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

(From our 2009 archives and worthy of your attention today) "Transport Refugees – Victims of Unjust Transport Policies"

The term “refugee” if used in the context of transportation would normally be understood to mean “the movement of refugees”. But what we fail to comprehend is that for various reasons it is our own transport systems, and the values and decisions that shape them, that are making many of us “refugees” in our own cities? It does not have to be this way.

Continue reading

AUGURI (Season’s Greetings from Italy and France)

What better way to announce a short break than to quote word for word from today’s posting of our Italian friends over at Nuova Mobilità, announcing that they’ll be back in the saddle on the 4th of January. A well deserved rest after six months of daily publication, five days a week. (Sound familiar?) Now let’s give the word to them:
Questo post solo per comunicarvi che dopo 6 mesi di quotidiano e pervicace monitoraggio sui temi della Nuova Mobilità abbiamo bisogno di qualche giorno di riposo. Ritorneremo on line il 4 gennaio 2010.

Buon Natale e buon anno a tutti.

I am sure you got that, but just in case: “This post is just to inform you that after 6 months of daily monitoring and stubborn publication on the New Mobility scene, we are taking a few days of rest. Back on line January 4, 2010.”

Read Nuova Mobilità at http://nuovamobilita.org

And if it’s not clear, clich http://tinyurl.com/nm-english for a pretty fair machine translation into English.

Editorial: Après Copenhagen. Now what?

Five times since late evening of the fatal Friday 18th in Copenhagen, I have attempted to get out a strong editorial on this important subject, sustainable transport included, but thus far I have yet to crack my task. Be patient and in the meantime remember what kind old Henry Ford once so famously wrote: “Of all the kinds of work I known, thinking is the hardest. And that’s I guess why people do so little of it”.

But should you be at all curious to follow my tortured path, during all of which I was trying hard to find a way to be at once both lucid and useful, if you click here you will find my first late Friday night attempt. If I may, there are a few thoughts in there that still may be worth a minute of your time. However upon careful inspection I decided to back away from the early versions of the posting because I found it too verbose, muddy, too roughly reasoned and still incomplete.

But above all I found that in its first iteration it was too openly, one might even say arrogantly critical, and not sufficiently positive. At this point we need to lay off the criticism and carping, that’s the past, and now get put our heads and hearts together to see what needs to be gleaned from all this terrible experience (the word is not too harsh) for the future. Which is after all ours to grasp.

Have a look at the revised version here in the next few days. I am confident that you will find it better and hopefully even of some use as we struggle to pick up the pieces from COP15.

The editor

Lessons from COP15 : Staring the challenge in the eyes. Three Failures – Three new beginnings

It’s close to midnight on this fateful Friday the 18th, as COP15 suddenly trudges unfulfilled sadly into our past. And as I sort through the debris, I am struggling to figure out what might be the main lessons of this experience. Let me share with you my late-night thoughts concerning three event-shaping failures, or at least stark short-comings which I suggest we will all do well to learn from. After all we have the planet waiting for us. Continue reading

Cheer up! On your way back from Copenhagen, swing through Bologna for a clue to a sustainable planet

Okay. COP15 has been pretty discouraging thus far. But this is no time to give up. To the contrary let’s start this next phase by energetically expanding our horizons, finding more common ground with people, cities and groups around the world who wish to act. Here as one example of something you can see every day in your own city. The great neglected overarching transportation mode that is the alpha and omega for every trip we take, is getting a close look in an exhibit in Bologna starting tomorrow.
Continue reading

You, me, technology, pattern breaks and unleashing the power of the market: Think Copenhagen Wheel

World Streets rarely gives in to “technical fix” solutions to our dual challenges of wrecking the planet and our cities staying stuck in hopelessly outmoded 20th century patterns and actions – because we know for sure that the answer lies not in the deus ex machine of technology but above all within ourselves. But hold on for a minute – let’s have a look and give some thought to . . . the Copenhagen Wheel (nice name!).

Anything that works.

As we look around the mournful Nordic battlefield this morning, at the strewn bodies, broken hopes, and hastily retreating figures and CO2 streams that will soon have been all that remain of COP15, we have every reason to be ready to look hard at any and all ideas that may hold out promise for the future, for the near future, no matter how few, no matter how strange at first glance.

So today let’s relax a bit and ponder something developed by a group of technology heads at MIT, which, surprise!, brings us right up before the necessary path to behavioral change — a most obdurate challenge as we have been seeing in Copenhagen these weeks. Still there are times when technology can help us, not only do things differently but also to do them better. To help us make, one by one, more sustainable choices. That after all is what sustainability is all about.

So let’s have a gander at the Copenhagen Wheel, an interesting playful, and idea-ful, example of how this can work. And oh yes!, let’s not stop there.

