World Transport Policy & Practice. Vol. 21 No.4. Feb. 2016

india-woman-busThis issue of WTPP reminds us that India has been in the news a lot in re­cent months mainly for its poor air qual­ity, deaths and injuries on the roads and the serious damage this does to quality of life, family life and the economy. In the 23 years of World Transport Policy & Practice (WTPP) we have not car­ried enough material by Indian authors and want to use this editorial to encourage more submissions from that country.

We would like to explore the underlying fac­tors that have produced such a large loss of life and decline in quality of life and also to explore the links between transport and poverty alleviation. We know that Kolkata has one of the world’s oldest tram systems, a metro, an urban railway and river ferries but we hear very little about how these assets are being put to use to encourage higher levels of use and lower level of car use. We hear about the abolition of die­sel fuelled vehicles and car rationing by odd/even number systems in Delhi but we don’t know how effective these have been. We also hear very little about pedestrian and cyclist facilities in Indian cities and the contribution they can make to air quality, reducing congestion and alleviating pov­erty. So please contact us!

But there is more to Vol 21, No. 4 than that. Let’s have a look . . .

21/4. Contents:

Editorial                                                                                                                3

Abstracts and Keywords                                                                                     5

Semester Tickets for University Students in Germany: A Success Story for 25 Years

– Miriam Müller 7

 Leveraging collective action for a seat-belt wearing intervention in Afyonkarahisar, Turkey

– Huseyin Akbulut, Serap Sener, Fatih Vursavas, Meleckidzedeck Khayesi 19

Will the government’s spending on expanding the national road network deliver anything useful? Have they properly taken into account induced traffic and extra congestion likely to be caused elsewhere?

–  John Elliott 37

Streets of yesterday, today, and tomorrow

 –  Joseph Kott 42

The Public City. Essays in honour of Paul Mees

  • Edited by Brendan Gleeson and Beau B Beza, Melbourne University Press,  ISBN 9780522867305 – Reviewed by John Whitelegg                                                  52

# # #

Abstracts and Keywords

Semester Tickets for University Stu­dents in Germany: A Success Story for 25 Years

–  Miriam Müller

Abstract: ‘Semestertickets’ are a special tariff for university students in Germany to use public transport, financed in solidarity by the students. The article describes the concept of semester tickets, their devel­opment over the time, especially regard­ing their extended reach, and presents selected results on usage, acceptance and their effects on mobility behaviour and car ownership of students. 

Keywords: Semester tickets, student mo­bility, public transport, tariff, mode shift, sustainability, Germany.

 

Leveraging collective action for a seat-belt wearing intervention in Afy­onkarahisar, Turkey

–  Huseyin Akbulut, Serap Sener, Fatih Vur­savas and Meleckidzedeck Khayesi

Abstract: Drawing on Elinor Ostrom’s concept of ac­tion situation, this paper examines how actors occupying different positions mo­bilized, interacted and negotiated several issues to implement a seat-belt interven­tion in Afyonkarahisar in Turkey. A key principle the actors agreed upon was the importance of subjecting all members of society to the same traffic laws, regard­less of class or income. Seat-belt wear­ing rates increased from 3.9% to 36.8% in Afyonkarahisar over a five-year period of an intervention project. The experi­ence gained in Afyonkarahisar was used to strengthen planning of a similar initiative in Ankara. The project also contributed to sealing gaps in road traffic law, especially regarding seat-belt wearing. The process went beyond the regulations on seat-belt wearing and speed, which were the focus of the project, to addressing gaps on sev­eral other aspects in the traffic law.

An un­expected outcome was that interventions in seat-belt wearing and speed manage­ment were spread from the initial two pilot sites (Afyonkarahisar and Ankara) to two other provinces (Antalya and Kocaeli) and to all the 81 provinces of Turkey. This ex­pansion followed a circular from the Prime Minister in 2012 requiring all the provinces to implement these measures. This study concludes that sustained transactions with and among different gatekeepers is neces­sary to keep making appropriate decisions and taking actions on road safety policy within different institutions and adminis­trative jurisdictions going. This experience contrasts a general perception that road safety measures are simple and low-cost, likening them to a low-hanging fruit. 

