World Streets launches Collaborative Problem-Solving Initiative: Climate/Emergency Cities/Mobility Equity/Women Streets/Cars Time/Space Private/Shared Vision/Strategy Action/Manage

Mixed micro traffic scooter bike ped

– – – – – –  > Working draft of 1 May 2020

WORLD STREETS is betting its future on the coming immediate-term transition led by certain ambitious, responsible cities, nations, organizations and citizens in different parts of the world to come together to break the downward pattern of ever-increasing climate stress — and before the challenge to plan and execute highly aggressive near-term initiatives aimed at sharply cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the mobility sector. And doing all this while working with proven tools, policies and strategies that harness cost-effective, readily available, measures, technologies, operational and management competence. Our job is to support them as best we can.

CONTEXT/KEYWORDS:: Climate/Emergency  Cities/Mobility  Vision/Strategy  Streets/Cars  Time/Space  Private/Shared  Equity/Women  Action/Manage

    • You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.  – Buckminster Fuller

THE 2020 FIVE PERCENT CLIMATE/MOBILITY CHALLENGE

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OpEd. Let’s harness the pandemic to expand our climate/mobility options

FB telepresence

The COVID-19 pandemic is an opportunity to embrace the future of work-from-home and the greater adoption of walking and cycling.

By Lloyd Wright, Senior Urban Development Transport Specialists, Asian   Development Bank – https://blogs.adb.org/author/lloyd-wright https://blogs.adb.org/let-s-use-the-pandemic-to-expand-our-transport-options

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted lives and livelihoods, and has become a devastating global human tragedy.  A change event of this magnitude also affects fundamentally how we work and interact.  Personal mobility in the age of COVID-19 may never be quite the same again.  The new normal of mobility, though, may represent a unique opportunity. 

Work-from-home has always represented an option to both reduce emissions and promote family time.  However, work-from-home’s potential has never been fully realized in terms of actual practice, as long-standing practices and cultures in Asia and the Pacific often prioritize physical time in the office.

New information technologies have meant that work-from-home does not have to substantially reduce the quality of workplace interactions.  A plethora of software apps, such as Google Hangout, Skype, Cisco Webex, MS Teams, and Zoom, are now available to give a visual space for sharing information and facilitating decision-making.  We are moving away from mere tele-conferencing to lifelike virtual interaction. While work-from-home may never fully replace workplace presence, the new technologies at least offer the potential to reduce the need for everyday commuting.

Lockdowns across many cities and countries has meant that a unique global experiment is underway.  The World Health Organization estimates that 7 million persons suffer premature deaths each year from air pollution, and that 1.3 million persons perish in car crashes.  For cities with air quality problems, such as Beijing, Delhi, and Manila, the lockdowns have visibly brought pristine skies, as also evidenced by satellite imagery. In addition, the University of California at Davis has been tracking reductions in car crashes in California during the state’s partial lockdown conditions.  Serious injuries and fatalities in the past week have been halved from 400 to just 200 per day.

None of this is to minimize the appalling human tragedy of COVID-19’s trail of death and illness. The  social and economic cost of the pandemic is staggering. But these types of comparisons do indicate what could be achieved if we adopted sustainable energy and transport practices once the pandemic has passed.

Of course, the virus also hits certain forms of sustainable personal mobility quite hard.  Buses and trains place passengers in close proximity, heightening disease transmission risk.  During this time of crisis, to the extent persons have options, passengers do appear to be avoiding public transport, and many cities have closed public transport in its entirety. Most likely, governments will need to step forward with financial support to public transport operators for both short-term and long-term viability.

  The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on work-from-home initiatives.

Conversely, this situation does represent a large potential opportunity for walking and cycling.  Already, in the early days of the virus, New York City is recording record levels of cyclists.  The city’s Department of Transport reports a 50 percent increase in cycling over the same period last year, and a 67 percent increase in usage of New York’s CitiBike bicycle sharing system.

Home delivery services also appear to be experiencing a significant increase in the wake of virus lockdowns.  Such services hold the potential to reduce overall transport congestion and emissions by effectively achieving economies of scales in urban delivery logistics.

With streets now operating under dramatically reduced traffic levels, an opportunity exists to quickly address long-standing needs that are difficult to implement under day-to-day realities.  Upgrading footpaths and developing cycleways is the type of quick win that can utilize the economic stimulus spending being deployed to shore up falling economies. These investments can be done quickly and create jobs at a time when it is most needed.

