The following is a brilliant and important exchange on a topic that has a rich double meaning that is really worth getting across our idea-resistant noggins (heads, if you will) once and for all. If you believe that the most universal, the most fundamental, certainly the most responsible, even the noblest form of getting round is when we can make our trips safely by foot (or wheelchair if that is what we need to be independently mobile), than you as a responsible politician, administrator, planner or engaged voter, simply would not even for one minute consider engaging in this kind of folly.
So what you have here is an exchange that got started more than five years, and to which Syed Saiful Alam has so well stated in the last posting in this short series, when he stubbornly repeats “No footover bridges in the name of clean air!!”, “No footover bridges in the name of clean air!!”.
Let’s take their postings in chrono order.
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On Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 5:22 AM, Sudhir <email@example.com wrote:
We are searching for % of Budget allocated for pedestrians in our
cities and unfortunately could not find many Asian cities.
Do you know how much % of money authorities are planning to invest on
pedestrians in your city?
Sudhir Gota, Transport Specialist, CAI-Asia Center
Unit 3510, 35th Floor, Robinsons-Equitable Tower, ADB Avenue, Ortigas
Center, Pasig City Metro Manila, Philippines 1605
Tel: +63-2-395-2843 Fax: +63-2-395-2846
Visit our new portal: www.cleanairinitiative.org Skype : sudhirgota
On Tuesday, March 16, 2010 5:33 AM, Ian Perry <firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I have managed to find some information from the UK – though more a split of how money is spent on pedestrians/road safety than for the entire budget. I hope this is interesting, if not useful.
In Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government’s Local Road Safety Grant (2008/09) of 313,000 to the Vale of Glamorgan council was budgeted as follows:
- 98,500 to provide revenue for Road Safety Education Training and Publicity.
- 210,000 will be used for Road Safety Engineering Projects
- 4,500 as a contingency fund.
From the 210,000 budget, the change of a zebra crossing to a puffin crossing in Cowbridge, cost 45,000 ( 30,000 for the crossing plus an additional 15,000 because they moved the crossing 20 metres down the road to improve traffic flows).
- “some” of the budget went on consultants and employee salaries.
In Bridport in Dorset (UK), 2 years ago a Puffin crossing cost 26,000 to install, at the same time a four way lights controlled junction was upgraded from Pelicans to Puffins costing 85,000. Last year the removal of a Zebra crossing, resurfacing and installation of a Pelican crossing with pedestrian ‘refuge’ (caged) island cost 100,000.
For more information as to what traffic and pedestrian measures cost in the UK, see Appendix A of:
- Shared space costs 75,000+
- Zebra pedestrian crossing 15-25,000
- Pedestrian refuge island 10,000+
Infrastructure is expensive business!
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On Behalf Of Syed Saiful Alam
Sent: Saturday, 19 December, 2015 8:44 AM
To: Ian Perry <email@example.com ; Sudhir <firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: Global ‘South’ Sustainable Transport <email@example.com
Subject: [sustran] Re: Pedestrian Budget
No footover bridges in the name of clean air!!
No footover bridges in the name of clean air!!
The World Bank, under its Clean Air Project, is building many footover (pedestrian) bridges in Dhaka.
This is wrong on at least two counts.
The point of footover bridges is to facilitate the movement of cars, which pollute. Meanwhile, they hinder the movement of pedestrians, who do not.
Efforts to improve air quality should focus on improving the situation of non-motorized transport, including walking. It does not make sense to penalize pedestrians in the name of clean air. In fact, street-level crossings (zebra crossings or crosswalks) would help to smooth car traffic; as it is, cars rush to the next stoplight, only to sit and wait. Most cities around the world have stopped building footover bridges and torn down existing ones, as they are extremely unpopular with pedestrians, do not reduce accidents, and do nothing to smooth traffic flow.
Second, it is the World Bank’s policy that all new transport projects must incorporate Universally Accessible Design. There is no way that a person in a wheelchair, or most people with a disability, or even someone with a fairly minor problem walking, can use a footover bridge. A bridge equipped with an escalator is still unusable by a person in a wheelchair. It is obviously completely impractical to create bridges with lifts (elevators) throughout the city. Nor is there any reason to do something so wasteful and likely to land up broken and thus useless within a short period.
Zebra crossings make street crossings easier for all users, and thus contribute to independent movement by all, as well as contributing to clean air.
Syed Saiful Alam +8801552442814 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Can you believe that after several decades of international proof to the contrary that this thought still lingers in the heads of decision makers in our cities?
There was a time when these grafted bits or road-related infrastructure seemed to make sense. Maybe. A mark of that time was the implicit assumption that “traffic” meant cars and that it made perfect sense to give them priority over pedestrians, cyclists and anybody else who might wish to cross a busy road. That time has now long passed.
And if there may occasionally be arguments for some kind of crossing facility in outlying rural areas, it has long been understood by the leading edge of the transport and city planning profession that these structures have no place in towns or cities. In the 21st century the concept of giving total priority to motorized traffic is an anomaly, and given the techniques and equipment now available in order to ensure the safe passage of not only pedestrians and cyclists but also the handicapped and others suffering from mobility or sensory limitations, it should be a clear priority that no further such facilities should be built anywhere in Penang.
They are costly, unfair, visually intrusive, inefficient and ultimately dangerous. They are strident signs of reactionary, out of touch public policy. They are not worthy of the citizens of a democratic country. Moreover, all existing facilities need to be carefully analyzed and replaced with more effective than more democratic means of access for all.
About the editor:
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Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton