The Battle for Street Space – Part I (World Streets Archives)

FB micromob cities

EARNING A PUBLIC SPACE DIVIDEND IN THE STREETS

– Paul Barter, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, University of Singapore


Abstract:
Experiments with shared space or “naked streets” have captured imaginations and considerable media coverage in recent years. Most of the excitement stems from surprise that streets without kerbs, road markings or signage can work well and achieve “safety through uncertainty”. This paper looks at another equally important insight from shared space.

It focuses on a series of innovations that, like shared space, re-arrange the roles of streets in new ways to yield a “dividend” of expanded urban public realm, with little or no loss of transport utility. Such a space dividend should be especially welcome in dense cities that are both congested and short of public space.

Introduction

What are streets and roadways for? An obvious answer is traffic movement. But that is clearly not the whole story. A second role is to allow the reaching of final destinations— the role we call “access”. Thirdly, streets can be valuable public places in their own right. In addition, moving high-speed motor vehicles differ enormously from movement by low-speed, vulnerable modes such as bicycles. Unfortunately, speedy motor traffic movement and the other roles of streets are in serious conflict. For almost a century, the tension between these roles has been at the heart of debate over street design (Hass-Klau 1990; Jacobs et al. 2002). This article reviews emerging resolutions to this tension.

The Battle for Street Space

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Town in Iceland Paints 3D Zebra Crosswalk To Slow Down Speeding Cars

In the small fishing town of Ísafjörður, Iceland, an exciting development in road safety has just popped up – almost literally. A new pedestrian crossing has been painted that appears to be 3D by way of a cleverly-detailed optical illusion.

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SLOW CITY TRANSITION: NOTES FOR A THINKING EXERCISE

FB SC - Groningen streetThe idea of slowing top speeds on traffic in the city to reduce accidents and achieve other important systemic benefits would seem like a pretty sensible, straightforward and affordable thing to do. For a lot of reasons.  Let’s have a look.

* To get going, you may also want to check out our Slow City 2017 Reader and Slow City: Start here.

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ONLINE TDM ENCYCLOPEDIA – VTPI

This is a critical reference and tool set for World Streets readers, introducing the full contents as of 6 March 2019 of the TDM (Transportation Demand Management) Encyclopedia of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute headed by Todd Litman. All the more than one hundred resources and references cited here are available online. The full report is online at: http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/ 

Transportation Demand Management (TDM, also called Mobility Management) is a general term for strategies that result in more efficient use of transportation resources. This Encyclopedia is a comprehensive source of information about innovative management solutions to transportation problems. It provides detailed information on dozens of demand management strategies, plus general information on TDM planning and evaluation techniques. It is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to increase understanding and implementation of TDM.

How important is TDM for transport/mobility planners, policy makers or concerned citizens and civil society?  It is very easy to answer that question, which boils down to this: If you do not have on your team first rate competence in TDM measures and references, then you are in the wrong business. TDM is the first line of defense of sustainable transport planning and policy!

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A “BETTER THAN CAR” MOBILITY SYSTEM

car free day driver stopped

Nobody in a democratic 21st century country 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 cost-competitive, equity-based low-emissions  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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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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17 plus 1 reasons why I am prudently optimistic about the Climate/Mobility Transition for 2020

Shortlist of Transformative Realities and Trends

eb-tallinn-statementOne of the great recompenses of having watched the sustainable transportation and related technology developments evolve over the course of several decades, is that if one takes the time to step back and scan the evidence for pattern breaks, one can readily spot a certain number of  trends, fundamental structural changes, quite a few of which bode well for a different and better future for transport in and around cities. Here are a handful of the fundamental underlying changes which I have spotted over the last decades and which I would like to share with you this morning.

Let’s start with a simple listing and then go on to brief comments in an attempt to clarify.

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Online TDM Encyclopedia


Transportation Demand Management (TDM, also called Mobility Management) is a general term for strategies that result in more efficient use of transportation resources. This Encyclopedia is a comprehensive source of information about innovative management solutions to transportation problems. It provides detailed information on dozens of demand management strategies, plus general information on TDM planning and evaluation techniques. It is produced by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute to increase understanding and implementation of TDM.

Continue reading

17 plus 1 reasons why I am prudently optimistic about the Climate/Mobility Transition for 2019-2020

Shortlist of Transformative Realities and Trends

eb-tallinn-statementOne of the great recompenses of having watched the sustainable transportation and related technology developments evolve over the course of several decades, is that if one takes the time to step back and scan the evidence for pattern breaks, one can readily spot a certain number of  trends, fundamental structural changes, quite a few of which bode well for a different and better future for transport in and around cities. Here are a handful of the fundamental underlying changes which I have spotted over the last decades and which I would like to share with you this morning.

Let’s start with a simple listing and then go on to brief comments in an attempt to clarify.

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TRANSITION STRATEGIES: Selected Wikipedia checklist of key terms, concepts and references

Intended as a handy research aid, checklist and reminder for students, researchers and others digging into the Slow City and related technical and policy challenges. A certain familiarity with these concepts is desirable; more than that I would say essential.

It is particularly important that those responsible for planning and policy be comfortable with these concepts. Anyone prepared to work in the field will already have familiarity with, say,  9 out of 10 of the concepts identified here.  It concerns the stuff of sustainable transport, sustainable mobility and sustainable cities.  (I would draw your attention particularly to those entries that are marked with two  asterisks * * which touch on some of the more subtle and essential components of a sustainable transport policy.)

From the beginning in the late eighties the New Mobility Agenda was conceived as a shared space for communications and didactic tools zeroing in on our chosen topic from a number of angles,  and over the last eight years World Streets has  continued in this tradition. I hope that what follows may be useful to some of you.  As you will see, I think it is an important and powerful tool — which those of us who care can help shape and put to work for the good cause.

