China’s Lose-Lose Love Affair with the Modern Motor Car

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Report from China: Op-Ed by Robert U. Ayres

In December I travelled to the city of Kunming, in Yunnan province, China. The occasion of the trip was to attend a conference on planning and give a talk on economics at that conference. The host was the newly appointed provincial Governor, who is also the Communist Party Chairman for Yunnan. The organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the attendees were academics and civil servants in the urban planning departments from all of the major cities of  organizer was the former chief planner for Singapore, and the Yunnan province. I was invited on short notice (only two weeks) and I was asked to provide a copy of my talk in advance, without much detailed information about the actual situation. What I did know about China was more applicable to Beijing and Shanghai than to Kunming. So, I had to “punt”, as they say.

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

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                                                                             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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Ann Hackett comments on “Traffic is people. (And people are smart)”

Hi Eric,

I’ve been meaning to respond on other issues as well so I’ve added in some thoughts about taxis.

Congestion contributes to both public health and environmental emergencies. My understanding is that global warming and its effects are the new mobility paradigm, rather than smart phone apps and their technological interface with mobility. In fact, by focusing on ride-sharing apps, many people are even further marginalized.

The public needs an evolutionary viable alternative that will significantly reduce Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT). The new “ride-sharing” taxis do not do this in any significant way and they are not “sharing”, (a misnomer), when they are not truly shared .
The only way I see massive VMT reduction happening is through a dual process of: eliminating 100% of on-street parking and making streets one-way. One former parking lane is replaced by a contiguous city-wide bicycle lane. The other side of the street is dedicated to public transport, taxis and service vehicles.

All taxis should be mandated to be shared by passengers, transporting to their maximum capacity. The public can easily hail a taxi from designated service-side areas (remember the simple change through paint?) or use their ride-sharing apps. Will this change public transport? Certainly it will, and it can even enhance it because with this system, one can now get to the bus stop, train station, and the proverbial first and last mile.
The allure of these new apps is their convenience and response time and this can be achieved with traditional, designated, and orderly taxi street-hailing as well. Sometimes the easiest solution is the best.

I applaud Paris’s efforts but I disagree with both the City Engineer and you, Eric. If true alternatives existed, smart people would of course use them, but to date, they don’t exist in most cities in significant quantities and so we have ubiquitous congestion, and public health and environmental emergencies. Insufficient alternative transport is certainly a reality in most cities contributing to congestion and this is why the “ride-sharing” “non-taxi” apps, an alternative, have exploded, but once again, some people are further marginalized as they are excluded from using apps for many reasons.

 

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Ann Hackett – aha@pacific.net

(BC) Transport minimization/Bridging space in different ways

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The TMAP Planners Toolbox:

Transport/Mobility/Access/ Place

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 TMAP – which sets out four 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 mobility 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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(BC) A New Mobility Strategy for your City

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Basic principles and strategies of the New Mobility Agenda

The shift from old to new mobility is not one that turns its back on the importance of high quality mobility for the economy and for quality of life for all. It is not and should not be seen as a step down in terms of life quality.

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