MIT’s big wheel in Copenhagen

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. —Dec. 15, at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change, MIT researchers debut the Copenhagen Wheel — a revolutionary new bicycle wheel that not only boosts power, but can keep track of friends, fitness, smog and traffic. Though it looks like an ordinary bicycle wheel with an oversized center, the Wheel’s bright red hub is a veritable Swiss army knife’s worth of electronic gadgets and novel functions.

“Over the past few years we have seen a kind of biking renaissance, which started in Copenhagen and has spread from Paris to Barcelona to Montreal,” says Carlo Ratti, director of the MIT SENSEable City Laboratory and the Copenhagen Wheel project. “It’s sort of like ‘Biking 2.0’ — whereby cheap electronics allow us to augment bikes and convert them into a more flexible, on-demand system.”

The first goal of the Copenhagen Wheel project is to promote cycling by extending the range of distance people can cover and by making the whole riding experience smoother so that even steep inclines are no longer a barrier to comfortable cycling.

Toward this end, the Wheel can store energy every time the rider puts on the brakes, and then give that power back to provide a boost when riding uphill or to add a burst of speed in traffic.

“The Wheel uses a technology similar to the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), which has radically changed Formula One racing over the past couple of years,” says Ratti. “When you brake, your kinetic energy is recuperated by an electric motor and then stored by batteries within the wheel, so that you can have it back to you when you need it. The bike wheel contains all you need so that no sensors or additional electronics need to be added to the frame and an existing bike can be retrofitted with the blink of an eye.”

“Our city’s ambition is that 50 percent of the citizens will take their bike to work or school every day,” says Ritt Bjerregaard, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen. “So for us, this project is part of the answer to how can we make using a bike even more attractive.”

But there are also a variety of extra functions hidden within the hub of the Copenhagen Wheel. By using a series of sensors and a Bluetooth connection to the user’s iPhone, which can be mounted on the handlebars, the wheel can monitor the bicycle’s speed, direction and distance traveled, as well as collect data on air pollution and even the proximity of the rider’s friends.

“One of the applications that we have discussed with the City of Copenhagen is that of an incentive scheme whereby citizens collect Green Miles — something similar to frequent flyer miles, but good for the environment,” says Christine Outram, who led the team of MIT researchers.

The project also aims to create a platform for individual behavioral change.

“The Copenhagen Wheel is part of a more general trend: that of inserting intelligence in our everyday objects and of creating a smart support infrastructure around ourselves for everyday life,” says Assaf Biderman, associate director of the project. “For example, the Wheel has a smart lock: if somebody tries to steal it, it goes into a mode where the brake regenerates the maximum amount of power, and sends you a text message. So in the worst case scenario the thief will have charged your batteries before you get back your bike.”

The initial prototypes of the Copenhagen Wheel were developed along with company Ducati Energia and the Italian Ministry of the Environment. It is expected that the wheel will go into production next year, with a tag price competitive with that of a standard electric bike. According to Claus Juhl, CEO of Copenhagen, the city might place the first order and use bicycles retrofitted with the Copenhagen Wheel as a substitution for city employee cars as part of the city’s goal to become the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025.


* Click here to play video

The Copenhagen Wheel team at MIT is composed of Christine Outram, Project Leader, Rex Britter, Andrea Cassi, Xiaoji Chen, Jennifer Dunnam, Paula Echeverri, Myshkin Ingawale, Ari Kardasis, E Roon Kang, Sey Min, Assaf Biderman and Carlo Ratti. The project was developed for the City of Copenhagen in cooperation with Ducati Energia and with the support of the Italian Ministry for the Environment.

# # #

Now what happens?

What about this? Let’s assume this is something that really can be developed into a serious sustainability tool, so now what?

Let’s assume that the goal – I am correct in this? – is to make the strongest possible contribution to a sustainable planet and more livable cities – what is the best, the fastest, the most powerful way in which this idea can be put to work.

Have no doubt about it, if the product really does fill a market niche, there will be industrial groups that will reverse engineer it in a few days and be able to put their own versions on the market before our MIT colleagues figure out what they are going to do next September. This brave new world, the global economy, and the forces of the market will see to that.

So, now what?

The editor

PS. Is there anyone who is brave enough to explain to our MIT friends about the perils of weird CaptALIZation? We need to save the planet AND preserve our languages. ;-)

About the editor:

Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: climate@newmobility.org) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

View complete profile

 

US Report Shows How Safe Routes to School Initiatives Protect Children Walking and Bicycling

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership in the United States has just released a new report showing how Safe Routes to School programs can be harnessed to keep children safe from traffic dangers while walking and bicycling to school. The report explores the approaches five different communities used to create safer environments for children walking and bicycling. The lessons are universal.

The five communities (Santa Rosa, CA; Miami-Dade County, FL; state of ME; Springfield, MO; and Portland, OR) each demonstrate how Safe Routes to School evaluation, education, encouragement, enforcement, and engineering can address traffic safety concerns. Many of these safety improvements are made at relatively low costs to communities and schools, yet have profound effects on keeping children safe while also improving physical health and the environment.

