Is World Streets doing its job? We asked 100 experts for their views – - and 101 responded.

World Streets needs to catch on before my feet get wet.
- Dirk van Dijl, Netherlands

Over 1827 calendar days have passed since World Streets opened for business in March 2009. The results are there for all to see and judge: 1,196 original articles, 128 contributors, 1,365 photographs, maps, drawings and illustrations, 5444 registered readers, from some 149 different countries, and on an average day anywhere from 150 to 250 visitors (best ever 2002). But is what we are doing useful and worthy of support? We asked 100 expert readers for their views — and 101 of them picked up their pens and responded. Continue reading

A New Moment for Carsharing in the Netherlands

Over the last decade carsharing has increasingly proven itself to be an effective mobility option, serving for well more than 1000 cities on all continents. A key element of an integrated mobility strategy for people and for cities, it is a thrifty transport mode and largely self-financing.

netherlands carshare green wheelsPeople choose to carshare not because they are obliged to, but because it offers a choice. They do it because they see it as a better, more economical way to get around for a portion of their trips. Properly positioned it has shown that carsharing can offer significant potential for energy savings, pollution reduction, space savings on the street, and reduced requirement for expensive public investments in infrastructure to support cars and/or conventional public transport.

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stopping by

stopping by world streets
on a snowy evening
feet making snow sound

walking in the snow -small

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On fairness in the domain of transportation

On fairness in the domain of transportation

The upper and lower limit of government intervention

 - Karel Martens

A different perspective

Concerns about the environment have long been seen as a trigger for a transition in transportation planning and policy across the world. While certainly steps in the right direction have been made, so far little fundamental change can be discerned in the policies of most (national) governments.

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Victoria Transport Policy Institute Spring 2014 Newsletter

This carefully compiled seasonal report from Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute is a fine tool and up to date source guide for researchers and policy makers worldwide. We are pleased to present it in its entirety here, together with references you will find handy to take these entries further. Thanks for your continuing fine work Todd.

canada vicgtoria ped crossing in rainPedestrian crossing in Victoria  Continue reading

State of World Streets: 2009-2014

Today marks the fifth anniversary edition of World Streets. Our first number ws-newsstandappeared on 31 March 2009 with an opening message by the editor — click here – announcing the targets, intent and proposed method of this new collaborative media venture. On the same day we published our Mission Statement — Say Goodbye to Old Mobility — which you can read here. Today we would like to spend a few minutes with you to review the accomplishments and, yes!, the shortcomings and disappointments of these first five years. And then go on to look out to our hopes and intentions for the rest of this decade. Continue reading

2014: The Battle of Ideas

Challenging year ahead. Here are the main program areas to which we intend to give attention over the complex systems networkcourse of the year ahead. All of these are complex system challenges and require patient attention and mental flexibility if we are to find the best way to proceed in each case.  And in each case it is not enough to be right in terms of the basic principles — it is every bit as important to be able to communicate them and to convince the public, government and other key actors that these ideas and approaches are worth getting behind. Nobody ever said that the move to sustainable transport and sustainable cities was going to be simple.

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Rural carshare project – A thinking exercise & Invitation for comment

rural carshare cowWe keep reading and are repeatedly informed that for carsharing to work there must be good public transport, cycling and other mobility arrangements as indispensable complements. In other words, for carsharing to work you have to be not only in a city, but in a certain kind of city. This position has been an article of faith for many observers for more than a decade, and while there is a certain logic to it, upon inspection it turns out there is a lot more to successful carsharing than that.

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Bike sharing project at Makerere University-Kampala, Uganda

World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda are strong and consistent supporters of bike sharing projects created in university settings, particularly uganda makerere universitywhen planned and implemented on the basis of collaboration with students and faculty. We have reported on the excellent bike sharing project at Taiwan National University, and today we are pleased to share with you information just in from the Bike Sharing Project at Makerere University in Kampala Uganda. Projects like this not only improve mobility and environment for all within the target area, but also serve to prepare future leaders.

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Letter from Stockholm: Public Transport is a Common Good

sweden planka nu fair jumpingWorld Streets welcomes discussion of fare free public transport because we believe that it is important to listen to alternative views from different organizations and countries in order to arrive at wise public policy. This contribution comes from one of the most active international groups pushing zero fair public transport, Planka.nu in Sweden.

