In this issue, we return to some key themes in sustainable transport. The article by Wendy Sarkissian and Lori Mooren reflects on the death in a road crash of Wendy’s husband and puts this dreadful experience in a wider context of how we should deal with eliminating death and injury on the roads and how we should improve our ability to react to tragedies of this kind. At a time when 3 cyclists this year (January and February 2017) have been killed in London (see reference list) we are even more acutely aware than ever that these horrific tragedies are not interrogated systematically and thoroughly and not translated into immediate action to get the chances of death and serious injury as near to zero as we can.
This is the point of Vision Zero, the Swedish road safety policy that says “a mistake in the road traffic environment must not attract the death penalty”.
Colin Clarke returns to the controversial subject of cycle helmets. He is sceptical of the evidence that shows that helmet wearing produces clearly demonstrable public health benefits especially when set against the wider context of cycling rates and the possibility that helmet wearing deters cycling. It is also the case that if we return to Vision Zero as a concept then we have to avoid the temptation to focus on helmets and high visibility clothing as if this protects cyclists. The overriding need to protect cyclists requires a multi-pronged approach including 20mph speed limits, segregated bike paths, lorry bans, junction re-modelling and measures that deliver very cautious and modest bus driving. Helmet wearing does not deliver fundamental total safety gains nor does it deliver road traffic danger reduction.
Hazem El Jouzou presents a detailed analysis of aerial ropeway systems (ART/ cable cars) as a valuable contribution to sustainable transport alternatives in cities. He makes a persuasive case and there are circumstances where the ART will add to the choices available to those making trips in cities but the overall context still matters. The key to the success of many sustainable transport interventions is space. How much space is allocated to roads and how much to car parking? The author makes a convincing case for ART as a sustainable mode but if this is pursued as a stand-alone policy it runs the risk of making more road space available for cars and triggering newly generated traffic.
Central to any sustainable transport intervention must be the removal of road space for traffic and the reduction of car parking. We can build much needed new, affordable, energy efficient homes on car parks and we can remove road space and reallocate it to bikes, pedestrians and buses. In the case of Nottingham and Birmingham in the UK new tram systems have taken up road space and this needs a strong signal in favour of sustainable transport.
Jessica Lisle picks up on the urban space question very strongly and shows how a traditional car-oriented suburban shopping centre in Australia can be converted into a mixed use, walking, cycling and high quality, and people-friendly, public transport environment. Transport planning and spending still has a long way to go before it appreciates the significance of conversion. Streets can be converted so that they provide much more space than now to alternatives to the car or lorry. They can also become vibrant, attractive, social, child-friendly spaces. Car parks can be converted into housing and shopping centres can be converted into highly attractive people-friendly spaces along the lines described so eloquently by Jan Gehl. (We return to Jan Gel in the book review in this issue.)
– – – > Full text of Vol. 22, No.4 available here.
Acknowledgement and Apology 3
Abstracts and Keywords 6
Weaknesses with a meta-analysis approach to assessing cycle helmets –
Colin Clarke 8
Rethinking the design of suburban shopping centres:
A new blueprint for Westfield Chermside and other centres –
Jessica Lisle 36
A Comparative Study of Aerial Ropeway Transit (ART) Systems –
Hazem El Jouzou 44
We need a louder road safety voice –
Lori Mooren PhD with Wendy Sarkissian PhD 83
Review of: People Cities. The life and legacy of Jan Gehl
by Annie Matan, Peter Newman 96
– – – > Full text of Vol. 22, No.4 available here.
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About World Transport Policy and Practice
World Transport Policy and Practice was initiated in 1995 by John Whitelegg. John has worked on transport policies and projects since 1973. In the last 40 years these projects have ranged over walking, cycling, public transport, roads and bypasses, ports, airports, India, China, Australia and most European countries. They have covered health, climate change, social justice and the urgent need to abandon the traditional mobility paradigm (more distance and faster travel is good) and replace it with something much more gentle, kind, child-centred and ecologically respectful and supportive of all age groups, both genders and all settlement types. URL: http://worldtransportjournal.com
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About the editor:
Managing Director of Eco-Logica, John Whitelegg is Visiting Professor of Sustainable Transport at Liverpool John Moores University, 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.
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About the editor of World Streets
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 .