Keywords: Action situation, knowledge translation, knowledge sharing, collabora­tion, actors, decisions, intervention, seat-belt, road traffic safety, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey

 

Will the government’s spending on expanding the national road network deliver anything useful? Have they properly taken into account induced traffic and extra congestion likely to be caused elsewhere?

 –  John Elliott

Abstract: In this paper John Elliott reminds us of ear­lier studies which have shown the conse­quences of past reviews of induced traffic and traffic reductions from expanding or contracting road space. The government seemed keen on evidence based strategies and policies and it now seems opportune to reiterate some of the hard and not quite so hard evidence available. It should be added that the core of this evidence has been given to government from 1985 on­wards by the author and others; the first evidence of the extent of generated or in­duced traffic from roadbuilding dates from the 1920s but has appeared from various studies at regular intervals since.

Many of the road schemes being proposed by the UK government in 2015 are in the vicinity of cities and conurbations in places where it is recognised that there is seri­ous congestion. However all the evidence suggests that that additional road con­struction especially anywhere near such major urban areas is unlikely to help traf­fic conditions or the economy. Pollution and environmental aspects of the government’s road policies are not dis­cussed but are possibly an equally strong reason to challenge the present policies. 

Key words: induced traffic, newly gen­erated traffic, transport policy and traffic generation, road building, strategic road programme

 

Streets of yesterday, today, and to­morrow

 –  Joseph Kott

Abstract: The street connects us to the wider world and is a venue for many of life’s activities. This combination of linkage and destina­tion makes the study of streets compelling and important. Streets foster social and economic life in cities. Streets also meet the need for movement. The task of street planning and design is to balance these demands. Located at the juxtaposition and responding to dynamic systems of trans­portation, land use, and human behavior, streets themselves will not remain static. The study of streets is therefore an inquiry into the evolution of cities and their inhab­itants. The task of contemporary practice in street planning and design is to guide this evolution toward more sustainable outcomes. This article concludes with an exploration of best practice in creating more sustainable streets. 

Keywords: sustainable streets, street de­sign, multimodal streets, placemaking, liv­able streets.

# # #

Editorial

India has been in the news a lot in re­cent months mainly for its poor air qual­ity, deaths and injuries on the roads and the serious damage this does to quality of life, family life and the economy. In the 23 years of World Transport Policy & Practice (WTPP) we have not car­ried enough material by Indian authors and want to use this editorial to encourage more submissions from that country.

We would like to explore the underlying fac­tors that have produced such a large loss of life and decline in quality of life and also to explore the links between transport and poverty alleviation. We know that there are some very impressive projects under­way e.g. to assist rickshaw pullers and pedallers to secure a better income and provide an enhanced and invaluable trans­port choice.

We know that Kolkata has one of the world’s oldest tram systems, a metro, an urban railway and river ferries but we hear very little about how these assets are being put to use to encourage higher levels of use and lower level of car use. We hear about the abolition of die­sel fuelled vehicles and car rationing by odd/even number systems in Delhi but we don’t know how effective these have been. We also hear very little about pedestrian and cyclist facilities in Indian cities and the contribution they can make to air quality, reducing congestion and alleviating pov­erty. So please contact us!

I have always thought of India as a splen­did example of rich community life, sup­ported by highly accessible activities and destinations in its cities and an eclectic mix of low cost transport choices to bring people into contact with other people and the destinations they need to reach. On several visits to Kolkata over 10 years ago I was amazed at the richness of what I could do, see and buy on the streets and the number of attractive shops, business­es, tea stands and restaurants was very impressive indeed. Of course the picture is more complicated than this with huge problems of death and injury in the road traffic environment, overloaded and un­pleasant conditions on buses, underfunded trams (in the case of Kolkata) and severe air pollution. These problems were there in the 1980s but they are now getting a lot worse and at an increasing rate.

In my 2015 mobility book — “Mobility: Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future“, I discuss India in some detail. These are short extracts on the growth of mobility, decline in walk­ing, cycling and public transport, deaths from air pollution and deaths on the roads. For more details and for original sources please refer to Chapter 13 of “Mobility”.