The pandemic is a change event like few others.  The dramatic break in personal mobility from past habits represents an opportunity to view cities in a new way.  From this moment, we could embrace the future of work-from-home and the greater adoption of walking and cycling.  Perhaps there is yet a small silver lining from this unfolding tragedy.

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A COMPENDIUM OF ONE HUNDRED BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER MEASURES YOUR CITY COULD START TO IMPLEMENT TOMORROW MORNING TO SAVE THE PLANET . . . cut GHG emissions, get people to work on time, reduce traffic accidents, save lives, clear the air, improve health, strengthen the economy, create a sense of community and improve accessibility, mobility and quality of life for all.

FB eric escooter traffic eifel towerWe often hear that sustainable 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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LUNCHTIMESTREETS: A street transformation idea from London :

LunchTimeStreets - London UK Rory

What is Lunchtime Streets?

Lunchtime Streets Chancery Lane. Tuesday 3rd – Thursday 5th September find out more below!

Lunchtime Streets is an event that removes motor traffic from a street over a lunchtime period, so people can enjoy their lunch in a safer and more pleasant environment.

Making the streets safer for people is key to both the City of London Corporation’s and the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategies.

We use this type of temporary project to measure the effects and perceptions of the local community when reducing traffic at a peak times, when most people are travelling on foot or bicycle will be key to making the streets safer. The results of the study may lead to future enhancements of the public realm.

It is also a great way to enjoy your lunchtimes. We welcome the involvement of local working, studying and residential community.

 

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DECONGESTION – 7 Steps for Mayors and other City Leaders to cut traffic congestion without the expense of new roads or annoyed residents’

Decongestion

Houston, we have a problem

Our cities are in crisis because they revolve around the car. It’s killing us, our communities and our economy.

Traffic congestion is one of the most significant problems and issues facing Governments, Councils and businesses around the world. In Australia, more than 80% of all trips are made by car and in New Zealander 83% of trips less than 2km are made by car. A British Social Attitudes Survey found that 71% of adults never cycle. Only 3% of Brits cycle every day or nearly every day. There are as many as 38 million empty car seats on the UK’s roads every rush hour.

“The problem is we’re all doing the same things – commuting, business trips and the school run – making the same trips by car at the same time, creating gridlock, congestion, queuing and travel delays’ says Transport Planner and Behaviour Change expert Rachel Smith.

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WHY SPEND A BILLION DOLLARS IF A FIVE-MILLION DOLLAR SOLUTION IS BETTER OVERALL?

Canada Malahat Highway congestion traffic

A LESSON FOR PENANG

The great weakness of the local political establishment to Penang’s transport planning  and policy needs is that they have insufficient technical backgrounds and competence to solve the mobility problems the people of Penang . This was made clear by the recommendations of the final Halcrow report in 2013 and nothing has been done since to improve the situation.

There are other more effective approaches to dealing with these problems with a strategy of affordable policies, measures and tools capable of giving swift results and a fraction of the costs of the proposed massive infrastructure program, the PTMP.

Let’s have a look at the Canadian report “Rethinking Malahat Solutions: Or, Why Spend a Billion Dollars if a Five-Million Dollar Solution is Better Overall?” at www.vtpi.org/malahat.pdf

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What is a Transport User Group? (And why are they so important for your city)

spain barclona large public meeting on planningWorld Streets has committed to carry out a series of articles, in cooperation with informed on-the-spot collaborators, looking into various aspects of transport user groups, on the grounds that they are increasingly emerging  in many cities around the world as important potential players in the uphill struggle to sustainable transportation, sustainable cities and sustainable lives.

Throughout  most of the 20th century transportation decisions were strictly made by government administrations and elected politicians, more often than not in cooperation with interests representing industrial and financial partners supplying infrastructure, vehicles, electronics and services. In most places these were closed loops in which the public was occasionally, at best, invited to approach the table and then asked to share their views on the specifics alternative proposals as prepared and presented by the various administrations and agencies, but for the most part were excluded from the actual planning and decision process. They were at most shadow players.

However this is starting to change, to the extent that in many cities in recent years these groups are increasingly becoming important players in the planning, decision and investment process.

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SLOW CITY TRANSITION: NOTES FOR A THINKING EXERCISE

FB SC - Groningen streetThe 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.

