Op-Ed. “Taxis as we know them are expected to disappear”

UK London taxi protest against uberAll of the protests taking place at varying levels of violence in different parts of the world against Uber and Uber-like taxi and shared-transport services are definitely not just an example of a one-shot phenomenon that will resolve itself in different ways in different places,  and then shortly go away, leaving things largely as they always were in our sensationally inefficient mobility arrangements in and around our cities.  there is a revolution going on in our world’s streets, and once this has advanced far enough, it is going to change the paradigm for mobility in and around cities forever.  No less!

The following article by the international expert Richard Darbéra makes this point clearly and from opening shot in which he announces no less than “taxis as we know them are expected to disappear “.  We invite you to have a look at this posting and to share your comments and/or challenges either here in world streets or on the associated Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/WorldStreetsOnline

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Envisioning: The Social Space Format

The power of images. The power of perspective. It’s pretty clear by now that we are going to need a lot more than walls of words, thick reports and endless expert conferences to turn the world toward sustainability. So to help our cause we invite our readers to jump in and share with us striking their “social space” graphics which illustrate in telling ways the world’s streets and all that takes place thereon in many places and in many ways. To get a feel for how this works out using our challenging 980 x 150 pixels format, read on — or if you are in a hurry click here to go direct to the photo gallery. Continue reading

Op-Ed. On Motorized Two Wheelers in Taiwan

World Streets has for some years now  pushed hard for the idea of an integrated strategic planning approach and operations plan for the better, safer use of motorized two wheelers in and around cities. This has largely been an uphill struggle.  Not to claim that there have not been innovations and improvements here and there. But for the most part, this creeping problem continues insidiously to take on ever great proportions, while those responsible continue to look elsewhere. We really need to do better than that.

Which is one of the reasons that since 2010 we have insistently solicited articles and references from different countries concerning M2Ws, which you can find here under  https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/tag/m2w/. This op-ed contribution by Dr. Wayne Gao was set off in a discussion which had as its origin a recommendation by the Britton Advisory Mission to Taiwan of 23-30 January, which you can find here 

Taipei M2Ws at intersection - larger

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Saturday at the Movies: Bollywood Bicycle Boogie’s back

Take a break. It’s the weekend. And even if you have seen some of these before, let’s invite you to take your head out of that fat report and come with Navdeep Asija and me to the movies in India, the Bollywood Bicycle Boogie. The idea behind World Streets has from the beginning been to seek out and share universal lessons, from specific times and different places but which, with a bit of thought, can open up our eyes, ears and hearts to many things, including with a bit of luck to ourselves and our own limitations and quirks. For today’s musing Navdeep brought us a packet of Bollywood films for your weekend viewing pleasure. Let me turn over the word to Navdeep so that he can explain it for himself.

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Ten Points of Light

[This posting announces a new component of World Streets Battles of Ideasthat was launched yesterday.]

If you wanted to know about the state of play of the sustainable transport revolution in a given country, where do you turn first? Let’s see if we can be of some help with a few suggestions at least to get you going.

neural networkPoints of Light? World Streets shortlist of outstanding individuals, groups and organizations  who are, each in their own way, contributing to showing the way in your country, when it comes to the very difficult up-hill transition from Old Mobility (back when we were fascinated by infrastructure, vehicles and, implicitly,  privilege) to New Mobility (a world that favors instead people, access, equity, systemic efficiency  and quality of life). Might be an NGO, university or other research program, outstanding city agency, consultant, company, operator, labor union, cooperative, foundation, institution, government  agency, technology source,  investigative media, active citizens, event, etc.  Or a project, exemplary or a failure rich in lessons.   Or eventually live linkages to outstanding and useful international and regional cooperative programs.

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Battles of Ideas

complex systems networkThis section is intended as an international reference set to be useful for researchers, students, the media and for concerned citizens and activists on the lookout for ideas and strategies which can be put to work in their own cities.

