Surprising Things You Never Knew About Transport

This is the first in a series of four short films prepared by a faculty team from the Centre for Transport and Society at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). The four podcasts pose some interesting questions and give an insightful appraisal of what influences travel habits, delivered by nationally leading experts in the field of transport research: Professor Glenn Lyons, Dr Steve Melia, Professor Graham Parkhurst and Professor John Parkin. Today’s film is presented by Steve Melia and looks into some surprising questions from Steve’s forthcoming book ‘Urban Transport Without the Hot Air’. All four films can be viewed on the UWE Bristol web pages.

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Getting ready for Earth Car Free Day (in 2001)

From the Archives:

Back in March of 2001 a reporter from Grist Magazine got in touch with Eric Britton of EcoPlan’s long-standing World Car Free Day program for an interview concerning progress in the run-up for the first Earth Car Free Day, being jointly organized at the time in partnership with the Earth Day Network for a 19 April 2001 blast-off. The interview eventually morphed into a week-long series of articles and reflections on various aspects (real and imagined) of the Car Free Day push which you will find below. (For original articles click to Grist at http://grist.org/article/britton-earthcarfree/full/).

illegal taxi chinese destroy 1

 

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World Car Free Day 2015: “La femme est l’avenir de l’homme”

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Celebrating Bandung’s Car Free Day. Known as “We shot Bandung” Credit: Ikhlasyl Amal.

At a terrible time in the history of mankind, I propose to you this photograph as a message of hope and a silent clue to a better, sweeter future for all. . . agreeing as I do with the poet Louis Aragon when he wrote so long ago: “La femme est l’avenir de l’homme” (“Woman is the Future of Mankind”).

What about this? Let’s get together, you and, I to see what we can do about making this the universal theme of World Car Free Day this year . . .  in as many cities and countries around the world as we can.  One city at a time.

Your turn!

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Helsinki: Toward a “Better than car” transportation system

World Streets readers will certainly want to stay on top of this project of the city of Helsinki to come up with what we call a “better than car transportation system”. The excerpts just below taken  from an article published in the Guardian yesterday will lead you to the full piece. There is a mild irony to the extent to which the “technological core” of the project has to do with the mobility arrangements which have been receiving steady, and happily increasing, attention since the mid-1960s, namely DRT or Dial-a-Ride. The massive change elements which fundamentally transform and scale up the basic DRT of long past operational system is a combination of close to universal mobile phones, abounding apps, and Big Data. That plus a good dose of public entrepreneurship and outreach changes everything. We invite you to have a look and to share your thoughts with us about this intriguing real world adventure.

Helsinki, Finland.

Urban mobility, rethought … Helsinki, Finland. Photograph: Hemis/Alamy

Running out of cars? Let’s have a closer look at the evidence

green-carGlen Lyon of the University of the West of England draws our attention to a recent expert event in Britain looking critically at the evidence and debates surrounding ‘peak car’. The article to which he draws our attention provides a detailed written account of a roundtable discussion on the topic which took place in London on 20 May 2014. Much needed, it is now available at: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/23277/. A summary follows.

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Signals, Perceptions, Behaviour: Questions, Blurs & Clues

In transportation circles, most often in Europe and North America but not uniquely there, we often brain2hear the term “behavior modification”, which is usually brandished as something that somebody else has to learn to do and cope with. More often than not this matter of behavior modification crops up when it comes to considering how, when and where people drive cars. But we can also hear about it with reference to the behavior (and the modification thereof) of pedestrians, cyclists, commuters and other drivers and street denizens. And as we can see from the results, this matter of behavior and modification turns out to be quite a challenge. We are opening up the pages of World Streets and others of our projects and work to these discussions over the course of 2014.

– – – > Click HERE  for more on behavior and choice from World Streets

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World Streets Worst Practices Department: 2014 Nominations

wswpd 2014  Our Dear LeaderFor the last several years the internationally fabled Worst Practices Department has taken its place of honor in World Streets and the world more generally, because when it comes to transportation there has never been a shortage of flakey ideas.

This year we shall for the first time be handing out handsome  Awards in a planet- spanning  ceremony that will be the object of an open virtual conference (details to follow) perhaps on the same day that the Sustainable Transport Awards for 2014 are announced in parallel with the annual TRB conference. The keen-eyed, unafraid WSWPD program Dear Leader will of course figure prominently on the trophies. (Details to follow shortly.)

But what we are looking to draw attention to here are not just the little stuff that may be the joy of an intrepid inventor with blinders on or group of gung-ho supporters fearlessly attached to some favorite notion, but the kinds of wrong-headed mega projects that often keep popping up in many parts of the world, sold hard by their sponsors and (if I may) fellow travelers -;)

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Dinesh Mohan on The Streets of India, v. 2.0

The Streets of India 2.0

– Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. New Delhi. 22 June 2014

In response to your invitation to comment on the possible new launching of the Streets of India 2.0:

1.       I think you should [continue on this] because a lot of people seem to get information from such sources.

2.       Many expats out of India and other well wishers want to help their “unfortunate brothers and sisters” living here in a “corrupt inefficient land”  They want us to get our act together and reproduce an America or Europe in India. I guess that’s not going to happen. 