  • India’s private motor vehicle mar­ket (motorised 2-wheelers and cars) grew by more than 85% between 2003 (around 59 million vehicles) and 2009-10 (around 110 million vehicles) at an average annual growth rate of 11%
  • Public transport mode share de­clined in Indian cities between 1994 and 2007
  • Modal share for non-motorised transport (walking and cycling) declined in all Indian cities. Cycling modal share has come down from an average of 30% in 1994 to less than 11% in 2007, at­tributable to an increase in trip length as a result of urban sprawl, inadequate fa­cilities for cycling and growth in private motor vehicle ownership and use

The growth in car ownership and use and the transformation of land that could grow a lot of food for India’s urban millions is a very serious problem. Cities spread out, food growing potential declines, the urban poor and not-so-poor suffer a degraded en­vironment with more noise, stink and dan­ger and ugly flyovers and the daily stress of trying to cross roads or cycle to nearby destinations. This is the central problem in the global and Indian mobility crisis ad­dressed in my new book “Mobility” (details below).

Indian politicians have fallen into line with the poor example set by US, Eu­ropean and Australian governments and have allocated huge amounts of money to roads, flyovers and motorways all of which add very little to the quality of life of mil­lions of India’s citizens and indeed make it much worse. Billions of dollars spent on moving one tonne of metal around a crowded city is poor quality physics, a ma­jor public health problem and mops up a great deal of public money that could be spent on schools, health care, buses, local trains, walking and cycling facilities.

WTPP21-4.india china table

As a European, so-called sustainable trans­port expert, it is not for me to criticise In­dia and the way that transport spending and its outcomes impacts on over a billion people. There are excellent commentators on India in India. It is however the glo­bal problem that concerns me and there is a need for all of us on this beleaguered planet to speak out say “Enough! This is not right”.

So I want to suggest that in India those involved in policy debate and how Indian public funds are spent engage with some radical, original thinking and tell us all if they are doing this already. India does not have to follow the discred­ited model pursued by USA or UK. It can strike out on its own intelligent and truly democratic path. On the assumption that India and the global community wants to eliminate death and injury in road crashes and believes in social justice so that we can do things correct a system that is pun­ishing older people, women and children then we need to do a very small number of things everywhere on this planet and India can take the lead.

The specific things that can be done include:

  • Every road and every street in every town and city must have a 2me­ter wide pedestrian pavement on either side that is well maintained and is high­er than the street level so that vehicles cannot stray into people space.
  • This also applies to rural areas where it is known that people walk or cycle along a highway that carries trucks and buses and these large vehicles bring danger in their wake
  • Crossing points. All roads need safe crossing points for pedestrians. There are a number of ways of doing this but a low cost option is a raised “table” so that the pedestrian can walk across a surface that is higher than the road surface and a vehicle must slow down to cope with the vertical displacement.
  • Huge improvement in bus services (vehicle quality, emissions, driver and conductor training, overcrowding). This will need investment but nothing like the scale of investment for highways and flyovers. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is also a good idea on principal routes and cor­ridors. Special attention has to be given to safety and security of women.

Like all other countries on the planet In­dia has to make choice. It can either go along with the mobility fetish (more roads, flyovers car parks) and very little attention to the needs of people who walk, cycle or take a bus or it can go truly democratic and ethical and introduce changes that benefit all ages, both genders and ordi­nary everyday trips that citizens of every level of income need to make. My guess is that India’s citizens prefer the ethical op­tion and something that is fair and kind to children and older people. We will see.

John Whitelegg

Editor

World Transport Policy and Practice

INdia Delhi Make way for buses campaign

# # #

About the editor:

Managing Director of Eco-Logica, John Whitelegg is Visiting Professor of Sustainable Transport at Liverpool John Moores University, Professor of Sustainable Development at the Stockholm Environment Institute, and founder and editor of the Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice. Research interests encompass transport and the environment, definition of sustainable transport systems and a sustainable built environment, development of transport in third world cities focusing on the relationships between sustainability and human health, implementation of environmental strategies within manufacturing and service industry and development of environmental management standards. He has published widely on these topics. John is active in the Green party of England and Wales and is the national spokesperson on sustainable development.

# # #

About the editor of World Streets

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Britton is an American political scientist and sustainability activist who has lived and worked in Paris since 1969. 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 and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest book, "BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Your City" focuses on the subject of environment, equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions. A pre-publication edition of Better Choices is currently undergoing an international peer review during Sept.- Oct. 2017, with the goal of publication in English and Chinese editions by end-year. If you wish to participate drop a line to BetterChoices@ecoplan.org .

View complete profile

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s