* To get going, you may also want to check out our Slow City 2017 Reader and Slow City: Start here.

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Designing for Transportation Management and Operations: A Primer

US DOT TDM Primer graphic

Abstract:

This primer from the US Department of Transportation  is focused on the collaborative and systematic consideration of management and operations during transportation project design and development. This is termed “designing for operations.” Effectively designing for operations involves the development and application of design policies, procedures, and strategies that support transportation management and operations.

The consideration of operations needs during the design process requires transportation design professionals to work closely with those with expertise in transportation operations, intelligent transportation and transportation technology staff, planning, transit, freight, traffic incident management, and other practitioners from multiple agencies to fully identify, prioritize, and incorporate operations needs into the infrastructure design. This primer introduces the concept for designing for operations and describes tools or institutional approaches to assist transportation agencies in considering operations in their design procedures as well as pointing out some specific design considerations for various operations strategies

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ONLINE TDM ENCYCLOPEDIA – VTPI

This is a critical reference and tool set for World Streets readers, introducing the full contents as of 6 March 2019 of the TDM (Transportation Demand Management) Encyclopedia of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute headed by Todd Litman. All the more than one hundred resources and references cited here are available online. The full report is online at: http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/ 

Transportation Demand Management (TDM, also called Mobility Management) is a general term for strategies that result in more efficient use of transportation resources. This Encyclopedia is a comprehensive source of information about innovative management solutions to transportation problems. It provides detailed information on dozens of demand management strategies, plus general information on TDM planning and evaluation techniques. It is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to increase understanding and implementation of TDM.

How important is TDM for transport/mobility planners, policy makers or concerned citizens and civil society?  It is very easy to answer that question, which boils down to this: If you do not have on your team first rate competence in TDM measures and references, then you are in the wrong business. TDM is the first line of defense of sustainable transport planning and policy!

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Transport minimization: Bridging needs, time and space in different ways

traffic-maximization-new-york-photo-flickr-giacomo-carena

The TMAPP Planners Toolbox:

Transport/Mobility/Access/ Proximity/’Presence’

To take full advantage of the fundamental structural differences between Old and New Mobility, it can help to reflect on the five necessary different steps of analysis and action suggested by the expression TMAPP – which sets out five alternative views or ways of bridging space, which of course is what transportation is supposed to be all about. These are the essential building blocks of a full-function sustainable transport plan for your city.  If you have not integrated the best of each of these essential steps into your plan, it is time for a bit of continuing education.

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TDM – A World Streets Primer

TDM HOV lane

Since TDM (Transportation Demand Management) is a key pillar of the New Mobility Agenda strategy, and of our now forming-up Five Percent Challenge Climate Emergency program, it is important that the basic distinctions are clear for all.  In one of our recent master classes, when several students asked me to clarify for them, I turned the tables instead and asked them, since we are now firmly in the 21st century, to go home, spend a bit of time online and come up with something that answered their question to their satisfaction.  Here is what they came up with, taken whole hog from http://bit.ly/2rTxHrr (which we then lightly edited together and offer for your reading pleasure).

Quick-start references:

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World Streets International Advisory Council

ws-31jul12-hi-color

With one eye to laying the base for our work and collaborative programs , we are currently in the process of updating and extending this list of distinguished international colleagues, each of whom is hard at work day after day on challenges, projects and programs, alone and with others, all in support of the principles of sustainable development and equity, in cities and countries around the world.  It is our intention to have the revised and expanded version of this panel listing online by end May 2019, as part of our celebration of the first ten years of our collaborative work in support of World Streets.

Since our work program is being totally shifted to the the challenge of achieving sharp near-term decreases in gases causing global warming —  CO2, CH4, N2O, PFCs, etc., — and in particular those emanating from the local mobility sector, we hope to encourage shorter or longer contributions from the members of our advisory panel on this critical topic

The revised version of this posting (end April 2020) will include some explanatory materials  to clarify the process by which this “New Mobility Majority” is in the process of overtaking the old attitudes, approaches and policies which have been largely responsible for our gross under-performance in the sector,  all the more important as the 21st century noose tightens in terms of climate, local environment, energy supply, scarce resources, the economy, congestion, poor service quality for the majority, and the long list goes on.  (In the meantime we want to hear from you with your ideas and outstanding nominations for the panel.  And if you spot errors or omissions on the following or anywhere in our work, yes please do get in touch and let us know.)