The report demonstrates there are many different approaches to improving safety for children walking and bicycling:

• In Santa Rosa, CA, after children received pedestrian safety education, there was a 63 percent increase in children using the crosswalks to cross the street rather than crossing at unmarked locations.

• In Miami-Dade County, FL, since the launch of the WalkSafe™ child pedestrian safety program in 2001, there has been a 43 percent decrease in the total number of children ages 0-14 hit by cars.

• An analysis comparing bicycle crash rates in Maine for the eight years before their Bicycle Safety Education Program was implemented (1992 to 1999) with the first eight years the program has been offered (2000-2007) reveals a 51 percent drop in bicycle crashes for children aged 10-14.

• Springfield, MO has already demonstrated the impact special roadway signage can have on vehicle speeds. Data from their pilot showed that 85 percent of motorists reduced their speeds by three to five miles per hour without any increase in enforcement after speed limits were reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph.

• Infrastructure improvements in Portland, OR have been successful in helping decrease crashes, as well as the severity of the crashes. Total crashes decreased by nearly 25 percent and there was a 32 percent decline in pedestrian injuries from crashes.

Deb Hubsmith, Director of the Safe Routes to School National Partnership noted, “The success stories in this report show the power and promise of Safe Routes to School to help communities all across the country to address safety risks and improve conditions for students walking and bicycling to school.”

In 2007, an estimated 14,000 children ages 14 and under were injured as pedestrians, while more than 300 children were killed while walking. In 2008, an estimated 52,000 bicyclists were injured in motor vehicle crashes, and 21 percent of those bicyclists-nearly 11,000 children-were age 14 or younger. Children walking and bicycling to school represent 11 percent of injuries and fatalities during the school commute, but just 14 percent of trips and less than two percent of miles traveled.

Transportation for America also recently released a report, Dangerous by Design, identifying the dangers that pedestrians face in 360 metropolitan areas and focusing on solving the epidemic of preventable pedestrian deaths through active transportation. Safe Routes to School programs can provide tangible solutions to major traffic safety issues such as these, making it safer for children-and other residents-to walk and bicycle in their neighborhoods and to and from school.

Congress launched the federal Safe Routes to School program in 2005 through the federal transportation bill and provided $612 million for five years of state-level implementation of programs that build sidewalks, bike lanes, and pathways, while also providing funding for education, promotion, and law enforcement. Federal Safe Routes to School funds are educating children on safe bicycle and pedestrian practices, increasing traffic enforcement to improve adherence to traffic laws and speed limits, and making infrastructure improvements to create safe places for children to walk and bicycle.

The report can be viewed at www.saferoutespartnership.org.

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership, hosted by the non-profit Bikes Belong Foundation, is a network of more than 400 nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools, and professionals working together to advance the Safe Routes to School movement in the United States. The Partnership focuses on building partnerships, changing policies, advancing legislation, and improving the built environment.

COP15: A bit of good news for a change Copenhagen’s Climate-Friendly, Bike-Friendly Streets

Now for a bit of good news from that is for the rest of this week the sustainable development capital of our gasping planet, Copenhagen. And there she goes again, the redoubtable Elizabeth Press of StreetFilms who follows Mikael Colville-Andersen, bicycle advocate and filmmaker around while he gives us a guided tour of the cycling scene — and in the process helps us understand why we can do it too. And why we should. Thanks Michael. Thanks again Liz – our eyes on the street.

– Click here to view the video

From StreetFilms today:

Tens of thousands of people from nearly every nation on earth have descended on Copenhagen this month for the UN climate summit. As the delegates try to piece together a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they’re also absorbing lessons from one of the world’s leading cities in sustainable transportation. In Copenhagen, fully 37 percent of commute trips are made by bike, and mode share among city residents alone is even higher.Come see “the busiest bicycling street in the Western world”, and lots of other you-gotta-see-them-to-believe-them features including bike counters (featuring digital readouts), LEDS, double bike lanes (for passing) and giant hot pink cars.

Copenhagen wasn’t always such a bicycling haven. It took many years of investment in bike infrastructure to reclaim streets from more polluting, less sustainable modes. Last week, I was able to squeeze in a whirl-wind tour with Mikael Colville-Andersen, the bike culture evangelist behind Copenhagenize and Copenhagen Cycle Chic, to get a taste of the city’s impressive bike network and cycling amenities. Watch this video and see how Copenhageners flock to the streets by bike even in December, when average temperatures hover just above freezing.

# # #

The city of Copenhagen was did not just wake up one morning and find itself one of the cycling capitals of the world. They were headed here, just like the rest of us. A bit like this.

What happened then, starting in the second half of the sixties is that the city combined openness to new ideas, civic participation and wise governance. Mix and shake hard and long. A great recipe for a great city.

