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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Op-Ed. Andrew tries to get across the street in Penang.

CONGRATULATIONS ANDREW: Best one-person transportation initiative that I have seen since first starting to follow developments in Penang in September 2013.

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But this is what actually happens when you erect them (with many thousands of variations)

pakistan-karachi-ladies-crossing-traffic-footbridge

From the New Mobility Fine Arts Collection: The Inner Eye – Autumn 2016
– https://www.facebook.com/NewMobilityArts/

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* * Or perhaps you prefer something along these lines? (Pedestrian Bridge in Shenzhen, China)

pedestrian-bridge-in-shenzhen-china

From the New Mobility Fine Arts Collection: The Inner Eye – Autumn 2016
– https://www.facebook.com/NewMobilityArts/

 * Photo source: http://www.arch2o.com/pedestrian-bridge-in-shenzhen-china/

*This is commonly referred to as putting lipstick on a pig. Moral of the story: you can make it as pretty as you can, but at the end of the day it’s still a pig.”

Because they are so very bad at doing their purported job (i.e. protecting and providing a safe, comfortable and efficient walkable environment for people on foot (or cycle, or wheel chairs or for the elderly, encumbered, simply tired, etc., and because they so often fascinate architects and politicians, we intend from time to time in the NM Fine Arts Collection, show you other examples of how they (do not) work.
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nm-fine-arts-the-inner-eye-exhibit
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* Have something that you think World Streets readers might appreciate as they wander the Fine Arts  Collection in 2017? Post it to Curator_FineArts@ecoplan.com and we will share it with some of our curators and eventually enter it into the Collection.

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No footover bridges in the name of clean air!!

China pedestrian bridge traffic

stairs to pedestrian bridge

Enjoy your trip

The following is a brilliant and important exchange on a topic that has a rich double meaning that is really worth getting across our idea-resistant noggins (heads, if you will) once and for all. If you believe that the most universal, the most fundamental, certainly the most responsible, even the noblest form of getting round is when we can make our trips safely by foot (or wheelchair if that is what we need to be independently mobile), than you as a responsible politician, administrator, planner or engaged voter, simply would not even for one minute consider engaging in this kind of folly.

So what you have here is an exchange that got started more than five years, and to which Syed Saiful Alam has so well stated in the last posting in this short series, when he stubbornly repeats “No footover bridges in the name of clean air!!”, “No footover bridges in the name of clean air!!”.

Let’s take their postings in chrono order.

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Penang report excerpts: Pedestrian Overpasses

6.1           Pedestrian Overpasses

 A pedestrian overpass allows pedestrians safe crossing over busy roads without impeding traffic.

malaysia penang ped overpasses stairsThere was a time that these grafted bits or road-related infrastructure seemed to make sense. A mark of that time was the implicit assumption that “traffic” meant  cars and that it made perfect sense to give them priority over pedestrians, cyclists and anybody else who might wish to cross a busy road. That time has now passed.

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