Battle of Ideas: The People’s Republic of South Yorkshire

Moving cars or moving people? Through the looking glass

A bit of background on The People’s Republic (Wikipedia):

The People’s Republic of South Yorkshire or the Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire were nicknames often given to South Yorkshire under the left-wing local governments of the 1980s, especially the municipal socialist administration of Sheffield City Council led by David Blunkett, used by both detractors and supporters of the councils.[1] The councils pursued a social policy radically different from that of Margaret Thatcher‘s national government, following more closely along the lines of Militant tendency-dominated Liverpool City Council and the Greater London Council led by Ken Livingstone.[2]

The expression was coined by Max Williams, a leader writer at the Yorkshire Evening Post, although it was soon adopted by supporters of the council’s left-wing policies.[3] Sheffield Hallam was the only seat in South Yorkshire where the Conservative Party was a significant political force, the remaining seats being Labour safe seats or Liberal–Labour marginals.[4] Sheffield City Council and the South Yorkshire Metropolitan Authority were solidly left wing, remaining socialist even as Thatcherism became the dominant political ideology in the country as a whole.

– – >Continues: http://bit.ly/2F91tSn

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“A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself as a failure,” UK Prime Minister Thatcher once said, according to legend

Summing up

In your eyes, how does all of this look today, a full generation later?

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About the editor: 

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Educated as a development economist, Francis Eric Knight-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 MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent non-profit 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, @ericbritton. @worldstreets and britton@ecoplan.org

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Op-Ed: How to make every day almost a Car Free Day in your City?

Hi Eric,

How to make every day almost a Car Free Day in the City?

A behavioral change can reduce the convenience of the personal car while increasing the convenience of multi-passenger shared taxis. This approach uses many carrots and one stick with the following features:

  1. No on-street parking (the stick). This frees up on-street parking for bike lanes.
  2. One-Way streets (optional…decreases number of left hand turns)
  3. Bicycle lanes interconnected throughout the city on one side of the street, the left side A with an optional thin curb to protect the bicycle lanes.
  4. On the right side B, buses and taxis have loading zones. Side B also allows permitted parking for service and delivery vehicles.
  5. Shared taxi-mandate by cities that ALL taxis accept passengers up to maximum capacity and are constantly dropping off and picking up passengers. Includes ALL “ride-share” and app-based services.
  6. Taxis mainly serve first and last mile and connect to public transit.
  7. Public transit converts to forms of Bus Rapid Transit or Express service.
  8. Fares are served through cards such as the S.F. Bay Area’s Clipper card.
  9. Taxis convert to alternative fuel or electric vehicles and bike carriers.
  10. Some car garages convert to bike garages.
  11. Reduced speeds.
  12. Just transition for all.

 

One powerful advantage of taxis is that they don’t need parking, rather they need access to loading (pick=up and drop-off) and storage (with electric charging stations) when not in operation. Shared taxis rely on directionality to enhance their efficiency, that is, they accept passengers if they are going in the same general direction. They are completely flexible and can respond to needs as they arise. Generally, they’re not door- to- door service but drop passengers close enough ( within easy walking distance) to their destinations.
The supply and demand of shared taxis needs to be carefully calibrated to ensure their reliability and convenience.
Other important advantages are the facts that conversion to this system is relatively “shovel ready” and capable of providing jobs which are critical for a stable society.

Imagine if shared taxis could transport 10 times the number of passengers that app-based and traditional taxis currently serve. If the public adapted to this transportation alternative then it would be possible to see a radical reduction in VMT, increase in alternative electric transportation, and increased connectivity.

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Ann Hackett – aha@pacific.net

Also see Ann in Nov. 2011 here on

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

 

India: The gender divide in urban mobility

– by VIDYA MAHAMBARE / SOWMYA DHANARAJ

 

While cab-hailing services have helped working women, their expansion may increase congestion and pollution

Only around one in five women in the working age takes up paid work in urban India. In China, the number three in five. One key determinant of women’s ability to work, namely, the role of travel mobility — the available modes of transport, time and distance, convenience, and the cost of travelling — remains unexplored in the Indian context.

Women tend to have lower travel accessibility than men for two reasons.

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PENANG TRANSPORT MASTER PLAN WATCHING BRIEF (Nov. 2018 Update)

FB SP eb books report title

– Eric Britton, Paris. Update of 31 October 2018

Why a Watching Brief for Penang?

