– SHARING, when it comes to transport, can work in many ways.
Introduction: I am hard at work on a book under the title Better Choices: Bringing Sustainable Mobility to Smaller Asian Cities, as described in the attached working note. Better Choices aims to inform and support planners, policymakers, civil society and others who must face the challenges of what is in effect a whole new way of thinking about transport in cities.
After numerous interviews and exchanges, it occurred to me that while we now have great search engines such as Google that can bring the world and all its complexity and crushing detail to our doorstep, in situations like this we need something more focused, concise and immediately useful by way of reference materials, particularly in areas and situations in which the local city team may not have deep competence. It’s good of course to have this level of help in print between the covers of a book, but better yet if it can be online, continuously updated, free and carefully made.
In this issue, we return to some key themes in sustainable transport. The article by Wendy Sarkissian and Lori Mooren reflects on the death in a road crash of Wendy’s husband and puts this dreadful experience in a wider context of how we should deal with eliminating death and injury on the roads and how we should improve our ability to react to tragedies of this kind. At a time when 3 cyclists this year (January and February 2017) have been killed in London (see reference list) we are even more acutely aware than ever that these horrific tragedies are not interrogated systematically and thoroughly and not translated into immediate action to get the chances of death and serious injury as near to zero as we can.
This is the point of Vision Zero, the Swedish road safety policy that says “a mistake in the road traffic environment must not attract the death penalty”.
Paul DeMaio started The Bike-sharing World Map in 2007 to be the one-stop source for information about the global growth of bike-share services. The Bike-sharing World Map now shares information over 500 bike-share services including the services’ website, fleet and station size, and launch date.
A quick prevue: 2016 ended with a world-wide fleet of approximately 2,000,000 public use bicycles in automated and/or information technology controlled systems in approximately 1,175 cities, municipalities or district jurisdictions in 63 countries. The following online map is searchable for details on all indicated cities and operations.
Surprising though it may seem to some, the humble bicycle has a turnkey role in 21st century cities, large or small, North or South, rich or poor. Getting city cycling right is a matter of high priority when it comes both to local and planetary environmental impacts, solid economics, affordability, fossil fuel and resource savings, public health, equity, democracy and quality of life. For all of those of our cities around the world who have over the last decades bought into the car plus speed plus distance plus lost time lifestyle without giving it much thought, getting this transition right is a significant technical, social and political challenge.
On clicking to the video, you will see the Full Screen icon ¤ just before the vimeo button.
Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2010
“The White Bicycle Plan proposes to create bicycles for public use that cannot be locked. The white bicycle symbolizes simplicity and healthy living, as opposed to the gaudiness and filth of the authoritarian automobile.” (Provo Manifesto)
For Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art 2010, NVA staged a re-enactment of the infamous Witte Fietsenplan (White Bike Plan).
A GREAT IDEA HAS WINGS:
HERE’S A NUMBER LUUD CAME UP WITH IN 1967 (that it took the world a full generation to understand and finally equal).
The number was 10,000.
(But it was not only a number — it was at its base a wonderful, original and city-transforming, environmental and life quality concept.)
This was the number of white bicycles that Mr. Schimmelpennink proposed in his public bike master plan for Amsterdam in 1967. (Proposal rejected by the municipal council.)
After that radio silence on the post-White Bike front for seven years. It took until 1974 for the first new public bike project when the city of La Rochelle launched a free bike-sharing programme, Vélos Jaunes (Yellow Bikes). Followed at first slowly, cautiously but then increasingly with a mounting wave of tidy new projects, most in Europe, most successful, and almost all of them small.