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A COMPENDIUM OF BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER MEASURES your city could start to implement tomorrow morning to SAVE THE PLANET . . . cut GHG emissions, get people to work on time, reduce traffic accidents, save lives, clear the air, improve health, strengthen the economy, and improve accessability, 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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The Rough Road to Climate Protection and Sustainable Mobility: Values, priorities, behavior and, finally, understanding people (and ourselves)

indonesia-jakarta-traffic-on-following-monday

What many people call “transportation” . .  is at its very essence not about road or bridges, nor vehicles or technology, and not even about money.  Above all it is about people, their needs, fears, desires and the decisions they make. And the backdrop — real and mental — against which they make those decision. The transport planner needs to know more them and take this knowledge into the center of the planning and policy process. What makes them tick, individually and collectively.  What do they want and what they are likely to resist. And people, as we all know, are intensely complicated, personal and generally change-resistant. .But if we take the time and care we can start to understand them, at least a bit better. Which is a start.

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Oslo takes bold steps to reduce air pollution, improve livability

Norway Oslo pedestrians bicycles opera

Source: https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/oslo-takes-bold-steps-reduce-air-pollution-improve-livability 

Norway’s capital city Oslo, home to over 670,000 people, is boldly pushing forward with a range of measures to improve air quality for the city’s inhabitants. Oslo is one of 42 cities who take part in Breathe Life, a campaign led by the World Health Organization, UN Environment and the Climate & Clean Air Coalition that inspires cities and individuals to protect our health and planet from the effects of air pollution.

Zero-emission vehicles play a key part in the city’s strategy to reduce C0equivalents by 95 per cent in 2030, and city officials are encouraging people to make the transition to electric vehicles. Benefits for drivers include reduces taxes, access to bus and taxi lanes, free travel on toll roads and public ferries, and free municipal parking. Over 1,000 charging stations have been added in recent years.

Meanwhile, all public transport in Oslo and neighbouring Akershus county is to be powered exclusively by renewable energy by 2020.

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A COMPENDIUM OF ONE HUNDRED BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER MEASURES YOUR CITY COULD START TO IMPLEMENT TOMORROW MORNING TO SAVE THE PLANET . . . cut GHG emissions, get people to work on time, reduce traffic accidents, save lives, clear the air, improve health, create a sense of community, strengthen the economy, and improve accessibility, mobility and quality of life for all.

FB eric escooter traffic eifel towerWe 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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ON THE OCCASION OF AN EIGHTIETH BIRTHDAY: A few words with my friends

Climate emisssions mobility rapid cuts = The Guardian 5 Dec 2018

The power of a new mobility concept depends not on how well it solves a given, targeted problem. But on how many problems it (partly) solves. –   Marco Te Brömmelstroet

 ON THE OCCASION OF MY BIRTHDAY, A FEW WORDS WITH MY FRIENDS

  • Eric Britton,Convener, World Streets Climate Initiative, Paris. 27 June 2019

Dear friends, colleagues, planners, policy makers, students, professors, people working with local government, engineers, accountants, and above all those of you as active citizens and participants in civil society, whom I have met, not met, collaborated, swapped ideas with, argued, modifying my position and then arguing some more . . . Because as you and I know well, nothing ever stays fixed and final in the world of transport and mobility.

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Our Personal Choices — and Our (un)Sustainable Lives

I don’t think we can buy the argument anymore that we deserve special dispensation just because we think what we  —  the “elite” — are doing is worthwhile. 

airplan taking off polution - photo dsleeter_2000

Let’s see. At last count there were already well more than seven billion of us sharing this suddenly very small planet. And let’s say, just to get a crude handle on this, that each of us, whether in Mali or Malibu, makes something like a hundred “personal planet action choices” each day, leading to specific actions which when we had them all up have quite a potential impact on our earth.

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Wanted: Crowd-Sourced Transportation Analysis (An open thread for collaborative tool building)

This is the second of a two-part article by Charles Komanoff, activist, energy-economist and policy analyst, looking at goals and tools for finding the right strategy for implementing some form of congesting charging measures in New York City’s crowded streets. He invites comment on his proposed “Balance Transportation Analyzer” tool.

Wanted: Crowd-Sourced Transportation Analysis

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