Paris has a sustainable transportation strategy. It is working pretty well and they continue to make steady progress on it, though with miles to go before they sleep. What makes Paris particularly interesting and instructive as a real world example is that for many years it did not, and by the early 70s there were first big infrastructure initiatives knocking at the door that would have certainly turned it from being a city for people into a city for cars. And that particular destiny, by the way, was not just a random series of events. It was premeditated, largely shared in policy circles and destined to happen. At the time, in 1974, the Prefect for Paris (Paris did not at that point have its own mayor and hence a focal point and guardian of that special qualities) famously said (in my approximate but not inaccurate memory) “Parisians are born with two legs and four wheels”. Oops!
By Friso Metz, CROW KpVV
Carsharing has a great impact on the travel behavior of people. In the literature on the subject’s attention to the question of how large these effects are. There is less attention to the question of why auto so strongly intervenes on behavior. Lately, I am very active with the subject carsharing been busy. Because I am also working a lot with behavior modification, it is time to examine the relationship between these two themes. Below I do a first step. I’m curious about your response!
By Friso Metz, CROW-KpVV, the Netherlands
Recently a medium sized Dutch city asked my counsel about carsharing. The city wants to promote carsharing and is looking for ideas. While discussing with the city officials and their marketeers, we discovered a particular issue in carsharing. I explained that an average parking bay for carsharing in the Netherlands only shows a sign explaining that it’s intended uniquely for carsharing. The road surface shows a white cross which tells you that it is prohibited to park there (unless you are driving the shared vehicle).
William Spenser Vickerey, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, is considered the father of Congestion Pricing. He first proposed it in 1952, for the New York City subway system, recommending that fares be increased in peak times and in high-traffic sections and be lowered in others. Elected officials considered it risky at the time, and the technology was not ready. Later, he made a similar proposal for road pricing.
This article was written in 1992 by Todd Litman, executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, to summarize some of the defining principles set out in Vickerey’s extensive path-breaking early extensive pathbreaking contributions which in many ways defined the field. This essay can be found in its original form in the website of the Institute at http://www.vtpi.org/vickrey.htm.
Parking policy and practice in a city is a marker, a litmus test of its collective commitment to an efficient and beautiful city. More than that, the policy has to be carefully thought out, agilely negotiated and executed with long-term commitment. Stop-and-start policies in such important areas are the mark of political immaturity. So if your city does NOT have such a policy, and is NOT applying it with continuity and consistency, then sorry to say you are far from the front rank of sustainable cities.
It’s a choice, a political choice, not only of those public servants and elected officials who are during their term responsible for transport, public space and life quality matters in the city, but above all, and ultimately far more important, the citizenry. The active citizenry. So with that behind us, let’s see what the fresh eyes of a visiting American academic and transportation engineer spotted and have to say about parking policy and performance in the beautiful city of Zürich. Continue reading
Misguided parking policy is harmful and unjust.
No surprise there, you may say. There is no shortage of complaints about parking prices (“unfair!”) and about how difficult it is to find parking. We hear the same thing all over the world, whether in Sydney, San Francisco, Singapore, Moscow, Delhi , Jakarta, Beijing, Sao Paolo, Lagos or Nairobi.
Sorry to be unsympathetic. But complaints like those are a problem. They are fuel for the never-ending push for more parking and cheaper parking.
So what? Continue reading