# # #

Mikael Colville Andersen is most well-known for his bicycle advocacy with the Cycle chic movement based on the Copenhagen Cycle Chic Movement, a streetstyle blog having launched a global trend of cycling in normal clothes. Called The Sartorialist on Two Wheels by The Guardian he is Denmark’s leading bicycle culture ambassador.

Elizabeth Press is a media maker. Since 2007 she has been documenting the livable streets movement in New York City as a videographer for the online vlog Street-films.org. As part of Streetfilms advocacy, Elizabeth has traveled to make videos that demon-strate best practices for better biking, walking and mass transit.

After COP15: Climate Instruments in the Transport Sector SLoCaT Partnership team looks beyond Copenhagen

You will see in these pages some definitely contradictory views about the desirably of bringing matters of sustainable transport reforms onto center stage in Copenhagen. Here is a first report issued today in draft form for comment by one group who are actively pursuing the transport/climate link. The authors invite your comments.

Copenhagen, 11 December 2009

Source: Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport. – http://www.sutp.org

The post 2012 Climate Instruments in the transport sector (CITS) project implemented by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), in cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is a first step to help ensure that the transport sector can benefit from the revised/new climate change mitigation instruments under a post-2012 Climate Change Agreement. The CITS project is a contribution to the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport. A draft report has been published for comments.

For a copy of the 11 December draft report, click here – http://www.sutp.org/slocat/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/CITS-Interim-Report-draft-11-December.pdf

Draft Report Introduction

The post-2012 Climate Agreement is expected to open a new window for more ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction actions. It is increasingly important for the transport sector in developing countries to contribute to such mitigation efforts. Businesses as usual scenarios indicate a growth of over 100% in vehicles for the period 2012 – 2018 in most of the developing countries. Globally, governments and experts are discussing instruments that support mitigation efforts by developing countries.

The proposals fall under two general categories:

1. Generate Emission Reductions which count against mitigation targets for developed countries. This includes continuing the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM beyond 2012, but with certain modifications to enhance scale of emission reductions, lower barriers and reduce transaction costs.

2. Generate Emission Reductions which can be reported directly by developing countries to UNFCCC. The instrument being discussed for this purpose is Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).

The post 2012 Climate Instruments in the transport sector (CITS) project implemented by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), in cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is a first step to help ensure that the transport sector can benefit from the revised/new climate change mitigation instruments under a post-2012 Climate Change Agreement. The CITS project is a contribution to the Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport.

The CITS project is implemented over the period September 2009 – April 2010 and has the following outputs:

a) Synthesis of information on the GHG reduction and co-benefit potential of transport interventions and existing and planned climate change mitigation instruments;

b) Four case studies from the Asian and Latin American regions, illustrating suitable NAMAs and CDM projects in the transport sector, documented in a synthesis report;

c) Development of an informal network, spanning both developed and developing countries, of transport organizations to help guide the discussion on detailed guidelines for post 2012 climate instruments.

Although the implementation of the project is still ongoing and the case studies have not been completed it was decided to produce an interim synthesis report to inform the discussions on post 2012 climate instruments at COP 15 in Copenhagen. The interim report can also serve to obtain inputs and feedback for the final report of the CITS project which is expected to be available by May 2010.

The format of the interim report is as follows:

• Chapter 2 gives an overview of the abatement potential of various types of interventions in the transport sector.

• Chapter 3 reviews the existing climate instruments and related climate change programs for their effectiveness and relevance to the transport sector.

• Chapter 4. presents an overview of the discussions on post 2012 climate instruments and their significance for the transport sector

• Chapter 5 – A synopsis of the four case studies carried out under the CITS project .

• Chapter 6; – Initial conclusions and recommendations are presented in this chapter ,also outlines the next steps to be taken in the CITS project prior to its completion in May 2010.

Key Conclusions:

Key messages of the draft report are:

1. NAMAs may provide better opportunities for the transport sector than current mechanisms

2. Existing modeling studies and marginal abatement cost curves often do not capture the full costs and benefits of transport interventions, notable those related to “avoid” and “shift”.

3. Support for NAMAs in the transport sector may need to focus on â”barrier removal cost” rather than incremental cost which is done conventionally. Capacity building and policy support may be important components.

4. Including co-benefits for local air quality, reduced congestion and energy security in the appraisal of climate related transport interventions often reduces the GHG abatement cost significantly, however quantification remains challenging.

5. NAMA financing and other international sources of funding may be targeted at similar (elements of) interventions in the transport sector, and therefore their relation needs further exploration.

6. MRV of transport measures is likely to be challenging, and there is a need for better activity level data and development of methodologies. A certain degree of uncertainty however may need to be accepted, as baselines are hard to establish.

Comments:
Please send your comments and feedback to Cornie Huizenga (chuizenga@slocatpartnership.org) and Stefan Bakker (bakker@ecn.nl)


A few handy acronyms:

CDM – Clean Development Mechanism (

CITS – Climate Instruments in the transport sector

COP15 – 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen

MRV – Monitoring, Reporting and Verification requirements for NAMAs.

