MANAGING THE SAFE CITY TRANSITION: . . . . . Notes for a Thinking Exercise . . . . .

FB SC small jason and eb on steps

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New Mobility, Better Choices . . . And Taking Climate Change Seriously

In a conversation about one of the critical issues and decision points being set out in my forthcoming collaborative book, “BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Your City” — namely the fundamental structural importance of the climate/transport link — I was told yesterday by a well-placed person in Malaysia that no one in Penang or indeed Malaysia (or for that matter  pretty much anywhere else on our gasping planet) takes climate change seriously.  At least sufficiently seriously to even consider changing their daily transport choices (which it just happens is what my book is all about.).

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DEMOCRACY CAME LATE TO OUR STREETS (AKA, Drivers as Victims)

* Wanted: Curators, sentinels and contributors for World Streets “Drivers As Victims” Department.  Contact eric.britton@newmobility.org

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.

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“Transport Refugees” – Victims of Unjust Transport Policies (From our 2009 archives and worthy of your attention today)

Maylasia Penang pred crossing in traffic Pulau Tikus

The term “refugee” if used in the context of transportation would normally be understood to mean “the movement of refugees”. But what we fail to comprehend is that for various reasons it is our own transport systems, and the values and decisions that shape them, that are making many of us “refugees” in our own cities? It does not have to be this way.

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Sustainable Transport: Declaration of Dependence

Better Choices - FB EB

Out there in the real world life is a complex interactive system in which things do not exist in isolation but depend heavily on each other.  As Miller and Scott put it: “A complex adaptive system is a system in which a perfect understanding of the individual parts does not automatically convey a perfect understanding of the whole system’s behavior”.  Which means that if our goal is to create a strong and wise policy for sustainable transport in and around our cities we need to change our tools and perspective  as well as our behaviour.  As the Brundtland Report, “Our Common Future” told us already a full generation ago . . .

The following is taken from the peer review  edition of the forthcoming book “BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Your City“. For a copy drop a line to betterchoices@ecoplan,org.

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Some smart Swedes show us how to sort out taxis, “taxis”, Uber, ridesharing, carpooling, and the rest

How our Swedish friends are leading the way by sorting out taxis, taxis, ride-sharing, carpools, P2P & other great ways of getting there without taking your own car . And in the process showing the way for us all.

Also check out the sharp posting here on “Uber: Tough questions to our culture of innovation in Europe” at  http://wp.me/psKUY-3Q9

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CONGESTION AS POLICY. (You have seen worse.)

Whether or not congestion is “good” is one thing.  But what is for sure is that one way or another congestion is policy, or at the very least a policy option. And in some cases quite possibly a wise one.

Now this has been said many  times  by many people in many places, yet despite its incontrovertible wisdom the message continues to get lost on policy makers.  So in cases like this, we have to take a page out of the book of good people who sell us iPhones and cars, and keep repeating our message.

Today let’s hand over the podium to Kent Strumpell  from Los Angeles and see what he had to say on our subject in LA Streetsblog back in early 2008. To this reader it has lost none of relevance over almost a decade.  Read on. Continue reading

Why Alternatives Analysis is critical to Penang’s transportation future

Alternatives assessment or alternatives analysis is a problem-solving approach used in environmental design, technology, and policy. It aims to minimize environmental harm by comparing multiple potential solutions in the context of a specific problem, design goal, or policy objective. It is intended to inform decision-making in situations with many possible courses of action, a wide range of variables to consider, and significant degrees of uncertainty.

Since the early 1970’s transportation planners apply a multi-modal and/or comprehensive approach to analyzing a wide range of alternatives and impacts on the transportation system to influence beneficial outcomes

Penang’s SRS ca. RM 50 bn “Transport Master Plan” does not make scientific use of an essential transport planning and decision tool, namely Alternatives Analysis to test and compare alternative solutions to identified mobility solutions (see below). This is a grave deficiency which discredits the entire body of proposals,, methodology and recommendations currently being actively pushed by the state government and their under-qualified  consulting partners whose expertise lies in other sectors than strategic transport planning and policy..

