Our Personal Choices — and Our (un)Sustainable Lives

I don’t think we can buy the argument anymore that we deserve special dispensation just because we think what we  —  the “elite” — are doing is worthwhile. 

airplan taking off polution - photo dsleeter_2000

Let’s see. At last count there were already well more than seven billion of us sharing this suddenly very small planet. And let’s say, just to get a crude handle on this, that each of us, whether in Mali or Malibu, makes something like a hundred “personal planet action choices” each day, leading to specific actions which when we had them all up have quite a potential impact on our earth.

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WHY SPEND A BILLION DOLLARS IF A FIVE-MILLION DOLLAR SOLUTION IS BETTER OVERALL?

Canada Malahat Highway congestion traffic

A LESSON FOR PENANG

The great weakness of the local political establishment to Penang’s transport planning  and policy needs is that they have insufficient technical backgrounds and competence to solve the mobility problems the people of Penang . This was made clear by the recommendations of the final Halcrow report in 2013 and nothing has been done since to improve the situation.

There are other more effective approaches to dealing with these problems with a strategy of affordable policies, measures and tools capable of giving swift results and a fraction of the costs of the proposed massive infrastructure program, the PTMP.

Let’s have a look at the Canadian report “Rethinking Malahat Solutions: Or, Why Spend a Billion Dollars if a Five-Million Dollar Solution is Better Overall?” at www.vtpi.org/malahat.pdf

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WHY SPEND A BILLION DOLLARS IF A FIVE-MILLION DOLLAR SOLUTION IS BETTER OVERALL?

Canada Malahat Highway congestion traffic

A LESSON FOR PENANG

The great weakness of the local political establishment to Penang’s transport planning  and policy needs is that they have insufficient technical backgrounds and competence to solve the mobility problems the people of Penang . This was made clear by the recommendations of the final Halcrow report in 2013 and nothing has been done since to improve the situation.

There are other more effective approaches to dealing with these problems with a strategy of affordable policies, measures and tools capable of giving swift results and a fraction of the costs of the proposed massive infrastructure program, the PTMP.

Let’s have a look at the Canadian report “Rethinking Malahat Solutions: Or, Why Spend a Billion Dollars if a Five-Million Dollar Solution is Better Overall?” at www.vtpi.org/malahat.pdf

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THE FIVE PERCENT CHALLENGE, COLLABORATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING (In brief)

FB 5 percent Start now

 * * Working draft for peer review and comment of 17 July 2019

The basic concept is simple in principle, namely: to identify and put to work a strategic package of proven, street-tested, cost-effective measures, tools and means  to reduce GHG emissions from the mobility sector in a cooperating city or place by a targeted five percent (or better) in a year or less. Realization of the concept on the other hand is highly demanding and requires considerable technical competence, abundant political savvy and leadership by daily example.

The underlying goal is highly ambitious, and perhaps not immediately evident.  It is about people and choices, and not so much about infrastructure or vehicles.  We are talking here about influencing behaviour of individuals and groups in this specific part of their day to day lives. Since indeed the only way that we can successfully make this critical transition in a functioning democracy — is no less than to change behaviour by creating a transformed urban (or rural, or other demographic) ecosystem of  connected realities, time, space, perceptions, awarenesses, values, fears, prejudices, habits and, hopefully in parallel with this an wide array of “better than car” or  at least satisficing mobility choices.  The key to all this being to offer what are perceived as better choices for all when it comes to daily life, climate, mobility, environment  and democracy impacts.  The challenge we now face is to accompany this transition, and this in the teeth of a rapidly degrading environment and still a largely skeptical world.

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Designing for Transportation Management and Operations: A Primer

US DOT TDM Primer graphic

Abstract:

This primer from the US Department of Transportation  is focused on the collaborative and systematic consideration of management and operations during transportation project design and development. This is termed “designing for operations.” Effectively designing for operations involves the development and application of design policies, procedures, and strategies that support transportation management and operations.

The consideration of operations needs during the design process requires transportation design professionals to work closely with those with expertise in transportation operations, intelligent transportation and transportation technology staff, planning, transit, freight, traffic incident management, and other practitioners from multiple agencies to fully identify, prioritize, and incorporate operations needs into the infrastructure design. This primer introduces the concept for designing for operations and describes tools or institutional approaches to assist transportation agencies in considering operations in their design procedures as well as pointing out some specific design considerations for various operations strategies

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TDM – A World Streets Primer

TDM HOV lane

Since TDM (Transportation Demand Management) is a key pillar of the New Mobility Agenda strategy, and of our now forming-up Five Percent Challenge Climate Emergency program, it is important that the basic distinctions are clear for all.  In one of our recent master classes, when several students asked me to clarify for them, I turned the tables instead and asked them, since we are now firmly in the 21st century, to go home, spend a bit of time online and come up with something that answered their question to their satisfaction.  Here is what they came up with, taken whole hog from http://bit.ly/2rTxHrr (which we then lightly edited together and offer for your reading pleasure).

Quick-start references:

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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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