What’s a Street? (Hint: It’s not a road)

streetsfilm-square-canada-montreal-cobble-stone-street-bike

                                                                             Credit: Team Bruntlett, Modacity Life. Montreal Canada

Contents:

1. Wikipedia reminds us
2. Selected WP “Contents”
3. Better Choices: Planners Bookshelf
4. World Streets on streets

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Worst Practices you really do not need to repeat in your city.

Awareness of the environmental, economic, equity and efficiency limitations of the old car-dominated transportation paradigm traces back to the early 1970s and has been extensively documented in the international literature.  But the old ideas, the old almost auto-pilot notions as to what works and what doesn’t die hard.  It is thus necessary that from the perspective of planning and public policy that we keep a sharp eye on all of these old bad habits, from the beginning of the investigatory, preparatory, analytic and planning process.

With this in view here is a first shortlist of well-known transport-related traps which your city really does not need to fall into.  If your strategic transport plan and actual performance, respect the first handful of these criteria.  You can be confident that you’re well on the right path.

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Flash: On plugging gaps normally filled by public and private investment in transport infrastructure and services.

uber-parking-summit-nj 

 * Exracts: Article by continues at http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-38252405

The town of Summit, New Jersey, is about 30 miles west of Manhattan. It has a population of around 20,000. While I’ve never been there myself, I can tell you one thing: finding a parking spot at the train station can be a complete nightmare.

So Mayor Nora Radest was planning to do the obvious and build more spaces to accommodate the growing demand. It would have cost around $10m (£7.9m).That’s an awful lot of money, and so instead she took on an interesting experiment. Everyone who has a parking permit at the station is now entitled to a free Uber ride to and from their homes.

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(BC) What is an Equity-Based Transport System ?

little-girlWe understand that in the transport sector this is not a well-known nor much appreciated concept, at least in the positive sense we are trying to develop here.  So we are making every effort to share broadly, to invite questions and to clarify.  In this spirit I was discussing this program the other day with a bright young woman from the Emirates who is on an MBA program here, who smiled at me indulgently as I asked her views and said: ‘Don’t you understand Eric, life is not fair”. That gives us, I would say, a good point of departure.

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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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(BC) What/who keeps holding back New Mobility reform in your city in 2016?

Penang pedestrian is king

If you get it, New Mobility policy reform is a no-brainer. However, while the New Mobility Agenda is a great starting place, it is not going to get the job somehow miraculously done just because it is the only game in town when it comes to sustainable transport. There is plenty of competition for your thin wallet,  all that space on the street, and  especially for that space between our ears. We have a few potential sticking points here that need to be overcome first.

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(BC)  Say Good-bye to Old Mobility (taking stock)

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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Transport minimization: Bridging 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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Equity, Efficiency and the Invisible Transportation Majority

invisible people

That old transport paradigm, the one we are still living with today, is far too narrow in terms of the range and quality of people targeted and services offered, and in the process fails to serve what is — in fact — the transpiration majority.

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“Ils sont fous ces suedois” (The Swedes show us how to sort out taxis, “taxis”, Uber, ridesharing, carpooling, and the rest)

sweden-uber-stockholm

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Archives: The struggle for local democracy in Malaysia

This is one of those special times for Malaysia when change and ideas are most  welcome. So there is hope and opportunity.  And it is one of those special times when change, even paradigm shifts are possible, and local governments given a new and more central place in the lives of our citizens. If we can together constructively, creatively and systematically build and add to the many promising initiatives , and if civic engagement leads an upsurge of citizen interest, we will surely see the emergence of an efficient, effective, equitable, democratic local government system in Malaysia that is socially, ecologically and economically sustainable.  And make a marked improvement in the quality of life of all Malaysians.
* Anwar Fazal, Penang. In Malaysiakini, 12 April 2001

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Victoria Transport Policy Institute. Fall 2016 Newsletter

This carefully compiled seasonal report from Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute is a fine tool and up to date source guide for researchers and policy makers worldwide. We are pleased to present it in its entirety here, together with references you will find handy to take these entries further. Thanks Todd for your fine continuing contributions. You are definitely part of the solution.

Vtpi Litman Canada

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Book review: Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future

* by Ethan Goffman. Posted 8th September 2015 in 

john-whitelegg-inter-view-with-satnam-ranaFor the past couple of decades, a small group of thinkers, calling themselves variously ecological economists, degrowthers, and voluntary simplifiers, has undertaken a seemingly quixotic quest against the global obsession with growth for its own sake. They question the idea that increased gross domestic product will invariably help all people regardless of social standing, and question even more the environmental sustainability of limitless growth. A new book, Mobility by John Whitelegg, a British professor of transportation planning and former local government councilor, puts forth a kind of corollary to this thinking, attacking the pursuit of mobility for its own sake.

Important announcement: Mobility has been priced to  move. Available in both paper and eBook form for less than USD 10.00. See http://tinyurl.com/zxclcz4
(Thank you John for thinking about students, fund-strapped NGOs and readers in developing, smaller cities with tight budgets.)

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The Haunting Lights of Truth

Gridlock on 405 Freeway in West Los Angeles  captured by AIR7 HD.

– Keep up with real-time traffic conditions here: http://abc7.com/traffic
– Best/worst times to travel for Thanksgiving –  Waze: http://abc7.la/2g0LXY6

Oh I see, a thinking exercise

The obvious answer is to add more lanes.

Or is it?

World Streets: Happy Thanksgiving 2016

PS. And oh yes, it just so happens that we do know how to take care of that one.

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Smart Phone Applications Primer: Transforming Mobility

smartphones-car-dashboard

Smartphone apps are transforming mobility by improving access to transportation services, increasing mobility, and enhancing traveler engagement. These apps are spawning new businesses, services, and mobility models. For example, within a short period, app-based innovations leapfrogged the livery industry with services, such as Uber, Lyft, and Flywheel. Using smartphones to facilitate mobility is becoming the new norm. Smartphone apps have transformed the way that many travelers arrange for-hire vehicle services, plan for trips, or get real-time transportation information.

This primer, sponsored by the US Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Operations and carried out by theUniversity of California, Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center, is intended to demonstrate how vital smartphones are becoming to the transportation network and provide public agencies, transportation managers, and elected officials with a perspective and understanding the role of smartphones in identifying services and choices for individuals and influencing travel behavior.

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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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Mainstreaming gender issues into the rural transport sector: Seven research programmes underway in Asia and Africa

girls-school-bihar-india-photograph-ehtisham-husain

Gatnet: Collaborative problem-solving for a world-wide action agenda

Following a  discussion on GATNET  that took place during November-December 2015 — reference http://wp.me/p1bevG-7d — around why gender has not been mainstreamed into the rural transport sector and why addressing gender issues in rural transport has not been transformative, changing the unequal relations between women and  men, UK AID has commissioned seven research programmes in Asia and Africa to explore these issues  further. The  countries in which the research is taking place are Nepal (in South Asia), Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone,Liberia, Uganda and Ghana (in Africa). (See http://www.research4cap.org/SitePages/Home.aspx or join GATNET (below) for further updates).

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