How much can you trust Wikipedia and what you can do about it

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A Short History of Car Free Days (Weeks, Months, Cities): Origins, Timeline, Progress

Toledo (Spain), 22 Sept. 1994 . Ciudades Accessibles (Accessible Cities) Conference
“Every day is a great day to take a few cars off the street and think about it.”

INDIA GUARGON CAR FREE DAY BICYCLIST

Here is how the Car Free Days movement got started and has taken shape over the last quarter century (time flies).  This is the second in a series of articles which we update and post annually just prior to the September rush to get the latest batch of Car Free Day/New Mobility Agenda projects off the ground. We hope that these pieces and the references you find here are going to prove useful to those responsible for making a success of their Days in 2019 and beyond. Getting a CFD right and making it a real success is no easy task — good knowledge of what has worked and not worked in the past should serve you well. Continue reading

WHITELEGG ON MOBILITY. Chapter 1. Introduction

Walking to school

The following reproduces the full text of John Whitelegg’s opening chapter of his book, Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future,  Straw Barnes Press. September 1, 2015. For further background on the 2018 online New Mobility Master Class program of which focuses on this introduction in the opening session, refer to: “Mobility, Death and Injury. (Let’s see what John Whitelegg has to say about this.)” at https://wp.me/psKUY-59l 

Introduction

In the 1950s as a primary school child in Oldham (UK) I had very limited mobility measured in terms of the number of miles I ranged over each week. Life was intensely focused on the locality, intense contact with other children who lived within 500 metres of my home, and intense outdoor play for as many hours as my parents would allow (usually more than they would allow). We children decided when to go out, where to go, with whom and what to play and from an early age acquired a great deal of proficiency in negotiation skills, dispute resolution and independent decision-taking.

Life was very good, full and rich and the low level of mobility contributed to that richness. Time that might have been spent in a car being taken to organized “things” was put to good use in ways we decided. We did not need to roam very far from home and we enjoyed our local streets, second world war air-raid shelters (dark, dirty and mysterious) and large amounts of untidy urban space.

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

FB SC small jason and eb on steps

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______________ THE NEED FOR SAFE SPEEDS ______________ A Safe City Primer from the World Resources Institute

Peripheral vision loss (grayed area) of driver at 70 kph on city street. Graphic by: WRI. Notice anything?

  Four Surprising Ways Slower Driving Creates Better Cities

Text extracts from article from TheCityFix of 9 May 2016.  Full text and excellent  didactic graphics at https://goo.gl/9tydC6

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Safe cities and the S L O W . . . movement

Article Source: http://www.slowmovement.com/slow_cities.php

Fired by the success and support for Slow Food the Italians set about initiating the Slow Cities movement. Slow cities are characterised by a way of life that supports people to live slow. Traditions and traditional ways of doing things are valued. These cities stand up against the fast-lane, homogenised world so often seen in other cities throughout the world. Slow cities have less traffic, less noise, fewer crowds.

Towns in Italy have banded together to form an organization and call themselves the Slow Cities movement. In their zeal to help the world they have formed what amounts to a global organization that sets out to control which cities in the world can call themselves Slow Cities and which cannot. This is not a movement. Social movements are movements from the bottom from the community. The seachange movement, the organic movement, the vegetarian movement, the homeschooling movement, are examples of movements. No-one controls them. No-one assesses you to see if you are allowed to call yourself a seachanger or if you can say you are a vegetarian.

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Our mobile conscience 

Dealing with good and evil (in traffic)

drawing head held anxietyIn 2010 a 38-year-old motorist filled with remorse entered a police station in the Netherlands to give himself up. Twenty years earlier he had run over a child and was ridden with guilt. The man explained that he slept badly since the accident, suffered from nightmares and could not find a decent permanent job. The approximately five-year-old child unexpectedly crossed the road and he could not brake in time. While another motorist took care of the victim, he drove away and since then he lived contrary to his conscience. Until it was too much for him that morning and he decided to surrender himself.

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Town in Iceland Paints 3D Zebra Crosswalk To Slow Down Speeding Cars

In the small fishing town of Ísafjörður, Iceland, an exciting development in road safety has just popped up – almost literally. A new pedestrian crossing has been painted that appears to be 3D by way of a cleverly-detailed optical illusion.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Our Right to Walk is Non-negotiable

india- children in trafficAnumita Roychowdhury, associate director of the Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi, in a wide-ranging conversation with Faizal Khan reporting for the excellent Walkability Asia ( Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities),  spells out clearly the inevitability of a non-motorised transport code in India through shocking figures and revealing facts. “We need zero tolerance policy for accidents. This menu of action needs support. Our right to walk is not negotiable.”  And on this Roychowdhury is entirely right. On this score we must be entirely intransigent and as part of this to keep pounding away on this important point of citizen activism on every available occasion, until we get the concept of zero tolerance written into the law and respected on the streets. All our streets! Continue reading

Walking the Walk in Bogota

 

Although the number of pedestrian trips made daily in Bogotá is high (3,090,809), we observe that there has been little study of the state of these road users in the city; a state defined on occasion by unsafe streets, the invasion of public space, and a poor and deteriorating pedestrian infrastructure, as well as by, among others, the intervention of various public spheres and the improvement of parks and plazas.

This document has resulted from an investigation process, consultation of various sources, and a critical, informative and constructive analysis on the part of its authors and collaborators. The aim is to develop an in-depth analysis that offers both layman and professional audiences profound insights into the difficulties, opportunities, and challenges of pedestrian mobility in the city, as well as generating a number of proposals in order to contribute to public policy that prioritizes pedestrian well-being.

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