Lifting the Lid on Mandatory Helmet Laws

australia perth cyclyst with helmetWorld Streets maintains a watching brief and reports from time to time on mandatory helmet laws in different parts of the world. (For more on this: http://goo.gl/H8mEHm .) Ian Ker reports here from Perth with a case study of mandatory bicycle helmet laws in West Australia , as presented to the 29 May 2014 VeloCity Global Conference in Adelaide.

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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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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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Malaysia : Road Traffic Accidents

Malausia road deaths 2013 - smallAccording to the latest WHO data published in April 2011 Road Traffic Accidents Deaths in Malaysia reached 8,031 or 7.85% of total deaths. The age adjusted Death Rate is 34.53 per 100,000 of population, ranking Malaysia #20 in the world. Roughly one third of all traffic accidents  have childen as the victims. Review other causes of death by clicking the links below or choose the full health profile.

Top 20 Causes of Death Malaysia

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Demand Nirbhaya—Fearless—Cities

- Anumita Roychowdhury, Dehli.  6 Mar, 2013

Catalysing safe design for public spaces should be among the top priorities to make cities safe for women, children and elderly

I first let this pass without comment—the Rs 1,000 crore Nirbhaya fund for women’s safety proposed in the Union Bdget.  Many have glossed over this with a reverent salute to quickly move on to the hard numbers of this stark accounting document. Others are angry, outraged, and dismissive of this fund as tokenism and populism with no clarity of mandate. But I read that paragraph in the budget speech once again.

My attention was riveted to this observation: “As more women enter public spaces—for education or work or access to services or leisure—there are more reports of violence against them.” The operative word here is “public spaces”.  Of course, Chidambaram has used this literally to state the obvious. But if we were to join the dots to write the terms of reference for the ministry of women and child development and other ministries to define the scope and structure of the ‘Nirbhaya fund’, then catalysing safe design for “public spaces” would be among the top priorities.

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Designing cycling back in to the urban environment

France-paris-velib-tourTransport in cities is a steep uphill affair. If we ever are to transform the quality of the mobility arrangements in our cities, there are certain basic truths about it that need to be repeated again and again. By different people, in different places and in different ways.

Cycling in most cities:  You and I know it. It is broke. It cannot be “fixed”.  It needs to be reinvented from the street up. All of which is easy enough to say, but what in concrete terms does that mean? This article which appeared in the Guardian a few days back by Peter Walker,  reports on the testimony of Dave Horton a cycling sociologist who pounds the table on five basic truths of cycling in cities.

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Why Walking has Gone for a Long Walk in Indian Cities

india-feet-bit-larger Tarun Sharma reports from New Delhi about safe walking  and quality of life in cities, with the help of two concepts of hierarchies. One is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and the other is the food chain. He looks at these two concepts not so much on scientific as  intuitive grounds. And he offers it not to solve a policy problem, but to state the obvious in an obvious way. His focus is on one of the aspects of city living, namely mobility. Continue reading