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World Streets and the Fine Art of Governance

Search by topic - governanceIn order to help the reader find appropriate articles and references on identified important themes from our commodious library of postings and comments, World Streets offers a handful of Search Engines of different types. One of these that you will see to your immediate right here, allows the reader to search according to various keyed topic areas, of which approximately one hundred have been identified thus far. One of the more consulted of these categories is that of “governance”.

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Thinking on Equity/Transport: Todd Litman, Canada

no excuses sir

We are inviting comments and background information on this our central concept behind this project, i.e., what is this thing we call transportation equity all about? We are looking for a variety of views and perspectives on our topic and not some kind of warm and glass-eyed unanimity. If we cannot handle contradictions and fuzziness, then we are not about to make headway on a challenge of this level of complexity. The following valuable contribution and bibliography comes in from Todd Litman, executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute in Victoria Canada.

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To fix Sustainable Transport: Ensure Full Gender Parity in all Decision and Investment Fora

The Year of the Woman in Transport – Part II “Don't treat women equally”.

Jane Jacobs rewrites the book

And this is the ONLY way to get this important job done!  We need a hammer . . . not a paint brush. This leadership function cannot be passively sub-contracted to the other sex (at least not in the first years of necessary transition and true accomplishment). Full gender parity and get on with the game. No excuses or temporizing.

World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda have since 1988 been vigorous proponents of full gender parity in all planning and decision counsel. In this section you will find a number of the articles that we have published arguing in favor of gender parity in recent years.

You may also wish to check out and eventually join the supporting Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/gatnet/.

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xTransit – The Third Way of Getting Around in Cities

Our 21st century cities and those of us who live and work in them have transportation requirements that have little in common with the historical patterns. Our actual service needs are closer to what we can see in successful car-based systems than the patterns associated with traditional public transport. That is to say, user requirements in this new-life system are for the most part not linear (i.e., many-to-many) , nor strictly time-cadenced.

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World Streets Worst Practices Department

France-city of the future le corbuIn a world in which considerable attention is given to the concept of “Best Practices” as teaching guides and exemplars  in the field of cities and transportation, World Streets has since our founding in 2009 drawn attention from time to time to poor, desperately poor and even pernicious policies and practices.  Our Worst Practices Department has its rightful place in World Streets because when it comes to transportation there has never been a shortage of flakey, retrograde, often even dangerous ideas.

You are invited to pitch in, drawing to our attention what you believe to bone fide worst practices. What is surprising is just how many of them are, and how hard it is for some of the worst and most costly ideas (they often go together) to be put to death in a peaceful way.

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“Every day is a great day to take a few cars off the street and think about it”

Who, where in the world is looking at World Car Free Days this morning at http://ecoplan.org/carfreedays/ ?

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(Last 200 visitors to the site)

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World Streets 2.0 – New Look

magnifying glassSince World Streets was taken by assault last week by something like 4000 hits as a result of our article announcing and providing some strategic commentary of the Paris project in which they are committed to reduce speeds to the top limit of 30 Kph page through the entire city – click here if you have not yet seen it – we ended up taking a good critical look at our website, the good, the bad and the frankly ugly,  and decided to do some fairly radical spring cleaning. So if you click today to https://worldstreets.wordpress.com/ today, you will see our new look.

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Paris to limit speeds to 30 km/hr over entire city

france paris 30 kph signThe just-elected new Mayor of Paris, Madame Anne Hidalgo, has prepared a revolutionary sustainable mobility project whereby virtually all of the streets of the city will be subject to a maximum speed limit of 30 km/hr.

The only exceptions in the plan are a relatively small number of major axes into the city and along the two banks of the Seine, where the speed limit will be 50 km/hr, and the city’s hard pressed ring road (périphérique) where the top permissible speed has recently been reduced from 80 to 70 km/hr. At the other end of the slowth spectrum are a certain number of “meeting zones” (zones de rencontre) spotted around the city in which pedestrians and cyclists have priority but mix with cars which are limited to a top speed of 20 km/hr. A veritable révolution à la française.

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Obligatory National Cycling License (A Modest Proposal)

World Streets, together with a number of our readers and supporters, including city cyclists and others working in the sector, UK cyclist traffichave decided to take a public position on obligatory National Cycling Licenses. And that around the world the appropriate agencies and legislative groups, city by city and country by country, will step forward one at a time and when they are ready to pass into their law a requirement that certain road users must take and pass a rigorous National Cycling License examination.

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Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei City: Part II

taipei CFD cover

Keynote presentation on the occasion of the Tenth Taipei City Car Free Day celebration.  Eric Britton, MD, EcoPlan International on 22 September 2011.

For the full presentation (PDF) click here.

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