (1) http://www.facebook.com/NewMobilityAgenda and (2) http://www.facebook.com/worldstreets. The former posts only information that appears in World Streets (http://worldstreets.org), while the latter includes all these but also contains other pieces, heads-up and observations from our vigilant editor. Continue reading
Op-Ed: The Story of UK Roads/Streets
- Poorly designed roundabouts – enabling even HGV’s to travel around them at speed, the police thinking a cyclist could make a driver aware of “him” with a bell or a whistle…
- Police on bicycles without blue lights or sirens, chasing others through red lights… then stopping others for doing the same, who proceeded with caution,
- Advanced stop lines seem to provide little benefit, and may have been partly to blame for the death of Cynthia McVitty’s daughter.
- Humans get territorial, and thus cycle lanes become hazards for cyclists when too narrow, and for pedestrians when they step onto them,
- Too many cyclists in the UK cycle at speeds inappropriate to the situation.
- Ian Perry. Cardiff, Wales, UK email@example.com
Misguided parking policy is harmful and unjust.
No surprise there, you may say. There is no shortage of complaints about parking prices (“unfair!”) and about how difficult it is to find parking. We hear the same thing all over the world, whether in Sydney, San Francisco, Singapore, Moscow, Delhi , Jakarta, Beijing, Sao Paolo, Lagos or Nairobi.
Sorry to be unsympathetic. But complaints like those are a problem. They are fuel for the never-ending push for more parking and cheaper parking.
So what? Continue reading
Cities of the Future: From Norway with love
Cities of the Future are densely built. This means we can walk and cycle instead of using cars, reducing pollution. Fewer cars and roads make more room for bike paths and parks. This makes our cities prettier and makes us healthier. The parks will also help absorb the increasing rainfall expected in the future. Cities of the Future is a collaborative project between the Norwegian Government and the 13 largest cities in the country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make our cities better places to live. Continue reading
The crux of the problem with transportation is that . . . everyone wants the same thing at the same time, feels entitled to it and doesn’t want to pay more, or differently. And that’s not all . .
THINKING ABOUT CHINA: 2013-2015
The drive to sustainable transport and sustainable cities in China is one of the central focuses of the World Streets 2013-2015 work program just getting underway (it would have to be, wouldn’t you say?), as you will see on the small menu item just to your top/left here. Thus far it is organized in two parts:
- What World Streets has had to offer thus far – Click here
- And from our Facebook page of this title – Click here
- – - >But stay tuned. More to follow here
Brief: “Cycling is the ‘Cinderella’ form of transport – ignored, mistreated, and yet to have its day. For the cost of one kilometre of urban freeway you could build 150km of bicycle paths, 10,000km of bicycle lanes or 100 well designed 30 km/h zones. Some 80 per cent young German adults think people don’t need a private car anymore.” All these factors, says the European Cyclists’ Federation, make it extraordinary that only 0.7 per cent of EU funding for transport goes towards cycling provision, when 7 per cent of European citizens use bikes as their main mode of transport. –>Click here for full article text
Brief. Joy ride: IEA test-drives the Parisian electric car-sharing system
As electric vehicles reduce oil consumption and vehicle carbon emissions on a per-kilometre basis, a team from the International Energy Agency recently checked out the innovative Parisian car-sharing system that allows tourists and residents to criss-cross Paris for a modest fee – and an even more attractive cost in carbon emissions: zero. —> Click here for article.
Brief: Carsharing set to take up another 300 parking slots in Sydney - on top of the 450 spaces it already holds on the city’s streets streets that privately owned cars are banned from using. Lord Mayor Clover Moore has revealed Sydney City Council’s target to get 10 per cent of residents into a car share program by 2014 is on track, with up to 300 new members a month. Of those, a third are businesses and the remainder residents. –>Click here for full text
Brief: L.A. County toll lanes get smooth start, despite grumbling
As officials unveiled the first toll lanes on an 11-mile stretch of the 110 Freeway this weekend, some drivers said they had questions about how the new fare program worked. The express lanes were created using existing carpool lanes. As a result, drivers now can pay to leave mixed-flow traffic and enter the express lanes, saving what officials said could be two to three minutes a mile. The tolls vary from 25 cents to $1.40 a mile, depending on congestion and demand. Officials aim to keep travel speeds in the express lanes at least 45 miles per hour. They estimate the average toll will be between $4 and $7 a trip, though it could be as much as $15.40. * Click here for full text
The long wait at the many unnecessary traffic lights in Germany may soon be over. Communities nationwide are exploring the use of alternative traffic control systems, such as roundabouts and zebra stripes, to resolve the traffic light’s growing issues of expense and safety. Among groups in favour of a large-scale switch, the German Cyclists’ Federation (ADFC) has a prominent voice. “We absolutely support the trend,” said ADFC traffic expert Wilhelm Hörmann. Hörmann added that traffic lights provide a false illusion of safety, pointing to the dangers of impatient drivers and children who cross the street despite there being a red light. Consultant Jürgen Berlitz of the ADAC German automobile club, argued that roundabouts are not only safer, but more efficient than traffic lights. (Thanks to Ian Perry for the heads-up)
* Click here for article. Continue reading
Brief: When it comes to choosing their means of transport, travellers in Germany and Europe reveal themselves surprisingly willing to switch modes. Almost 50 percent of those surveyed in six European countries say that they have changed their own mobility mix in the last few years. * Click here for survey.
Paris: Ambitious mobility plans for economy, efficiency and equity.
This ambitious effort on the part of Paris’s mayor and his team is well worth following, even if for some it is may be a bit inconvenient for those not able to easily read in French. The original article appears here. And here in the event is the Google translation. (You may note that this article appears in a journal loved and run by the French Right, the mayor’s fierce opponents, so caveat lector.)
That’s great. But just because we voted today does not mean that we are done with our duty as a citizen in a true democracy.
* Click here for latest daily postings to and from World Streets on Facebook
World Streets is a collaborative resource. And it is a challenge – a collaborative challenge. We are rethinking it from top to bottom, to improve its usefulness and ensure a solid financial base. Have a look and tell us what you advise. Continue reading