On 23 November 2013 I submitted the final report and recommendations to close out the first stage of my planned work as an invited adviser and critic of Penang’s transportation strategy, plans and procedures.  (See the Mission statement at  https://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com/the-mission/ ) The report was intended as a working draft for wide distribution  and vigorous critical discussion in the following months. It was entitled:

“SUSTAINABLE PENANG: TOWARD A NEW MOBILITY AGENDA”      

    Phase 1 Report, Brainstorming  and Policy Recommendations 

You can access the full advisory report here –  http://bit.ly/2IqZ0PO

HOLD IT!  Expected next stage not engaged. What happened?

When the report and its recommendations were apparently set aside and entirely ignored — as had been the fate of the  excellent, highly professional reports and recommendations of the Halcrow Transport Group — I decided not to let it ride and instead of turning my back on this highly dangerous “Master Plan” project chose to set up a public “Watching Brief on Sustainable Transport in Penang” . The objective of the brief is to follow and report to a wide international audience on the continuing see-saw battle between an obstinate under-qualified state government consortium and powerful lobby with a closed-door multi-billion dollar “Big Bang” (their words) program of massive infrastructure expansion, almost all parts of which would in good time succeed only in making what is already a bad situation (mainly nothing more fearful than a plain-vanilla peak hour congestion problem) significantly worse.

After noting the resounding silence in Penang as far as my analysis and recommendations were concerned, my option was to cash the client’s check, do nothing and forget Penang.  Or perhaps to set up something along the lines of an independent . .  .

Watching Brief on Penang’s evolving transport situation and disputes

The goal of this internet platform and associated social media sites then  is to support legitimate sustainable transport initiatives, critical thinking, open discussions, new ideas, consistent policy, fruitful alliances and fact-oriented discussion and anything else that might help advance the public’s understanding of the New Mobility Agenda in Penang.  The watching brief also keeps a careful eye open to identify, feed and encourage public discussion of what are almost surely in this case poor science, bad ideas, absurd proposals and  ad hoc initiatives which violate the basic precepts of the sustainability agenda.

A watching brief is a continuous, independent, and in this case open collaborative monitoring activity of progress and problems taking place in a specific sector or area. It takes a arms-length vision of the focus area and in this case is made broadly available to the public and all involved as a tool in support of Civil Society in Penang.

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HELP WANTED: Planning for girls and women (with a question to our readers)

When men were men and women in their place.

The first half.  New Zealand Members of Parliament, 1905
Source: https://twitter.com/nzparliament/status/1042305341025746944

Dear Reader,

Due to a hard disk failure and my rustic organization, I seem to  have altogether lost track of  the author, source. origins, etc. of this excellent article on how we can better plan our cities for all – including women and girls.  More generally a mega Google search of  key terms turns up a fascinating catch of more than a million references — bit.ly/2yqvWpt . And if you have he patience to work your way through the summaries laid out in the first several pages —  assuming of course that you share our interests in these matters — I am confident that you just may find a fair number that you may have missed thus far are well worth the read. (In any event I certainly did.)

So now, on to the the first section of this outstanding piece that we very much wish to find and share  broadly with our readers. You are invited to use the Comment function here or email to editor@ecoplan.org,  or T. +336 5088 0787

The editor

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52 BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER MEASURES your city could start to do tomorrow morning to SAVE THE PLANET . . . cut GHG emissions and reduce traffic accidents, save lives, strengthen the economy, and improve mobility and quality of life for all.

Climate Audit - Paris smog EB blue shirt

We often hear that transportation reform  is going to require massive public investments, large construction projects, elaborate technology deployments, and above all and by their very nature are going to take a long time before yielding significant results. This is quite simply not true. This approach, common in the last century and often associated with the “American transportation model”, no longer has its place in a competitive, efficient, democratic city  And we can start tomorrow, if we chose to.

To get a feel for this transformative learning reality let’s start with a quick look at a first lot of ideas for Slow Street Architecture as a major means for reducing traffic related nuisances, accident prevention and improving quality of life for all.  These approaches are not just “nice ideas”.  They have proven their merit and effectiveness in hundreds of cities around the world. There is no good reason that they cannot do the same in your city. Starting tomorrow morning.

(For further background on external sources feeding this listing, see Sources and Clues section below.)

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Op-Ed 2010 Archives: Sharing/Strategy for a Small Planet. Part I

After many decades of a single dominant city-shaping transportation pattern – i.e., for those who could afford it: owning and driving our own cars, trucks, motorcycles and bicycles, getting into taxis by ourselves, riding in streets that are designed for cars and not much else — there is considerable evidence accumulating that we have already entered into a world of new mobility practices that are changing the transportation and city landscape in many ways. It has to do with sharing, as opposed to outright ownership. But strange to say, this trend seems to have escaped the attention of the policymakers in many of the institutions directly concerned. Continue reading