Thursday, December 30, 2010

Democracy: Destination or voyage?

[This thinkpiece comes from my personal blog and while it rambles a bit  from the central focus of W/S, it ponders some issues that are to my mind definitely worth a detour. The excellent article by Pasi Sahlberg on "Learning from Finland" that appeared in Monday's Boston Globe is certainly worth your time. There are many analogies with our troubled sector when it comes to learning from each other. Eric Britton]

Democracy: Destination or voyage? Let's hop into the car, fill it up with some cheap gas,  and take a quick tour of historic America with the help of legendary photographer Margaret Bourke-White.  The image you can see just below caught my attention yesterday, arriving here during the festive holiday season thanks to a posting in from the Rebuilding Place blog of urban designer/consultant and activist Richard Layman from Washington DC. As you can see it's … Read More

via Network Dispatches

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

From Australia: Community Consultation – A failed experiment

A consistent central theme of World Streets is that without the full-throated participation of an active citizenry, sustainable transport and sustainable cities will remain a distant and unattainable dream. In this article David Engwicht gives us his view on why the usual bottled consultation techniques that often do little to achieve better and safer streets do not make the grade. Then he goes on to share his thoughts as to how we can do better.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Streetsblog: Doing its job in New York City. In memoriam 2010

Each year our friends over at Streetsblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city's streets and the cost in terms of lives lost by innocent pedestrians and cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens and activists in every city on the planet to do the same thing, holding those public officials (and let's not forget, we call them "public servants" and for excellent reason) responsible for what goes on under their direct control.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Autolib' – Paris bets big on new carshare technology

A sustainable transport system is a system of choices – quite the opposite in many ways of the old all-car no-choice model that all too often spends most of its time in taking up scarce space but not moving. With this very much in view, the City of Paris has just stepped up to the plate and is now in the process of bringing into service what they propose will be a new link in the chain of sustainable transport options: a carsharing system not quite like any other. No less than three thousand cars to come on line in shared service in just nine months – and electric cars at that – working out of 1000 to 1200 stations spotted over not only the central city but a number of surrounding communities as well. The biggest and most daring carshare bet of all time.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Grading Sustainable Transport: Scholarship A. Leadership C-

One of the often voiced claims of World Streets is that those who best understand the issues and priorities behind sustainable transport and sustainable cities are failing to command the high ground in the debate and the politics of decision simply because we are just not good enough at communicating our ideas, first to each other and then to the world. All too often when confronted with a decision issue, with our strong academic orientation and backgrounds, we prefer to turn to the familiar world of more research, fatter reports and that next great conference, while at the end of the day what we really need is a concise, credible, understandable presentation of our best ideas and the choices that need to be made.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Transport, environment and public policy in hard times

We have no money gentlemen, so we shall have to think.
- Ernest Rutherford, on taking over the Caversham Laboratory in 1919

On 2 December the managing editor of World Streets, Eric Britton, was invited by the organizers of the National Autumn Conference of ACT TravelWise to present the keynote address, following an opening presentation by Norman Baker, MP and Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Transport of the just-elected UK coalition government. The theme of the conference was "The Right to Travel - Getting more for less" -- and Britton was asked to bring in some international perspectives and possibly some less familiar ideas for the largely British audience after the Minister's presentation.

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The Social Space Format

The power of images. The power of perspective. It's pretty clear by now that we are going to need a lot more than walls of words, thick reports and endless expert conferences to turn the world toward sustainability. So to help our cause we invite our readers to jump in and share with us striking their "social space" graphics which illustrate in telling ways the world's streets and all that takes place thereon in many places and in many ways. To get a feel for how this works out using our challenging 990 x 180 pixels format, read on -- or if you are in a hurry click here to go direct to the photo gallery.

