Why There Will Be Far Fewer Cars, But Many More Miles Driven

cars lot flooded disappearing

Available today at advantageous prices

– By Jeff McMahon  

 . . . . You don’t have to be Milton Friedman to figure out that car ownership is economically foolish.
  • “I want you, on purpose, to spend $33,000 on an asset, okay?
  • And I want you, on purpose, the minute you buy it, to lose 11.5 percent.
  • And on purpose to make that asset sit idle 95 percent of the time,”
. . . . said Gary Silberg, the Americas head of the automotive division of the financial services firm KPMG. “You don’t have to have a PhD in economics to figure out that it’s maybe not a great idea to buy a car.
“The average price of a car in America is $33,000, the average loss is 11.5 percent, and the average idle time is over 95 percent.”
But Americans love their cars, right?
“Okay, so why do people buy cars?” Silberg asked

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Archives: Reykjavík Mobility Parade On Car-Free Day

ICEland car free day - speeding car shadow

Article by Ms. appearing in the Reykjavik Grapevine of Sept 19, 2019.  The article is presented here below, and followed by historical background information and context on the Car Free Days phenomenon in which the city of Reykjavik and Iceland turned out to play a key  historic role.

September 19, 2019, Reykjavik

To celebrate the annual Car-Free Day in Iceland, some of the main roads will be closed in the Reykjavík city centre this Sunday, September 22nd. The Reykjavík Mobility Parade will start at 13:00 and move through Miklubraut and Hringbraut to Lækjartorg, where festivities will take place.

Starting in 1996, the Car-Free movement has a long history in Iceland. The idea originated from the Accessible Cities Conference held in Spain two years prior to Iceland’s first festivity and the event has significantly grown in size since. Its main objectives are to promote public transport, bikes and walking and give people a chance to reflect on motorisation and how traffic can be improved in cities.

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Carfree Times now indefinitely parked: (But the future lies ahead)

Carfree Times - cover page 2. joel crawford

Founding editor, Joel Crawford, announces final issue of Carfree Times  

I have decided to suspend my online creative efforts indefinitely. This will probably be the last Carfree Times. I don’t plan to shoot stills or video except incidentally, and there will probably be few or no new videos.

In a sense, what I’m doing is giving up virtual presence in favor of actual presence. I am looking at screens far too much. I enjoy face-to-face interaction, particularly with an audience. I am available for these kinds of events within railing distance of Amsterdam.

We are going to have carfree cities, one way or another, I’m pretty sure. Money, ecology, and happiness all optimize at one and the same point: carfree cities. There is no cheaper way to build decent cities. No other urban form has smaller environmental impacts. Urban quality of life is always improved by removing cars.

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A “BETTER THAN CAR” MOBILITY SYSTEM

car free day driver stopped

Nobody in a democratic 21st century country is going to willingly  step down on the scale of comfort and economy. Fair enough, so let’s see how we can all step UP in terms of  life quality for all  with an cost-competitive, equity-based low-emissions  transport strategy.

The objective here is to combine vision, policy, technology and entrepreneurial skills in such a way to create and make available to all a combined, affordable, multi-level, convenient, high choice  mobility system which for just about everybody should be more efficient than owning and driving a car in or into town.  Let us start with this as our goal and then see what is the work that must be done in order to turn it into a reality.

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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

CAPITALIST TRANSITION ON WHEELS: Cars, motorbikes and mobility in Hanoi

Arve Hansen’s excellent PhD thesis on the transition from bicycles and walking to motorbikes and cars in Hanoi is available here bit.ly/2MJEPOU. Thanks to Javier Caletrío <jmontfra@hotmail.com> and our friiends at the UTSG for the heads-up and to the Mobile Lives Forum for the following texte excerpts from their summary presentation at  </jmontfra@hotmail.com>http://bit.ly/2Np3BJB

____________________

1. What is your research topic? What thesis are you defending?

 * Interview with the author, Arve Hansen of the Center for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo. 

My overall research topic is consumption and development, and I am particularly interested in changing consumption patterns in contexts of rapid social and economic changes. In my PhD thesis I studied the transition from bicycles and walking to motorbikes and cars in Hanoi. In other words, I studied a transition from very low-carbon mobilities to high-carbon mobilities. I approached the topic at the intersection between macro-scale processes of economic development and everyday mobility practices. And in Vietnam’s capital city, understanding contemporary mobilities first and foremost requires an understanding of the motorbike, a so far surprisingly understudied vehicle in the mobilities turn.

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One small reason why Tallinn may feel they could use more public transport

To get a better feel for this from the perspective of day to day reality when it comes to trying to get wherever you want to go during morning rush hour in Tallinn, let’s have a look at a report by two Estonian researchers, – by Helen Poltimäe and Mari Jüssi, under the title . . .

Factors Affecting Choice of Travel Mode in Tallinn

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World Transport Policy & Practice. Vol. 24 No.1. March 2018

Editorial

This issue brings together two important strands of thinking in sustainable mobility and the bigger picture around how the world is changing and now faces a rather stark choice.  We can either go down the route of high quality, people-centred, healthy, active, child-friendly cities or we can finish the job started  by Henry Ford and  shape a future dominated by vehicles and technology, exterminate  walking, cycling and public transport and deeply entrench our total submission to a space greedy, dollar-greedy, unhealthy technological domination of the way we live.  The latter is the world of electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles (AVs) and is now attracting large scale support and buy-in from politicians, corporations and environmental groups.

