india delhi massive traffic jamZinnia Sidhu writes from Delhi

Delhi’s mindless traffic causing breakups since Papu learnt how to drive. The BIG WHITE elephant in the city. Oho! Not Papu, the traffic silly. The unnecessary evil. I genuinely believe that Delhiiets fortunately or unfortunately spend at least 50% of their waking hours in the car listening to Radio Mirchi, while simultaneously banging their heads on the steering wheel, texting, taking Instagram worthy shots, and not to mention swearing once in a while.

Picture this.

The Ring Road’s total length is 48km and is a six-lane carriageway. This was designed to carry about 75,000 vehicles a day. But the road carries 1.6 lakh vehicles per day and is expected to carry about 4 lakh vehicles by 2016!

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World Streets Proudly Supports the 2014 World Naked Bike Ride

World Naked Bike Ride Zaragoa Spain

Well, here we go again:  tomorrow is  World Naked Bicycle Ride Day.

WNBR is an annual worldwide bike ride that highlights the vulnerability of cyclists everywhere and decries society’s dependence on pollution-based transport. It is, in the organisers’ original words back in 2004, an international clothing-optional bike ride in which participants plan, meet and ride together en masse on human-powered transport (the vast majority on bicycles, but some on skateboards and inline skates), to “deliver a vision of a cleaner, safer, body-positive world. The dress code motto is “bare as you dare”.

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Dead End in Brazil: Interview with Bolivar Torres, O Globo Brazil.

Brazil Sao Paulo Traffic congestion

Getting to work in Sao Paulo

This is a video transcript of a 20 November 2013 interview with Bolivar Torres, Brazilian journalist with O GLOBO, a leading Brazilian newspaper.  Topic: Notably unsustainable transportation and trends in Brazilian cities — seen from an international perspective. What to do? How to move from today’s failing and inconsistent ad hoc policies which are not getting at the roots of the problems? Perhaps toward a New Mobility Agenda?  And what in anything might be introduced in time to improve traffic and life quality conditions for all during the coming World Cup and Olympics?

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Carsharing and parking space wars in one US city

short intro

“E. Assata Wright is a staff writer for the Hudson Reporter Newspaper Assoc. She lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.”

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Poynton Regenerated: A transformative Shared Space project

The regeneration of Poynton Town Centre and its high street, Park Lane, involved a bold approach to the busy traffic intersection in Fountain Place. Martin Cassini’s short film documents the background to the project, and the dramatic changes in the fortunes of Poynton, and explores the implications for other towns and cities struggling to cope with the impact of traffic.

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Contested Streets: Four Cities, Four Ways

Streetfilms, the sharp media end of the innovative www.streetsblog.org program out of New York City, has recently put on line an excellent and thoroughly updated and extended version of a documentary originally produced in 2006 as part of the New York City Streets Renaissance Campaign. The film, “Contested Streets: Breaking New York City Gridlock“, explores the history and culture of New York City streets from pre-automobile times to present. Even now, five years later, it gets its important points across.

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Proposal: Family Mouse International Design Competition

Dear Eric Britton,

I have been following your work and plans for the new edition of Family Mouse, and as a private environmentalist, long time language teacher and school administrator, I think it’s a great and timely idea.  So to show my enthusiasm, if you agree, I will be pleased to lend a hand in translating the text into lively and appropriate French. Please send me the final text so I can get started on it next week. Continue reading

Sempé: A Short History of Social Mobility

From a collection of drawings and pastels from the edition “Nothing is easy” by Jean-Jacques Sempé, published a centruty ago in 1962, but even back then the messages as clear. (ISBN-13: 978-0714844831)

Thanks to FutureCycles Blog for helping us find these long misplaced but perfectly current iamges.

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Electric bicycles may be taken off the road (Malaysia)

ref: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=%2F2011%2F3%2F10%2Fnation%2F8214628&sec=nation

Dear Lester,

Thank you for your fine article. Can you suggest how I might get in touch with Minister Datuk Seri Kong Ch to give to him an alternative reading of how this matter can better be resolved? It is a well known set of issues, and based on what has been learned in recent years and practices at the leading edge we really do know how to handle this from a policy perceptive. Continue reading

Sustainable Transport and the Importance of Pattern Recognition

In order to turn around a very big boat that is moving in the wrong direction – think global warming or any of the other wrong-way trips that we are currently  locked into when it comes to transport in cities – it helps to be smart, studious and work very hard. But it is if anything even more important to have a feel for what is really going on. And this is where the fine art of pattern recognition comes in.  Pattern recognition: all too often the empty chair when it comes to understanding and decision making in the field of transport policy and practice.  No wonder we are doing so poorly. Continue reading

What do Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and World Streets have in common?

We try very hard to stay on topic in World Streets, not always easy since our bailiwick is so vast. But there are times when, if we are to do our self-assigned job, we need to look even broader yet.

One of the fundamental tenets of World Streets is that the decisions that in the past have shaped the streets and mobility arrangements of our cities now have to be sharply revised and brought into the realities of this very different 21st century. In the past the shaping decisions and investments in the sector were made in more or less closed committees manned (I chose my word carefully) by a very narrow range of social-economic groups (mainly more or less educated males, with secure jobs, fast cars and fat pensions). With the utterly unsurprising results that the mobility system they ordered up was the one that served them best: i.e., lots of roads for fast driving, cheap gas, and plenty of free places to park. Bien sûr mon ami. Continue reading

Testimony: Science and Technology Select Committee, UK House of Lords


In the last weeks I was asked to provide written testimony and evidence in answer to a “Call for Evidence” for the UK House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee on the subject of “Behaviour Change —Travel-Mode Choice Interventions to Reduce Car Use in Towns and Cities”. As can happen in these things, in my remarks I moved away from the chosen topic (instruments for behaviour change), on the grounds that there was other more fundamental work that was needed to be done first. In the following you will find my submittal of last Monday to the committee, whom I thank for giving me this opportunity to share my views.
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World Streets Social Space format: Africa, Latin America and the former SU region still MIA

If you click here you will be taken to a gallery of close to one hundred photographs of streets in a very wide variety of cities and contexts from various parts of the world.  The small map just to your right gives you a first  feel for worldwide the coverage thus far, and  click it you will see the map full size.  Here’s our problem, the answer to which may interest some of you who have more visual propensities. Continue reading

From the archives: Canadian filmmaker interviews on street innovations in Paris

In the early summer of 2008 a Canadian filmmaker came to Paris to ask me to explain as best I could how the noted Vélib’ public bike system works, and how it meshes with other traffic on the streets, including Paris’s excellent Mobilien (call it “BRT”) bus system that shares most of its length with cyclist. As part of this, he carried out a Q&A print interview, whose full text follows below.

Click here for a thirty second clip from the full film which is detailed in the attached interview article. Continue reading

Is Network Dispatches a well kept secret?

According to me it should be. After all since I started to pull this together on 10 December, it has not been announced nor have I made any attempt to make it known in any way, other that with short notes to a handful or two of old friends.

Yet even without pushing, the net has its ways with information – so if you click just below you will see the location of people who have already come through the door in the last weeks and had a look. How does that work? Damned if I know. Continue reading

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 a happy holiday message. Life was sweet.

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Streetsblog: Doing its job in New York City. In memoriam 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 … Read More

via World Streets 2011

World Streets – One street at a time

This important section I shall shortly write up in full form. The topic: our “social space format” as a way of looking at a street or public place.  To follow.

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