Working with a Social Space format

There is more than a bit of the "medium is the message" of Marshall McLuhan in this somewhat unusual elongated rectangular format with, as with poetry, its strict dimension of 990 × 180 pixels. It is, we would say, a basically "social space format". In our mind's eye most of us tend to envisage, to think of many things out there in front of our noses in terms of squares or rectangles, which naturally enough is how most of us end up taking our pictures.

But this elongated frame takes us beyond a single individual subject and the eye travels quite further than usual and in the process brings us to think, yes, of more social spaces. Have a look at some of the following examples and see for yourself if this makes any sense at all.

Portugal's Streets:

Just this morning for instance we had the luck to receive and to be able to share with you the splendid street scene you see above, showing an intersection of bus services right in the middle of the beautiful city of Lisbon. And all this thanks to our colleague Miguel Barroso from Lisbon.

The shot is taken from the city's historic Praça do Comércio (Commerce Square), and just behind those columns you enter into the city's pedestrian network. Makes you want to go to Lisbon, eh?

India's streets:

A few weeks ago, this next great shot was shared with us by Karthik Rao-Cavale, whose fine new blog "India lives in her cities too!" with its sub-title "A closer look at Indian cities, streets and neighbourhoods" at -- is a thoughtful source for anyone who shares WOrld Streets interests and concern.

Karthik wrote when he sent it along to us: "I took the photo in 2008 on one of my solitary travels, in the large city of Calcutta. Here's the link to the larger version. The background is the famous Howrah Bridge on the river Hooghly."

Homage to a Fallen City:

For this thought-provoking image we sent warm thanks to Beatrice Jarvis, a young British choreographer, photographer and urban researcher. You can visit her website and see her photographs in Urban Re-Passages at :

A striking example from Cambodia

What you see here  is a 990 x 180 section of a photograph taken by Jeroen Swolfs ( who has launched a Dutch project entitled Streets of the world ( in which he is reporting on his world-wide pictorial vagabondage which thus far has had him photographing life on more than forty countries on four continents thus far.  We have invited him to share some of his photos with us occasionally and hope you will be seeing him often on World Streets.

A Paris homage:

Here to close out this introduction is an example of using our strange format as a frame for a part of an image and, we would say, to some good effect. The orignal graphic appeared in a story from the New York Times to what our earnest editor contributed: "Watery future for the City of Light". It looked like this:

Well, very nice indeed but we could not use it as our feature graphic for the story and the week, so we needed to find what would work out with our demanding format, to which challenge we came up with this.

You may like it or not, but there is no denying that this is a social format. And that is exactly what we are looking for.

Now it's your turn:

And if you have striking social space candidates for this unusual slot -- 990 × 180 pixels -- let us hear from you. We believe in getting all the media behind these important social and environmental goals. (Please be sure to let us know the where and when of the image, along with the  source so that we can correctly credit it.)

Thanks for sharing, and again click here for the latest collection of social space photos from World Streets.

Eric Britton, Editor.   Skype: newmobility.   Tel. +336 5088 0787

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

America's Amsterdam? – Work in progress on the bike front in the Home of the Brave

When anyone talks or writes about city biking in America, Portland is invariably the first place one hears about. But how do they stack up to, say, the five hundred best cycling cities in Europe? Is there anything really there other than a bit of self-boostering in the otherwise hostile cycling environment that characterizes city after city across the Home of the Brave (which we understand is how cyclists are called in America). Let's see what Jay Walljasper has to sayafter talking a close look.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

The World - the Climate – the Strategy. Come argue with me.

Part I: Ten steps to get the job done:
Let me sketch out an easy to understand (or reject) climate/transport foundation strategy that presents some stark contrasts with the ideas and approaches that are getting the bulk of attention when it comes to targeting, policy and investment in the sector -- and which in a first instance is quite likely to earn me more enemies than friends (that goes with the territory). At least until such time that these basic underlying ideas are expressed in a manner which is sufficiently clear and convincing that we can with confidence put them to work to turn the tide. So here you have my first brief statement of the issues, the basic strategic frame and the key pressure points to which I invite your critical reactions and comments. In a second piece in this series, to follow shortly, I intend to have a look at the package(s) of measures, policies, tools, modes, etc. which can be sorted out, combined and refined to do something about it. Or maybe not.