The goal is to give our readers a chance to weigh and appreciate the very wide range of  ways of thinking, questioning, planning and executing when it comes to how transport in cities is being organized and delivered in different parts of the world.  The references you find here are  for the most part organized into countries, with the exception of the African continent which is included in its totality as a region that desperately requires more attention because the needs there are so enormous — and the fact that the fit with frugal, sustainable transport strategies simply could not be better.

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Reprinted here because your city should have a Right of Way Law 

New York City. Monday, February 16, 2015

Pedestrians With Right of Way Should Always Have Protection of the Law

Jiahuan Xu New York City traffic accident StreetsblogThis article which appeared in edition of our favorite city blog, Streetsblog from New York City, is a gut-wrenching reminder that all cities, all civilized cities, should have a strict, no-exceptions, Right of Way Law. In Europe, this is known as the Street Code (as opposed to the Highway Code that governs traffic on high speed roads).

Jiahuan Xu, 15, had the walk signal when she started across Grand Street in Williamsburg Friday morning. Before she reached the far side of the street, she was struck by a bus driver turning from Union Avenue and “pinned under the left front wheel,” according to the Daily News. After emergency responders rescued Xu, she was taken to Bellevue Hospital and may lose her left leg.

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Top Twenty World Streets Postings: 2009 – 2015

ws-newsstandWhile you are away from the office and all the pressures of your workplace, here for your after-work reading pleasure are the twenty most read articles to appear in World Streets since opening day in 2009.  Quite a varied lot, and when your editor reads them he generally prefers to do so not at a desk but seated comfortably with a tablet or largish window smartphone in hand to take advantage of those unstructured unexpected free moments that can pop up in any day. After all, World Streets is intended for the reflective back of your mind, not the whirring over-charged front.

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Taxi?

xtransit-taxiThere is a revolution going on that is going to change the face of transport in and around cities in a way that no other has in the last century.  The starting point is that humble taxi that you cannot always find when you need it most —  that is to say a rolling metal box with rubber tires, a human being at the wheel, and some kind of engine propelling it along, with or without human cargo.   But this thing, this taxi as it is called, is in the process of being reinvented as a rolling, pliant always-on 21st century information system.  And of course we are looking into this closely in the pages of World Streets.

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Eleven Steps Toward a Brighter Future

Way to Go! 11 Reasons Why Trains, Buses, Bikes and Walking Move Us Toward a Brighter Future

– Guest editorial, by Jay Walljasper

According to the pundits and prophets who dominate the media, the future of transportation is all figured out for us.  Cheaper gas prices mean we can still count on our private cars to take us everywhere we want to go in the years to come. The only big change down the road will be driverless autos, which will make long hours behind the wheel less boring and more productive.

But this everything-stays-the-same vision ignores some significant social developments. Americans have actually been driving less per-capita for the past decade, bucking a century-long trend of ever-increasing dependence on automobiles.

velib-station1

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“Worst Practices”: Regulations that prohibit shared taxis anywhere on the planet

“Regulations that prohibit shared taxis are an example of worst practice.” – Ann Hackett

In eleven short words Ann Hackett has put her finger on one of the most egregious “Worst Practices” in our field. And, as it happens, one that we know enough about to easily resolve.

USA NYC Taxi lady hailing source - thedailybeast

 

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Journal of World Transport Policy & Practice. Vol. 21, No. 1

 

EDITORIAL

This issue of January 2015 marks the start of our third dec­ade of publication and it is appropriate to use this occasion to africa cyclists bus bit onlythank the hundreds of people who have written articles for the journal over the last 20 years and carried out the onerous task of external reviewer and kept us on our toes with comments, criticism and suggestions. I am especially grateful to the support and encourage­ment I have been given by Eric Britton in France, Helmut Holzapfel in Germany and Paul Tranter in Australia. When I think of this team of wonderful people I know that sustainable transport will very soon migrate from the world of rhetoric to the world of delivery.

I also want to thank Jeff Kenworthy (Curtin University in Australia but now working in Frankfurt) who in addition to sending us a steady flow of truly excellent articles has kept up a running commentary on world events and was instrumental in success­fully connecting this journal with a funder and a partner (announced below).

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