– By Eric Britton, World Streets/New Mobility Agenda, February 2011
Scottish Transport Review, Issue 50. ISSN 1462-8708 http://stsg.org/str/str50.pdf
A Mental Architecture problem
“When it is dark you can see the stars”
Perhaps the main reason we are doing so poorly these days in transport is that we are making three fundamental errors in what we are looking at, the manner in which we are looking at it, and what we are doing with it:
Comment: Have we learned any of these lessons in the last eight years? Or are we still turning over our motors in traffic? Your call!
__ THE FIVE PERCENT 2020 CHALLENGE ___
Penang’s Climate/New Mobility Emergency Action Plan and Demonstrations: 2019-2020
Penang heavy traffic bridge no room for cyclists (Remind me, where do you fit them in?)
Proposed New Mobility Penang Demo Project #1.
PENANG NEEDS A BICYCLE MAYOR
Cycling the streets and roads of Penang today is at best difficult. And rare. There are very few provisions for safe and comfortable cycling, the weather can be terribly hot. The traffic a challenge, and the old cycling culture has almost entirely disappeared.
So the Bicycle Mayor would be starting with a weak base. But what a wonderful place it could be for the people of Penang to get around safely in daily life. So we start with a dream, then we get courage, and then we get the people, to together turn the idea into reality. A gift to themselves and a gift to the planet.
QUESTION: Is it going to be possible to cut greenhouse gas emissions resulting from day to day transport in your city by five percent next year?
RESPONSE: Yes *
* But you have to be very smart
If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? (Attributed to A. Einstein)
The Sanskrit term Bodhisattva is the name given to anyone who, motivated by great compassion and wisdom, has generated bodhichitta, a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. What makes someone a Bodhisattva is her or his spontaneous and limitless dedication to the ultimate welfare of others.
(May we suggest that you view this at least two times? Get comfortable.)
It’s not the destination, it’s the voyage. It’s the way in which this public space is suddenly shared. Happily shared.
(Relax. It’s the weekend. And nothing to do with climate change of course. Of course)
– Edgar Allan Poe (Boston, 1842)
THE “Red Death” had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal –the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.
But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys.
If you wish to sort out your thinking on the suddenly popular topic of free public transport, may we propose that you spend a lively half hour listening to an excellent Australian radio program on the topic — and listen to what experts like Judith, Oded, Gregory, Tony, Ansgar and Jarrett have to offer on this subject. A refreshing variety of perspectives and comments — a veritable master class on a topic that responsible cities cannot afford to run away from.
It’s not that our cities need to do it in this or that way. Far from it! But it turns out that it is a mobility option to which we really need to give serious thought — because at the end of the day it is really about transport and budgets, but no less about basic rights and equity in a democracy. And also — as you will hear — about efficiency , economy, environment and quality of life for all. Now let’s listen to the experts:
The idea of slowing top speeds on traffic in the city to reduce accidents and achieve other important systemic benefits would seem like a pretty sensible, straightforward and affordable thing to do. For a lot of reasons. Let’s have a look.
Editor’s note: “Free public transport” is a hot topic and getting hotter every day, though in our view when stated as such it closes the door on a subject that can also be looked at and evaluated in a more creative way. If we draw critical attention to and think of it instead as “Free” “Public” “Transport” a brave new world of issues and opportunities opens up. We shall be looking into this in these pages in the coming months, but for now let us give the word to Constance Carr and Markus Hesse of the University of Luxembourg and hear what they have to say about the latest Luxembourg initiative.
When the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg announced it would introduce free nationwide public transport from March 2020, the move was widely praised – some even claimed it was a world first, though that was to overlook Estonia) where the government introduced countrywide free public transport in 2018.
In a city, as in life, we normally register only what we set out to look for. The anomalies, the absences, the troubling, somehow escape our attention. But when it comes to transport, everywhere the eye might wander there are valuable clues, both visible and invisible, for planners and policy makers. However, if we fail to use our eyes we miss out on valuable information. And as a result our cities do just that much less well.