- Eric Britton, Editor

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dutch cycle infrastructure quality drives one cyclist crazy

[caption id="attachment_4628" align="alignright" width="250"] Not Holland[/caption]

It will drive you crazy, at least it does this cyclist. The quiet Dutch voice of reason while they so patiently try to help us understand that a cycling nation or city is not built overnight. But put aside your prejudices (and your prides), and spend five minutes with the Dutch cycling guru Mark Wagenbuur while he rides us through the history of cycle infrastructure in the Netherlands. (There had to be a reason for it.)

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Will the real British local transport policy please stand up.

About two weeks ago I sent out a red flag to a short list of my most respected British transport/environment colleagues with a cry for help in preparation for a keynote speech I had been asked to deliver to a conference scheduled to take place this Thursday, 2 December, in Liverpool, and where the speaker just before me is a respected ministerial representative of the latest British government. I confessed to my distinguished British friends that I was at best half-educated in terms of the current policy and practice debate in Britain and needed a fast tutorial before exposing myself to a critical audience. They responded fast, generously and most usefully as you will soon see here in a follow-up piece to the conference; but one of the responses opened up his perceptive comments with an amusing analogy which I thought you might enjoy this morning.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Road Transport/Energy Challenge in India

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Environment vs. Mobility? (Image source: Times of India)"][/caption]

"A few weeks ago, we (India Streets) had reported about India's plans to reduce the climate change impact from its transportation sector. However, we saw that India's plan, like many other plans out there, attempts to tackle the problem almost entirely by improving vehicle and fuel technology without adequately dealing with the most important factor - the number of vehicle-kilometers travelled. In the article below, we will read Prof. Madhav Badami of McGill University argue that "[fuel economy improvements will do little to mitigate [climate] impacts, and might even exacerbate them to the extent that the improvements increase motor vehicle activity by reducing the costs of driving... On the other hand, measures to curb vehicle-kilometers can provide major “co-benefits” by helping control energy consumption and related emissions, as well as other transport impacts."

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

2011 Work Plan: First we have to pay for it

Paris. Thursday, 25 November 2010

Subject: Heavy traffic on the way to sustainable cities and sustainable lives . . .

Dear friends and colleagues,

With the harvest now safely in the granary, the livestock firmly locked in the barn, the muskets loaded and plenty of wood chopped to see us through a long and surely hard winter, it is time to cook up a big meal and invite everyone within shouting distance to come to celebrate that we all have somehow made it through one more year and have at least a fair shot at the one to come.

So on this special day for Americans, wearing my hat as founding editor of World Streets I decided this morning to pick up pen and write a short note to you (and approximately one thousan d f riends and colleagues in cities and countries literally all over the world) to see if they, you that is, might have some ideas as to how this thing we call World Streets can now organize to deal with the challenges and the opportunities of the year ahead. For, as you will see in our and other pages, there are surely plenty of both.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 and Morning in America

On the eve of Thanksgiving 2010 sitting here in Paris, my thoughts not unnaturally turn to my native America. And since our view here is from the street I have to think a bit unhappily about why is it that we in this great country do not seem to be able to let go of "old mobility" – i.e., whenever you spot a problem you build something to solve it (also known as the Edifice Complex) – as the highest-possible cost, least civil, one size fits all solution to our problems of efficient transport and fair access in and around cities. Of course we Americans invented old mobility a long time ago -- and at the time it seemed like such a logical and dynamic solution to the connection challenges of a vast growing nation. As indeed it was. But suddenly it's 2010, the twentieth century is long behind us, and if we look carefully at the low quality of what we are seeing on our city streets across the nation it would strike one that perhaps it is time to rethink OM from bottom to top and come up with something a lot better. For example New Mobility, which without our having to define it here is the basic strategy and value set that is behind the far more successful city transport arrangements we can see in hundreds of leading cities around the world – and none of them sadly are American.