NAMA – Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions

SLoCaT – Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport.

UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

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COP15: Radio France interviews World Streets Editor

As part of the massive media effort underway in France in support of the Copenhagen initiative, the editor of World Streets was invited by Ann-Cécile Bras of Radio France International this morning to share his views and reactions to the COP15 process and what might come next. His principal theme: “The problem is not the problem. The problem is the ‘solution’.” Follow the podcast here. Continue reading

November 2009: World Streets This Month

Another busy month on World Streets, our ninth since beginning publication in March 2009. This month we present news and views from colleagues, contributors and sources in Italy, France, Taiwan, Britain, India, Iceland, Canada, Netherlands, the US, and of course Denmark and the city of Copenhagen. Check out World Streets This Month and see for yourself if we have managed to combine information and leads on matters of interest to you, which otherwise you might have missed: and each day in a form which is brief and engaging. World Streets’ goal is not only to inform but to challenge and to stretch your mind. Read on to see what the planet’s only sustainable transport daily had to offer this month.

World Streets This Month, November 2009:
10,688 visitors from all continents dropped in to pick up a total of 21 original articles and opinion pieces, touching on such exotic topics as Green Transport in Taiwan, influencing traveller behaviour, honking strategies to drive pedestrians off the road, mobility hints for meeting nice people, politicians who can’t count, another guest appearance by the relentless Ms. Veronica Moss, AUTO lobbyist, and a continuing drumbeat about the importance of sharing in transport as a strategy for more and better service, better economics and a lighter footprint on the planet. All that with a continuing cycle of articles, questions, images and alternate thoughts on the most troubling run-up to COP15 next month in Copenhagen. A busy month and an important time for our cities . . . and our planet.

To obtain the latest World Streets This Month, in one click. And free!

* Click here to directly call up on-line November postings

* Here for the PDF covering the full month.

* And here to go to the archives which contain all past monthly editions.

Who in the world reads World Streets?

This map identifies the last eighty points that downloaded the journal as of this date. From it you can see where we are hitting: mainly in North America, Europe and increasingly in Asia. That of course is very gratifying.


Gratifying yes, but the hard truth is that we are not reaching much of Africa, Latin America (language problems?), the Middle East or with one exception (a regular reader in Kazakhstan) the countries of the former Soviet Union. There are lessons for us all in this and we here are today trying to work out what to do about this. We have questions.

One of these is to ask: how can we expect to get the necessary broad international agreements needed to cut back on emissions and to create more sustainable cities, if the news, the understanding and the basic engagements are not there? This is no less than the dilemma of Kyoto, past, present and future. So how do we penetrate?

Stay tuned, we have a few ideas on this. Starting with this.

Clue: language editions. The language of the streets of the world is what you hear and read in that place. Sometimes English, more often something else. So to get the message out we need to be truly and deeply polyglot (and interesting and relevant). We have already started.

So for a first step we invite you to check out our new collaborative Italian language edition Nuova Mobilità at www.nuovamobilita.org to see how that works. Next stops, we hope: Spanish and Chinese. With more to follow. But we will take them one at a time and always in close partnership with talented people who care about their streets, their cities and our planet.

SOS. If you care about World Streets read this!

We have yet to find the sponsorship which is needed to keep the journal afloat in 2010. The situation is extremely serious and may well require that we are going to have to close down the journal in December on the last day of the COP15 negotiations, unless we get some support before then. That’s December 18th.

So if you would like help us raise funds or otherwise brainstorm on this, please get in touch. I am sure that with energetic collaboration of those of you who come here with interest and appreciation, we will solve this problem and go on to do better yet in 2010. I rather think the planet needs us. Do you agree? Don’t be shy now. Get in touch. Lend a hand. After all, it’s your planet. We can do it together.

Eric Britton
Editor

COP15: Equal time on World Streets Cataloguing the Errors in "The Story of Cap and Trade"

World Streets thought it would make sense at this important juncture on the world climate stage to provide some rebuttal space for reactions to yesterday’s white hot piece “The Story of Cap and Trade”‘ So here you have ‘Cataloguing the Errors in “The Story of Cap and Trade”‘ as more food for thought. Bon appétit

Cataloguing the Errors in “The Story of Cap and Trade”

Posted by Eric de Place. Source: http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2009/12/02/cataloguing-the-errors-in-the-story-of-cap-and-trade

Exactly what’s wrong with the web video sensation.

There’s a viral Web video making the rounds. I don’t like it. (For context, read my first post on this subject: “A Story of Ignorance About Cap and Trade.”) Today, I’m going to catalogue its errors.

You can find the transcript here (pdf), though just reading the transcript doesn’t give you the full picture of the snark conveyed by the animated cartoons that accompany Annie Leonard’s delivery in the video. Here’s the video:

Now, let’s take an inventory of all the errors. Get comfy, it’s gonna take a while.