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Free-for-all: Organizations around the world suppprting free public transport

The following listing of organizations around the world that are “fighting for free public transport” has been compiled by the Swedish activist group Free Public Transport, whose aim is to provide a global forum for the free public transport movement. Their website at http://freepublictransports.com/ among other things provides information about local organizations around the world fighting for free public transport, as well as cities which have already implemented it. For their latest listing, click to http://freepublictransports.com/organization/.

free pub transport - Doschdesign

Credit – doschdesign.com

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A New Moblity Agenda for the Vision Impaired in Penang

In the context of the Sustainable Penang/New Mobility 2014 program, the core to the success of the project lies in the identification and eventual Penang St Nicholas Home logopreparation and implementation of concepts and measures which give more importance to non-motorized transport and public transportation than to the traditional uses of the private car. One of the concepts that came up early in the Focus Group  brainstorming sessions was that of providing voice announcements for the blind and others with visual impairments on the new Rapid Penang bus services being developed across the state. In the following article prepared by the local NGO Saint Nicolas Home we see how thoroughly they are looking at the problems of mobility and access for the visually impaired. Thus it is not surprising that Saint Nicolas Home is emerging as one of the most engaged champions of this collaborative project for 2014.  (We shall be seeing more about that project shortly here.)

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can you feel the fluttering breeze

evening comes
the candle still burns bright
can you feel the fluttering breeze

Butterfly haiku wafuu

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- – > http://wp.me/psKUY-2Mv

Getting away with Murder

 In memoriam 2013

Streetsblog: Doing its job year after year in New York City.

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, “public servants”) responsible for what goes on under their direct control.

Who is doing this job in your city?

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William Vickerey: On Principles of Efficient Congestion Pricing

William Spenser Vickerey, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, is considered the William Vickereyfather of Congestion Pricing. He first proposed it in 1952, for the New York City subway system, recommending that fares be increased in peak times and in high-traffic sections and be lowered in others. Elected officials considered it risky at the time, and the technology was not ready. Later, he made a similar proposal for road pricing.

This article was written in 1992 by Todd Litman, executive director of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, to summarize some of the defining  principles set out in Vickerey’s extensive path-breaking early extensive pathbreaking contributions which in many ways defined the field. This essay can be found in its original form in the website of the Institute  at http://www.vtpi.org/vickrey.htm.

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Congestion Offsets vs Road Pricing: The quest for efficiency and equity

Matthew Bradley and Jeff Kenworthy help us to set out on our search for USA tollbooth attendenteconomic instruments that can be effective in reducing traffic congestion while leveling the playing field between cars and other transport in ways that are both efficient and equitable.  They tell us that: “A major part of the urban transport problem today is a failure from the very beginning to acknowledge that congestion is fundamentally inequitable and unfair, impractical to construct away, and therefore must be properly charged for and controlled to eliminate the transport system dysfunction which is systemic in cities today.” Recommended reading for anyone who has a serious interest in how to get the most out of economic instruments in our troubled, seriously underperforming sector.

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Universal Walking Licenses soon in Toronto (Canada)

Based on the recent article that has just appeared in the Toronto Star under the heading “Get pedestrians off Toronto roads . . .” (goo.gl/ZPRDZp). World Streets would like to express our great admiration of  our gentle painting van gogh prison courtyard-smallnorthern brothers and sisters,   Faced with these unnecessary dangers on the road, we have been led to understand  that the government and an alliance of all major political parties of the lovely city of Toronto is giving serious consideration to requiring Universal Walking Licenses for all.  These would be issued only to people who have satisfactorily completed course work and dress classes in the Toronto Walking Academies and  who have passed rigorous  final public tests on the street with Toronto’s Finest.

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Crowdsourcing Sustainable Penang – Phase 2

fb-sp-running in trafficHOW TO SUPPORT Sustainable Penang Phase 2 crowdsourcing project

For first background on the organization and purposes of the Phase 2 Penang project, which builds on the work, which is been carried out over the second half of 2013, you are invited to view a four-minute video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLBiXFkYUMQ .

To make an immediate contribution via PayPal or credit card:

 CLICK HERE.

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Report Extract: Penang Car Free Days

Extract from Ch. 5 of 27 Nov. 2013 report:
Sustainable Penang: Toward a New Mobility Agenda

5.1         Penang Car Free Days

CFD Function 1 – The Day: Penang is doing a fine job over the last several Malaysia Penang CFD ped 2013-logoyears in making creative use of the Car Free Day principle of closing off parts of the city to motor vehicle traffic so that people can celebrate their streets in any of a number of ways. And since the first Car Free Day in 2011 the concept has steadily expanded, both in terms of the number and size of the areas served, and in terms of their frequency.

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Carsharing in Hungary – Starting from scratch

- Csaba Mezei reports from Budapest

In the field of mobility, Hungary typifies the formerly communist countries of hungary carsahre avalonCentral and Eastern Europe. Municipal public transport is well-developed and its modal share is relatively high (e.g. 61 percent in the capital city Budapest). However, the quality of public transport systems is declining due to decreasing state subsidies. Car ownership is still a status symbol and governments are keen to placate car owners and support motorised individual transportation rather than sustainable community solutions. In cities the health impacts of transport include a high rate of respiratory decease and allergies. The situation can be expected to get worse with increasing air pollution (especially particulates), noise, and congestion.

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