Why and how have we arrived at this sad state of affairs? Well, let me ask a foreigner working in this field who has long lived in and long admired America to tell us about what he thinks is going on. Sometimes when you are lost it helps to stop the car, roll down the window, and ask for some directions. Let's try.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

From Australia, Jarrett Walker on transit's role in "sprawl repair"

Urban sprawl is at its best a very mixed bag, as we all know. But worse yet behind its tempting glamorous face it surreptitiously locks in unsustainability in many many ways, ending up with a grossly unfair package of no-choice mobility combined with close to totalitarian car dependence for all at the top of the awful list. But is this a prisoner's dilemma in which everyone at the table is forever destined to lose once those die are cast? Not so sure about that. The other day, we heard from Paul Mees with our review article "Locked in Suburbia: Is there life after Autopia?" where he suggests that we will do well to look more closely at the options other than hand-wringing that are in fact there to be taken. While today, Jarrett Walker walks us through his interpretation of how "sprawl repair" can work without waiting for some distant Nirvana (or Hell, whichever my be your vision of choice).

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Where do good ideas come from?"

As our regular readers know well, World Streets is in the collaborative idea-building business to define, reinforce and advance the New Mobility Agenda on streets and in cities around the world. So whenever we hear about something or someone who can help us sharpen our vision and tools, we are a willing audience. Today we are pleased to share with you a sharp five-minute brainstorming presentation that the popular science writer Steven Johnson has recently made on exactly our topic. You can buy his intriguing book under this title if you click here. But for now, sit back and let's hear to what Steven has to share with us on idea-building.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

1.4285714285714285714285714285714 e-10

With the world's population to pass seven billion next year– meaning that my and your fair share of the world's resources will be on the order of 1.4285714285714285714285714285714e-10 – it is time perhaps to give some consideration as to who "owns" what on this sweltering planet. The very concept of ownership digs very deep into the psyche and the way in which the owned object is used. Let's take your or my car for example. The odds are that one of us is an owner – and it is well known there is not a single country, a single city on this planet in which the owners of automobiles pay even a small fraction of their total cost to society. What does that mean in this particular case?

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City

The author of this careful and quite extensive book review of the battle for America's streets is Karthik Rao-Cavale, a graduate student at Rutgers University and an associate editor of our sister publication, India Streets. He writes: "This review was originally written for a class I am taking with Prof. John Pucher here at Rutgers University. I am putting up this review here even though the book reviewed talks mainly about the United States, because I feel that the lessons learned are most immediately applicable to developing world. It is a lengthy read, but I hope you will enjoy it."

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Friday, November 12, 2010

India Steers Full Speed towards Low Carbon Transport

We do not normally carry media releases on projects, programs, reports or books, but today we make an exception and are gladly posting the following important announcement. We share this both here, in India Streets and on the Sustran Global South forum for comment and discussion. It is our firm intention to keep an independent eye on this potentially promising program, and our firm hope that the money spent and technical resources brought to the job will result above all in multiplying the number of many and diverse on-street examples of how sustainable mobility works in the interest of the entire population -- and not just the privileged (automotive and relatively affluent) few. As William Blake put it roughly two centuries ago: “He who would do good to another must do it in minute particulars." We pledge keep as eye on the minute particulars, in the hope that we are going to see examples of policies and practices not only for India but for the world.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The P2P carsharing saga continues: The WhipCar story

WhipCar is a very recent British start-up in the still little known peer-to-peer car owner/rental business.  World Streets recently interviewed the group's founders and managers, Tom Wright and Vinay Gupta, to get at their side of this unfolding rather surprising 21st century alternate car story.  (And the first thing they told us was that it's not quite carsharing. Let's have a look.)