“Okay, meet the guys at the heart of this so-called solution. They include the guys from Enron who designed energy trading, and the Wall Street financiers like Goldman Sachs who gave us the subprime mortgage crisis.”

False. For decades environmental activists, progressives, and scientists have labored against overwhelming odds to enact a cap and trade program. In no sense are “these guys” from Enron and Wall Street at the heart of the solution. They are not now and they never have been.

But I’ve got to hand it to her: this insult really stung. All these years that tens of thousands of folks like me have worked long hours at low pay (or no pay) to hash out a workable and effective climate policy and it turns out that our purported allies like Leonard would rather paint us as duplicitous bankers in pin-striped suits. (That’s not an exaggeration, by the way: that’s how the animated cartoon depicts cap and trade proponents throughout the video.)

“Their job is to develop brand new markets. They stake their claims and then when everyone and their grandmother wants in, they make off with huge amounts of money as the market becomes a giant bubble and then bursts.”

Odd. Uh, what? This doesn’t really have to do with cap and trade so I should probably leave it alone, but it’s perplexing that this is what she thinks markets do. But I want clarification from the bien-pensants to my left: are progressives now anti-market in all circumstances? Do the recent bubbles mean that we’re now supposed to be, in principle, opposed to stocks, commodities, etc? Are we supposed to hate the acid rain cap-and-trade programs too?

“…they’ve got a new idea for a market – trading carbon pollution.”

False on two counts. It’s not a new idea. Brokers have participated in cap and trade markets since the 1990s and in carbon markets for about a decade. There have been no instances of gaming or market manipulation.

What they trade is not carbon pollution — sounds nasty, right? — but a limited right (an “allowance” or “permit”) to emit carbon pollution.

You get the idea. For the rest turn to http://daily.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2009/12/02/cataloguing-the-errors-in-the-story-of-cap-and-trade

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And for the record and from their website at http://daily.sightline.org:

About Sightline Daily: Sightline Daily offers a daily snapshot of the most important environmental, economic, and social news affecting the Northwest, combined with expert insight that helps connect the dots on issues and point to solutions. Sightline Daily is a project of Sightline Institute, the Northwest’s sustainability think tank.

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It’s no contest. World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda have for more than a decade supported direct phased carbon taxes as the most efficient system for reducing carbon production in the atmosphere. We understand the problems involved with implementation, but this should not keep them from being the most favored policy to be examined. Everything else is a much watered down compromise.

But if you feel more favorably about Cap and Trade, have a look at Paul Krugman’s generally positive piece on this under the heading “An affordable truth” that appears in today’s New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/opinion/07krugman.html?_r=1&em

Excellent Paul, but I am sure that you too prefer carbon tax as the best way to get the job done.

Eric Britton
Editor, World Streets

Not for COP15: Two we should probably set aside on Day 1 Not 1. Cap-and-Trade. Not 2. Carbon Offsets.

It’s not quite transport per se, but it is climate, and yes, climate is transport. So take eight minutes to view this presentation by one team of why Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Offsets are way off target, and worse if climate protection is the game. That at least is the story of “The Story of Cap & Trade.”

Don’t be fooled by the casual tone. There is real analysis behind this little presentation. (That said, check out Comments below where I am sure we shall be seeing other views on this.)

Here is how they describe their motivations for making this film:
“We made The Story of Cap & Trade to encourage a real discussion about how to solve the enormous climate challenges we face. If there was ever an issue that merited broad, even heated public debate, this is it. I’d far rather people argue about cap and trade and other policy options than ignore them or silently go along with the crowd, even when our guts tell us the solution on the table is inadequate….” (Click here for their full statement.)

Click here to view their eight minute video.

The New York Times of 2 December had this to day about this little film:
“The push by pro-climate bill, anti-cap-and-trade groups is also getting stronger. A film released yesterday by The Story of Stuff, Free Range Studios, Climate Justice Now! and Durban Group for Climate Justice is aimed at the general public and attempts to explain the cap-and-trade concept in a simple way. It tells listeners that “the devils in the details” of cap and trade including free allowances and offsets will only line the pockets of Wall Street…” (You can read the full NYT piece here.)

You may also find that it useful to have a look at the annotated script which provides foot notes on just about all of the points made. Click here for script.

Sometimes it’s simple. Transport and Climate change

I am not sure if irony is the right word in this case, but we can be absolutely sure that both Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Offsets are going to get a huge amount of attention in Copenhagen this week. But we could, if we chose to, do a lot better.

We are, the transport sector that is, as you know something like 20% of the problem. And when it comes to how all six and a half billions of us get around in our day to day lives, there are only two solutions that will do the job: (1) Carbon taxes and (2) New Mobility choices. There is no other way out.

Now all we need is the leadership, the strong consensus to get us there. Stay tuned.

And make youir voice heard.

Eric Britton
Editor, World Streets

COP15: Getting transport into the climate agenda Why get in the middle of a cat fight when you don’t have to.

