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
* * Working draft for peer review and comment of 18 April 2019
The basic concept is simple in principle, namely: to identify and put to work a strategic combination of proven, street-tested, cost-effective measures, tools and means to reduce GHG emissions from the mobility sector in a cooperating city or place by a targeted five percent (or better) in a year or less. Realization of the concept on the other hand is highly demanding and requires considerable technical competence, abundant political savvy and leadership by daily example.
The underlying goal is highly ambitious, and perhaps not immediately evident. It is about people and choices, and not infrastructure or vehicles. We are talking here about influencing behaviour of individuals and groups in this specific part of their day to day lives. Since indeed the only way that we can successfully make this critical transition in a functioning democracy — is no less than to change behaviour by creating a transformed urban (or rural, or other demographic) ecosystem of connected realities, time, space, perceptions, awarenesses, values, fears, prejudices, habits and, hopefully in parallel with this an wide array of “better than car” or at least satisficing mobility choices. The key to all this being to offer what are perceived as better choices for all when it comes to daily life, climate, mobility, environment and democracy impacts. The challenge we now face is to accompany this transition, and this in the teeth of a rapidly degrading environment and still a largely skeptical world.
* Wanted: Curators, sentinels and contributors for World Streets “Drivers As Victims” Department. Contact email@example.com
Drivers as Victims
After a century of fearless and uncontested domination, peace and pandering, here we are in 2019 and to our great surprise as car/owner drivers around the planet suddenly find themselves in the midst of a raging process of transition to a very different world of privilege and limitation, laws and enforcement, economics and free rides. And unsurprisingly in their own eyes they see themselves as victims: having their territory limited step by step to ever-growing parts of the city-scape where they have long been uncontested kings and queens.
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.
* * THIS IS A ROUGH FIRST DRAFT. REQUIRES TOTAL REWRITE * *
2019 Climate/New Mobility Emergency Action Plan & Demonstration
If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? (Attributed to Albert Einstein)
The sources, references and links that follow here – we think of them as building blocks – are presented here in first working draft form and are intended to serve to inform and guide students, researchers, concerned citizens and others who are interested in getting up to speed on the wide range of challenging topics that need to be brought in to the analysis and eventual work plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the local transport sector by a radical target and in a single year . These references include a considerable variety of issues, hints and developments (examples, free public transport, economic levers, value capture, full gender parity, etc., etc.) which have important roles to play in this wholesale reconstruction of the new mobility ecosystem.
. . . an invitation to join an open collaborative action plan to cut GHG emissions from the mobility sector in cities by 5% in first year.
Climate/Spatial/Mobility Action Plan: 2019-2020
EXEC SUM: This open collaborative project just getting underway on World Streets aims to demonstrate how cities can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the mobility sector by at least five percent in the first year after startup. And this by working from a well-prepared two-pronged push and pull strategy based on a combination of (a) sharp VKT reductions (Vehicle Kilometers Traveled) and (b) an expanding Better Choices while working with proven, cost-effective, available technologies and processes.
The project aims to get sharp, measurable results in short time with an approach that is, we argue, Better, Faster and Cheaper — and through this basically reshaping the city’s basic mobility ecosystem. This bold initiative is only possible with very strong leadership and commitment, and an exceptional ability to communicate and engage the population in a fully equitable and positive manner.
COLLABORATIVE STARTUP: Now seeking critical feedback on working materials and proposals, collaborators, presentation opportunities, partners and eventual demonstration projects and sponsors
FOR FIRST INFORMATION AND LEADS: (Most of these still interim working drafts)
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.