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Rough trade on the streets of Bogota

This piece reports on a wave of unanticipated "free enterprise" mobility solutions that have cropped up in the city of Bogotá in the last years. One bottom line is that these pedicabs represent a challenge for government on several scores. But at the same time they are providing affordable transportation  for people (voters) who need to make those trips. Now that you know this, what follows is a rough and ready machine translation of an article that appeared in the local paper, El Tiempo, yesterday. If you are interested in the topic you can learn a lot from these lines. And if you wish it in beautiful language, well strap on your best Spanish and click here.  Seguir pedaleando.

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Locked in Suburbia: Is there life after Autopia?

Something like ten percent of our lonely planet's population are today thoroughly locked in -- or at least think they are -- to an "automotive life style".   While in barely two generations  the earth's population has  tripled, the automotive age has, step by silent surreptitious step, changed the way we live -- and in the process made us prisoners of just that technology that was supposed to make us free forever. That's a bad joke and bad news. But there is worse yet, and it comes in two ugly bites. For starters, in addition to the ten percent of us already hapless prisoners of our cars, another twenty percent of our soon seven billion brothers and sisters are standing in line eagerly in the hope of getting  locked in as quickly as possible. And as if that were not bad enough, the consensus among most of the experts and policy makers is that our goose is forever cooked, and there is little anybody  can do about it. Well, maybe not. Spend some time this Monday morning with Paul Mees, as he attacks this received belief and suggests . . . Well, why don't I just get out of the way and let Paul speak for himself.

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy Diwali. (Thank you Pallavi.)

Happy Diwali. (Thank you Pallavi.) Today at the end of the very first week of publication of our brave new India Streets, we like to take a page out of the book of our associate editor Pallavi Pant who wished us all today "Happy Diwali". And since I for one ("I" in this case being Eric Britton, an editor of India Streets) really did not understand what it was about beyond a kind of "Hindu New Year + Thanksgiving" (sorry!), I had to look it up. And for those of you who share my ign … Read More

via India Streets

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Parking realities in the real world: An example from Calcutta

Paul Barter reports on the basic principles of parking and real world contradictions from Calcutta, in an article posted yesterday to his new blog "Reinventing Parking: Understand your community's parking policy choices". And as many of our readers will recognise, it's an old old story.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vision and virtuosity in the Big Apple: Managing the transformative moment

Dear Mrs. Mayor,

If you are considering a public bicycle project for your city, may we respectfully urge you to take a page out of New York City's book on transportation innovation in the context of a previously car-based city.  So before your project  starts exposing hundreds, thousands of innocent people to the daily dangers of untamed traffic, think first to plan and build those key hundreds of kilometers of protected city cycling provision for the men, women and children of all ages who will be taking to your streets.  After all, that's your job.

The editor, World Streets

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Monday, November 1, 2010

The benefits of being Obama

This article published today by our colleague and associate editor of India Streets, Karthik Rao-Cavale in his outstanding blog "India lives in her cities too!", provides an excellent example of the kind of clear thinking that is needed in the face of abundant contradictions that constitute life on India's streets. Would it not be a wonderful thing if President Obama were to be invited to walk the streets and see for himself this aspect of daily life in one of the world's greatest cities. I am sure that he would be moved to a far greater degree than sitting down to one more boring and inevitably hypocritical State Dinner. And he would go back to his crushing work load in Washington a far better friend of India. I promise.
- Eric Britton. Editor., India Streets.

The latest news from Mumbai is that President Obama is about to visit, and all the routes he might possibly take are being beautified. Some of them are even being adorned with date palm trees, despite these trees being completely inappropriate for Mumbai's humid climate. And alongside, anti-encroachment drives are being carried out to evict "illegal" hawkers squatting on the pavements. This prompted one KRP Gupta to ask why it is that while Obama … Read More

via India lives in her cities too!

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Short takes

Put off reading this article.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Honk! One really does try to be balanced . . .

