For the last several years the internationally fabled Worst Practices Department has taken its place of honor in World Streets and the world more generally, because when it comes to transportation there has never been a shortage of flakey ideas.
This year we shall for the first time be handing out handsome Awards in a planet- spanning ceremony that will be the object of an open virtual conference (details to follow) perhaps on the same day that the Sustainable Transport Awards for 2014 are announced in parallel with the annual TRB conference. The keen-eyed, unafraid WSWPD program Dear Leader will of course figure prominently on the trophies. (Details to follow shortly.)
But what we are looking to draw attention to here are not just the little stuff that may be the joy of an intrepid inventor with blinders on or group of gung-ho supporters fearlessly attached to some favorite notion, but the kinds of wrong-headed mega projects that often keep popping up in many parts of the world, sold hard by their sponsors and (if I may) fellow travelers -;)
Before your blood pressure start to go off the chart dear colleague, have a careful look at what Dr. Aaron Carroll, also known as the Incidental Economist, has to say on what may appear to be a counterintuitive approach to our favorite topic (or at least one of them) speed and safety.
In order to help the reader find appropriate articles and references on identified important themes from our commodious library of postings and comments, World Streets offers a handful of Search Engines of different types. One of these that you will see to your immediate right here, allows the reader to search according to various keyed topic areas, of which approximately one hundred have been identified thus far. One of the more consulted of these categories is that of “governance”.
Maxime Jean writes: When I started dealing with car sharing 20 years ago, we were talking of a “missing link”. Today the situation has changed and car sharing has begun to play its part among the sustainable modes of transport. Let me briefly introduce the current situation, the development factors and some suggestions to overcome the brakes, the role of electric vehicles in car sharing and some elements concerning the prospective. I present this overview in the form of a PowerPoint presentation made to the European Conference on Mobility Management held in Florence from 7th to 9th of May 2014.
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About the author:
Cerema / DterCE (French of Environment and Energie Department)
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We are inviting comments and background information on this our central concept behind this project, i.e., what is this thing we call transportation equity all about? We are looking for a variety of views and perspectives on our topic and not some kind of warm and glass-eyed unanimity. If we cannot handle contradictions and fuzziness, then we are not about to make headway on a challenge of this level of complexity. The following valuable contribution and bibliography comes in from Todd Litman, executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute in Victoria Canada.
Jane Jacobs rewrites the book
And this is the ONLY way to get this important job done! We need a hammer . . . not a paint brush. This leadership function cannot be passively sub-contracted to the other sex (at least not in the first years of necessary transition and true accomplishment). Full gender parity and get on with the game. No excuses or temporizing.
World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda have since 1988 been vigorous proponents of full gender parity in all planning and decision counsel. In this section you will find a number of the articles that we have published arguing in favor of gender parity in recent years.
You may also wish to check out and eventually join the supporting Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/gatnet/.
Visitors coming in from North America in the last 48 hours. Do you think this may correlate with something when it comes to policy and practice?
Think you might wish to participate in a short collaborative survey in which we trying to improve our understanding of the relationship between carshare suppliers and local government in a cross-section of countries and environments? We are hoping to cover cities of a range of sizes, including both high performers and those as yet without much of a strategy. It will be important to cover both ends of the spectrum.
You will find a PDF of the one page survey – – > here. (In MS Word – – > here.)
Well, here we go again: tomorrow is World Naked Bicycle Ride Day.
In the day before the opening of the World Cup in Brazil, where traffic chaos is expected to be the rule of the day (missed opportunities there?) this is a video transcript of a 20 November 2013 interview with Bolivar Torres, Brazilian journalist with O Globo, a leading Brazilian newspaper. His topic: Notably unsustainable transportation and trends in Brazilian cities — seen from an international perspective. What to do? How to move from today’s failing and inconsistent ad hoc Old Mobility policies which are not getting at the roots of the problems? Perhaps toward a New Mobility Agenda? And what if anything could have been introduced in time to improve traffic and life quality conditions for all during the coming World Cup and Olympics?
* See corrective note on photo below.
This article which recently appeared in City Lab gets straight to the heart of the New Mobility Agenda as we understand it, a critical and often ignored mobility category which we have long since dubbed xTransit, Third Ways of Getting around in Cities. Just below you will find some key excerpts from the article; for the full text click to http://goo.gl/hI8VI . If you are not familiar with the Matatu, you will find additional background in the short but quite useful Wikipedia site at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matatu. For more on our xTransit work, have a look at https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/xtransit and eventually https://www.facebook.com/groups/xtransit .
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.
World Streets maintains a watching brief and reports from time to time on the tricky topic of mandatory helmet laws in different parts of the world. (For more: http://goo.gl/H8mEHm .) Ian Ker reports here from Perth with a case study of mandatory bicycle helmet laws in West Australia , as presented to the 29 May 2014 VeloCity Global Conference in Adelaide.
In a world in which considerable attention is given to the concept of “Best Practices” as teaching guides and exemplars in the field of cities and transportation, World Streets has since our founding in 2009 drawn attention from time to time to poor, desperately poor and even pernicious policies and practices. Our Worst Practices Department has its rightful place in World Streets because when it comes to transportation there has never been a shortage of flakey, retrograde, often even dangerous ideas.
You are invited to pitch in, drawing to our attention what you believe to bone fide worst practices. What is surprising is just how many of them are, and how hard it is for some of the worst and most costly ideas (they often go together) to be put to death in a peaceful way.