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WHOSE OPINION MATTERS? Lessons from a Stakeholder Engagement Process for Penang, Malaysia

Lessons from a Stakeholder Engagement Process for Penang, Malaysia
Author: Minal Pathak • MIT-UTM Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program 2017

– Commentary by Eric Britton, Professor of Sustainable Development, Institut Supérieur de Gestion Paris

“Recommended reading for anyone who cares about Penang and Democracy”

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WHOSE OPINION MATTERS? Lessons from a stakeholder engagement process for Penang, Malaysia

This study examines stakeholder involvement in a transportation plan in Penang, Malaysia. The study employs a qualitative methodology and uses select indicators to evaluate the engagement process. Despite a concerted effort to engage the public, the government failed to resolve conflicts with key stakeholder groups.

Author: Minal Pathak • MIT-UTM Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program 2017
* PDF Download available from https://goo.gl/AhBC4o

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Case study brainstorm: LRT vs TDM Alternatives Analysis. Taipei International TDM Symposium. 27-29 Sept. 2017

Object: Identify and collect necessary info for Alternatives Analysis to weigh advantages/disadvantages of Penang’s BL LRT proposal vs. Sketch plan for package of TDM measures

Preparing for special session on Transport Alternatives Analysis/Impact Screening scheduled for Taipei International TDM Symposium (2017tdm.ntu.edu.tw) of 27-29 Sept. 2017,   (Contact eric.britton@ecolan.org or Skype newmobility for further information)

CASE STUDY: RM24 billion Bayan Lepas LRT  + Island Link 1 proposal vs. an initial sketch plan alternative for several packages of TDM measures and services

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Who read World Streets this morning?

Weekly reader hits: 4 Aug. 2017

* * Click map for higher definition version * *

The above map reports the locations of 561 readers checking into World Streets over the last five days. (Of our total 4,244 registered readers as of this date.)

But what about them? Where are they coming from? And what do they read?

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On Principles of Efficient Congestion Pricing (William Vickrey)

Wiliam VickreyWilliam Spenser Vickrey, 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 review 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.

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Say Good-bye to Old Mobility

green-car

“Old Mobility” – the world that most of us know best — with its drumbeat stress on steadily increasing supply, more vehicles, higher speeds, longer distances and more space-hogging infrastructure as the auto-pilot, unexamined answer to our urban mobility problems — has with very few exceptions been the favored path for decision-making and investment in the sector over the last 70 years.

It is well-known and easy to see where it is leading.  Aggressing the planet, costing us a bundle, draining the world’s petroleum reserves, and delivering poor service for the transport majority.  It’s time to learn from the best of the rest, the several hundred cities on our gasping planet, many of them in Europe, that are showing the way for the rest. None of  even the best are perfect. Each is struggling in its own way. But they are trying and that is what responsible governance and participatory democracy is all about.

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Transportation Innovation and Reform: The Path to Social Sustainability

As wise and balanced a summary as you will find of the fine art of dialogue and engagement when it comes to the hard job of developing and integrating new transport arrangements into a space as varied and in many ways contradictory and conflicted as a  21st century city, in any part of the world.  Bravo! With kind thanks to Christopher Zegras of MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, one of the conveners of this event, for sharing this with our readers. (You may also wish to check out the short note of conclusion of the editor.) Continue reading

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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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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SLOW CITY: START HERE

FOR THE RECORD AND IN BRIEF:

A Slow City is an urban development vision and quantifiable target, the first step of which is  (a) to reduce traffic accidents and their human and economic costs to zero  in the city, by (b) strategically slowing down traffic, over all the parts and the system as a whole. This gives the city a measurable target output (accident data and on-street and in-vehicle ITS feedback) for evaluation and management purposes,  and an innovative platform to link and serve other sustainable projects and programs which are consistent to the theme: reforms and improvements that are Better | Cheaper | Quicker.

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