. . . and not allow oneself to get caught in every political elephant trap and querulous carping of those not in office. But there are times when it is necessary to shine the spotlight on a really mean-spirited, disingenuous idea or statement about the important matters which bring us all here. This is one of those cases. We introduce you to a very short video in which Britain's new transport secretary talks very clearly about his investment priorities and intended policies. Very disturbing to World Streets.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Carsharing in Sweden: 2010 Update

This latest country survey from Sweden provides and update and excellent coverage of the carshare situation there, thanks to Per Schillander of the SRA. More than 18,000 registered drivers, almost 60 different programs, and at last count 573 vehicles. You will want to read this in parallel with his comprehensive report from last winter: Car Sharing in Sweden in 2010

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Ringroading and Mumbai's spatial structure

One week exactly before India Streets opens for the public, we are pleased to share this preview with you on some transport/land use issues that will look familiar to many in many parts of the world.

Ringroading and Mumbai's spatial structure Mumbai is currently undergoing historic but unnoticed changes that might possibly alter its urban structure beyond anyone’s imagination. It’s monocentric structure that aligned the entire city towards the downtown in South Bombay is likely to change very soon. Indeed, this process has already begun. I used to live in Navi Mumbai in 2009, and I would sometimes take the harbour line train to south Bombay. Each time, I would notice that the majority … Read More

via India Streets (Beta)

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Op-Ed: Hassaan Ghazali on Public Transport in the Punjab

This is the first shared posting from India Streets, a sister program to W/S that is to open for publication on 1 November. At this point the site is still in Beta. Your visits and comments for improvement are most welcome.

Op-Ed: Hassaan Ghazali on Public Transport in the Punjab "If you think the NATO oil tankers have a rough time in Pakistan, spare a thought for the masses which use the local transport system. The manner in which buses, rickshaws and strange articulated three-wheelers ply on our roads makes it obvious that there is nothing really ‘public’ about public transport anymore. We have instead condemned the majority of the population, many of whom are poor, women and elderly, to a veritable shakedown staged by … Read More

via India Streets (Beta)

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

"The end of the parking meter"

This article  by Tom Vanderbilt appeared in yesterday's Wired offering a readable review of the history of this remarkable American transportation invention and gift to the world, with good references to Donald Shoup's monumental "The High Cost of Free Parking" and Paul Barter's Reinventing Parking blog. Every regular reader of World Streets is well aware that strategic parking control is one of the key pillars to a city transport system that is doing its job -- but whether or not the key to this is going to be the old parking meter, well that we can leave you to judge.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

For your next Car Free Day, go on a diet.

"When it comes to transport, we've become obese. I mean this in multiple senses. Our population of vehicles has burgeoned; already around 1 billion worldwide, it’s expected to double within just 20 years. The vehicle miles we travel, or VMT, continue to swell; just in the U.S., for instance, VMT now fluctuates around 250 billion per month – trillions per year – and grows each month by an average 200 million more. Even our waistlines have expanded due to excess motor vehicle travel; one study attributes six extra pounds to the extra driving done by typical suburbanites."

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Commuting your way to divorce

One of the persistent themes of World Streets is that both the starting and the ending place for  what is often called "transportation" or "infrastructure" are not about concrete, steel or rubber, nor infrastructure, vehicles or even electronics, but people -- ordinary people like you and me in our day-to-day lives. Here in a short piece by the behavioral economist Robert Frank that appeared in Saturday's New York Times is a single paragraph (toward the bottom and conveniently in red here) which provides  us with one more  trenchant reminder that reminds us of the importance of starting with people. And the high cost of tailing to do just that.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

More on Illich, energy and equity

This commentary, just in from reader John Verity writing from Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, takes Illich beyond his original point of departure in this essay written in 1974, discussing the flow of his thinking on energy and technology that appeared in other pages and books in the decade that followed.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Editorial: World Streets Profile Guidelines for Contributors

Preparing a World Streets Profile
(Program, Project, Event, Tool)