* Full text available here – https://goo.gl/9aecLD

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Op-Ed. The car has a chokehold on Britain. It’s time to free ourselves

From The Guardian1 August 2017 

 We tell ourselves that we cherish efficiency. Yet we have created a transport system whose design principle is profligacy. Metal carriages (that increase in size every year), each carrying one or two people, travel in parallel to the same places. Lorries shifting identical goods in opposite directions pass each other on 2,000-mile journeys. Competing parcel companies ply the same routes, in largely empty vans. We could, perhaps, reduce our current vehicle movements by 90% with no loss of utility, and a major gain in our quality of life.

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A “Better than Car” Mobility System

how should I get there - smallNobody is going to willingly  step down on the scale of comfort and economy. Fair enough, so let’s see how we can all step UP in terms of  life quality for all  with an equity-based transport strategy.

The objective here is to combine vision, policy, technology and entrepreneurial skills in such a way to create and make available to all a combined, affordable, multi-level, convenient, high choice  mobility system which for just about everybody should be more efficient than owning and driving a car in or into town.  Let us start with this as our goal and then see what is the work that must be done in order to turn it into a reality.

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Slow City: In the beginning were the Provos (and the White Plans)

luud-provo-cop-white-bike

To understand Luud Schimmelpennink’s White Bicycle Plan, it helps to have a look at the broader context of values, philosophy and politics that were prevailing in Amsterdam at that time –  the Provos, a Dutch counterculture youth movement in the mid-1960s.

And if one concludes that this was more or less what was going on in other parts of Europe and North America, you would be right.  And a bit wrong. The Dutch were digging deeper. At least this part of Dutch society was.

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In the beginning were the Provos (and the White Plans)

luud-provo-cop-white-bike

To understand Luud Schimmelpennink’s White Bicycle Plan, it helps to have a look at the broader context of values, philosophy and politics that were prevailing in Amsterdam at that time –  the Provos, a Dutch counterculture youth movement in the mid-1960s.

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Hairdryers induce Slowth. QED.

lady-with-hair-dryer-bbc-com

Hairdryers in one Scottish city used to slow traffic

A brilliant, soft idea for the world’s streets. In areas around schools, pedestrian areas, bike lanes, crosswalks, intersections, hospitals, seniors’ homes, play streets, commercial areas, and low speed zones more generally.

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China’s first Aerial Cycleway opens to bikers

chinas-first-aerial-cycle-way-worst-practice
* * * STUNNING EXAMPLE OF A WORST PRACTICE * * *
Here’s their problem in a nutshell. They were asking themselves the wrong question.

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China’s Lose-Lose Love Affair with the Modern Motor Car

china-beijing-pedestrian-bridge

Report from China: Op-Ed by Robert U. Ayres

In December I travelled to the city of Kunming, in Yunnan province, China. The occasion of the trip was to attend a conference on planning and give a talk on economics at that conference. The host was the newly appointed provincial Governor, who is also the Communist Party Chairman for Yunnan. The organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the attendees were academics and civil servants in the urban planning departments from all of the major cities of  organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the Yunnan province. I was invited on short notice (only two weeks) and I was asked to provide a copy of my talk in advance, without much detailed information about the actual situation. What I did know about China was more applicable to Beijing and Shanghai than to Kunming. So, I had to “punt”, as they say.

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(BC) A “Better than Car” Mobility System

how should I get there - smallNobody is going to willingly  step down on the scale of comfort and economy. Fair enough, so let’s see how we can all step UP in terms of  life quality for all  with an equity-based transport strategy.

The objective here is to combine vision, policy, technology and entrepreneurial skills in such a way to create and make available to all a combined, affordable, multi-level, convenient, high choice  mobility system which for just about everybody should be more efficient than owning and driving a car in or into town.  Let us start with this as our goal and then see what is the work that must be done in order to turn it into a reality.

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Archives. Vision Zero: The Accident Is Not the Problem

Matts-Åke Belin has a job title that might sound a little foreign to an American ear, but one that’s very important in his home country of Sweden: traffic safety strategist. He holds that position with the Swedish Transport Administration, where he has been one of the key architects of the policy known as Vision Zero. Since approved by the Swedish parliament in October 1997, Vision Zero has permeated the nation’s approach to transportation, dictating that the government manage the nation’s streets and roads with the ultimate goal of preventing fatalities and serious injuries. It’s a radical vision that has made Sweden an international leader in the area of road safety.

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Have you thought about getting an Undriving license?

There is a program in Seattle, WA that wants to teach you to become an “Undriver”. — Go to http://undriving.org/ for details.

Using creative methods to brainstorm and implement different ways to cut down on driving trips, their mission is to challenge people to reduce car trips in any way, shape or form.

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25 excellent reasons why you never, ever want to expand infrastructure capacity, build more roads, facilitate more parking, etc., in your city

car-spiral

Think of this as an Executive Summary in a single page to identify and clarify policy for a core element of a very complex urban system of many parts and linkages. In fact, the very one we are attempting to deal with here:  the impacts of the  many too many cars syndrome. But what is we treat this as a step in a useful direction.

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