Lee Shipper has challenged the thought expressed in today’s feature article concerning the importance of finding ways to bring the sustainable transport agenda into higher much relief in the COP15 climate negotiations just about to get underway. His point — maybe a better idea not to do this at all — is one on which we would like to invite your comments here.


Schipper writes on this date: COP15: Getting transport into the climate agenda

AS one of the creators of this agenda, let me promote it by pointing out that the basic paradigm STARTS with sustainable transportation and reaps CO2 savings as a co-benefit.

The greatest problem for the COP is that there are few key transport system stakeholders there at any time. That, in my humble opinion, may be a reason NOT to put transport into the climate agenda.

Rather, put climate into the transport agenda and keep transport out of the reaches of the bitterly divided debate that is already apparent here in Copenhagen, where the police appear to be preparing for an onslaught.

We cannot solve long-term problems of transport and land use in the more narrow confines of an overheated debate over CO2, however important that CO2 problem is looming.

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Comments invited either just below here (Comments) or to the New Mobility Cafe at NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com

COP15: Getting transport into the climate agenda SLoCaT: Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport

The Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport – SLoCaT – was established to provide opportunities for coordination and cooperation among organizations working on sustainable, low carbon transport. The goal of the Partnership is to get transport into the heart of the COP15 agenda. World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda are proud to support this most timely initiative.

Transport in developing countries is the one of the largest, and fastest growing, source of GHG emissions. At the same time transport is largely missing in climate change mitigation policies and actions worldwide. This is linked to an overall lack of sustainability expressed by poor urban planning, increased motorization, increased air pollution and noise, growing congestion and decreasing road safety.

The SLoCaT Partnership activities improve the knowledge on sustainable low carbon transport, help develop better policies and catalyze their implementation. Over 40 organizations have joined the Partnership, including UN organizations, multilateral development banks, technical cooperation agencies, NGOs, research organizations and other organizations.

The Partnership has 4 main objectives:

1. Contributing to sustainable development and the millennium development goals especially by providing access to or for goods and services by lower income groups.

2. The integration of climate considerations in regional, national and local transport policies,

3. The integration of sustainable, low carbon transport in climate change negotiations, and

4. Mainstreaming Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport in strategies and operations of international development organizations.

The Partnership has a multi-stakeholder membership representing development
organizations, intergovernmental organizations, governmental organizations, NGOs, private sector, and academe.

________________________________________
Membership

SLoCaT Partnership Members are committed to work towards sustainable, low carbon transport at the global, regional, national and local level.

* African Development Bank (AfDB)
* Asian Development Bank (ADB)
* Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF)
* Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP)
* Centre for Environment Planning & Technology (CEPT), Ahmedabad
* Center for Science and Environment (CSE)
* Center for Sustainable Transport (CTS) Mexico*
* Center for Transportation and Logistics Studies (PUSTRAL), Gadjah Mada University
* Civic Exchange (CE)
* Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia) Center
* Clean Air Institute (CAI)
* German Technical Cooperation (GTZ)
* EMBARQ, The WRI Center for Sustainable Transport
* Energy Research Center Netherlands (ECN)
* Global Environmental Facility (GEF)
* Global Transport Knowledge Partnership (gTKP)
* Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
* Interface for Cycling Expertise (I-CE)
* International Association for Public Transport (UITP)
* International Energy Agency (IEA)
* International Transport Forum (ITF)
* International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
* International Union of Railways (UIC)
* Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
* Institute for Transport Policy Studies (ITPS)
* Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP)
* Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP) Europe
* Institute of Transport Studies (ITS), University of California, Davis
* Korean Transport Institute (KOTI)
* Ministry of Land Infrastructure Transport and Tourism, Japan
* National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS), Philippines
* Rockefeller Foundation
* Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers (SIAM)
* Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)
* The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)
* Transport and Environment (T+E)
* Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)
* United Nations Center for Regional Development (UNCRD)
* United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA)
* United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
* University College of London, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering
* University of Transport and Communication (UTCC) Hanoi
* VEOLIA Transport
* World Streets
* WWF International

Do you see your organization listed there? If not, scroll down just below and you will see how to sign in to support this worthy cause.

Latest news:

If you look to the left column you will see that the latest news from SLoCaT appears under our “Latest World Streets Daily News Leads” rubric. We invite you to check it out when you visit here, especially in these days at a time when we are on the very rough road to sustainability that passes next week through Copenhagen,.

To join the SLoCaT Partnership please contact the Joint Conveners: Tom Hamlin, (Hamlin[at]un.org), or Cornie Huizenga (cornie.huizenga[at]slocatpartnership.org)

For all the latest information, check out their new website at www.slocat.net.

COP15: Up Against the Clock. World Transport Policy & Practice on “no excuse” results

The latest edition of our favorite sustainable transport journal, World Transport Policy and Practice, was published today and Volume 15. Number 3 is now available for immediate downloading from journal.newmobility.org. Bikes, school travel, traffic systems and good planning systems all get a good run in this latest issue, but it is the editor’s strong words on the run-up to Copenhagen you will want to read first.

Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice, Vol. 15, No. 3

– To download Vol. 15, No. 3: journal.newmobility.org

Editorial

With less than two weeks to go to the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit, what would all of our authors and subscribers labouring away in the vineyards of sustainable transport really want the decision-takers to do?

For the purposes of this brief discussion we will not dwell on whether or not they are able to or want to make decisions, but move immediately on to what they might do if we assume ability and a will to act. Let us assume that the planet and all its species is/are facing a significantly elevated probability of catastrophe linked to climate change. Let us assume that the probabilities of severe consequences are positively correlated with greenhouse gas emissions. The more of these gases we produce and the longer they live in the atmosphere, the more likely they are to drive planetary systems towards some of these negative consequences:

* Switching off of the Gulf Steam with large temperature drops in NW Europe

* Higher atmospheric temperatures releasing carbon locked up in tundra and adding non-linear change to carbon build up and concentration (runaway feedback)

* Rising sea levels wiping out large areas of densely populated territory e.g. coastal Bangladesh

* Ice shelf/sheet/glacier melt reducing the area covered by reflecting white ice and adding to the area covered by absorbing darker colours (i.e. the sea)

* More disease related to insect vectors and the spread of disease

* More Katrina type disasters

* Large scale out-migration from environmentally stressed areas of the planet

* Loss of food production

We can of course dismiss all this as nonsense, but on the balance of probabilities and on the consideration of precautionarity, and on the evidence of win-win situations, it would be a mistake to be dismissive. We already have enough understanding of transport problems to realise that sorting out climate change can also sort out air pollution and reduce the 3,000 dead bodies every day associated with our love of large metal boxes hurtling around our streets and roads. There is very little to lose from a huge programme of carbon reduction in transport and a great deal to gain.

In a rational, precautionary world concerned with social justice, health and happiness it would be reasonable to expect our political leaders in Copenhagen to agree to some basic changes in the way governance, policy and justice work. We could quite reasonably expect:

* A commitment to reduce greenhouse gases from all sources including transport by a minimum of 80% by 2050 in the EU, US, Australia and all OECD countries

* The adoption of a “no excuses” policy framework. All transport modes will produce a reduction in greenhouse gases by 80% including cars, trucks, shipping and aviation

* All reductions will be “real” and will not be the result of fancy arithmetic related to emissions trading or investing in schemes elsewhere in the world that enable carbon credits to be purchased

* All transport modes shall have all external costs fully internalised (moving around will cost more)

* Cities will be re-engineered to foster significant increases in walking and cycling and to reallocate highway space so that as much space as possible is allocated to zero carbon modes

* Transport subsides of all kinds to high speed trains, aircraft, aviation and trucks shall cease

This would make a good start but of course it won’t happen. Our political leaders do not have the will to deliver serious climate change policies and do not believe that a low carbon future is both possible and desirable.

In this sense they have taken up exactly the same position as those politicians in the UK and France and Holland in the late 18th century who argued strongly in support of slavery. It was possible at that time to put forward a strong argument in favour of slavery just as it is now possible to put forward strong arguments for a business as usual scenario based on fossil fuels, hyper-mobility, globalisation and free trade. The slavery debate now looks quite shameful. How could senior politicians and business leaders argue in favour of slavery? Nevertheless, they did and several votes in the UK House of Commons rejected attempts to abolish slavery.

This is the scenario for Copenhagen. How can senior politicians and world leaders duck and weave and dodge and not agree “no excuse” carbon reduction strategies to be in place as quickly as possible? Nevertheless, they will and once again it will be shameful, but this time we are up against the clock and we may well not have the luxury of several repeated attempts that worked in favour of the anti-slavery campaign.

John Whitelegg
Stockholm Environment Institute

Contents, Vol. 15, No. 3

Editorial – John Whitelegg

Abstracts & Keywords

Cooperative web based bicycle routing database for trip planning, including dynamic weather integration – Marcus Wigan, Poul Grashoff, Fred van der Wouden

School Travel Modes preferences in Dar Es Salaam City – Hannibal Bwire

Traffic Systems for an Improved City Environment – Lars Ekman, Lena Smidfelt Rosqvist, Pia Westford

Good planning principles far from enough to make a change Post-script on Traffic Systems for an Improved City Environment – Lena Smidfelt Rosqvist

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For more on Eco-Logica and the Journal, click here – http://www.eco-logica.co.uk/worldtransport.html

 

The Not-Sustainable Transport Library (A final resting place for those really bad "green" ideas)

We have just today created a new forum under the New Mobility Agenda. It is called The Not Sustainable Transport Library, and the idea is to create a nice warm place in which we can stack articles and sources on what we think are very poor transportation/environment proposals – often technology rich and rarely cheap – that present themselves as “the next great green idea” for our cities and the planet. Watch out for the doctor! Continue reading