World Streets welcomes well written articles that report in a balanced manner to our international readers on the work and accomplishments, and hopes and plans, of outstanding groups, projects and programs in various corners of the world leading the way in face of the tough challenges in our chosen sector -- looking for exemplary approaches and tools that have potential for very broad, hopefully universal application.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Antidote: Why one American liberal suggests that there are viable options to your car

In the wake of the sheer madness, no that's too kind, outright stupidity, flagrant self-satisfaction and puerile cuteness of yesterday's "Why Leftists want to pull you all on mass transit" piece, we offer you some brief words of respite taken directly from Paul Krugman's 7 October piece in his "The Conscience of a Liberal" blog from the New York Times. Our bottom line: Don't give up on America yet. We may be in the slow lane, but with a lot more hard work and hard thinking we just may get there yet.

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Honk: Why Leftists Want to Pull You All on Mass Transit

Fresh from America's Fox News ("fair and balanced" is their motto), this article will provide our readers with a clue as to how the present electorial shenanigans are generating wisdom and expert comments on "best practices" when it comes to transport in cities.  And if you should wish to check the public reaction to the author's stated position, you can fill up your tank by reading the Comments here.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Thread: Is peer-to-peer carsharing going anywhere?

"Peer-to-peer carsharing" (P2P C/S) sounded to me for quite some time like a new mobility concept that was unlikely to go very far. The idea that, instead of a perfectly functional car rental service or a local carshare operation for people who might need a car for a bit, there might also be a niche in the market for people willing to share their own cars on a regular basis with others (for the most part strangers!), sounded to me at least like a well-intentioned 1970's peace-and-love idea warmed over. But . . . I have of late been talking to some people who are more open in their thinking about P2P than I am/was -- including several who are actually trying to make it work. So I am beginning to revise my thoughts. In a very big way, in fact. Let's follow this thread together.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Carsharing: Austin car2go passes 10,000 members

Dave Brook writes about innovation in the tricky concept of one-way carsharing in the US in his fine blog Carsharing.US on this date: "Free is a very good price if you want to get people to try your product! And free certainly helped Daimler's innovative car2go personal mobility service in Austin, Texas, to 10,000 members in less than a year. "

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

India vs. China: Which Low-Carbon Development Model Will Win?

This article appeared today in the Sierra Club's series by their chairman Carl Pope, "Taking the initiative". It is interesting to see how an American who has lived and worked in India in his youth sees the two models.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sweet victory

New World Bank Report. Challenges to Inclusive Bus Rapid Transit

The World Bank recently published a report, “Technical and Operational Challenges to Inclusive Bus Rapid Transit,” compiled by Tom Rickert, a consultant with extensive experience on accessible transportation. While the technical report is intended primarily for an audience of BRT system and service planners, its release marks a recognition of the practical challenges in making public transport in the developing world fully accessible.

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Monday, October 4, 2010

The real failure of Delhi's Commonwealth Games

Over these last weeks given the news and fuss that has been generated by the press as India for better or worse prepares the way for the Commonwealth Games, it was not surprising that our minds ran to another great divide: that between the reality of the transport situation and priorities in India's cities and streets -- and the views and choices of let's call it "Official India" in the face of these issues and decisions. There is, no doubt about it, a clear and common pattern. We kept thinking about the many parallels, so when our friend Karthik Rao-Cavale took on this challenge whole cloth in the blog "India lives in her cities too!" we were impressed by his analysis of the situation and are pleased to bring it to your attention here.

The real failure of Delhi's Commonwealth Games Squatter settlements being hidden by Commonwealth Games boards (source: India Together) The past week has been brutal for Delhi's Commonwealth Games, which is due to begin in a few days. BBC reported poor living facilities and unhygienic restrooms. ridiculed Delhi's use of langurs (larger Indian monkeys) to drive away smaller monkeys. An Australian channel carried out a false "sting operation" that was supposed to expose security lapses. … Read More

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