Brent Toderian on sustainable mobility

TALK

Brent Toderian, You Tube, 7 September 2018

Prioritisation was the key, this was in the 1997 Transportation Plan, which was a catalyst for – I call it the most important Urban Design Plan we’ve ever done as a city, even though it’s a transportation plan – because that prioritisation, walking first, then cycling, then transit, then goods movement, and then the car, priotirized last, has been the key to all our multi-modal city making. To be clear that is not an anti-car message, we don’t ban the car,  we very rarely have any places where the cars aren’t allowed, but we prioritise them last, in terms of how we think about our infrastructure, our spatial decisions in the city, and that actually works better for everyone – including drivers. 


For more from Brent Toderain click here.

CityLab University: Induced demand

ARTICLE

Benjamin Schneider, City Lab, 7 September 2018

KEY POINTS

In urbanism, “induced demand” refers to the idea that increasing roadway capacity encourages more people to drive, thus failing to improve congestion.

Since the concept was introduced in the 1960s, numerous academic studies have demonstrated the existence of ID.

But some economists argue that the effects of ID are overstated, or outweighed by the benefits of greater automobility.

Few federal, state, and local departments of transportation are thought to adequately account for ID in their long-term planning.


For more from City Lab University click here.

Why protected bike lanes are more valuable than parking spaces

SHORT FILM

Vox, 5 September 2018

Data shows that the 9th Avenue bike lane produced economic, mobility and safety benefits. “We saw crashes go down, some 47%, retail sales went up almost 49%, cars dad dedicated turn lanes so the traffic processed much better, and bikes had a dedicated lane. So it was a win for business, it was a win for drivers, it was a win for people on foot and it was a win for people on two wheels, and that really set the stage for all that followed.”

 

 

Road diets: designing a safer street

ARTICLE / SHORT FILM

Carlos Waters, Vox, 25 July 2018

Transportation officials across the country agree: Several minor traffic corridors in America are overbuilt and unnecessarily unsafe. So they’ve started to adopt European-inspired designs that change how drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians use the road in order to reduce speeding and encourage safety for everyone. It’s called a “road diet.”


For another short film from Vox and Jeff Speck click here.

There are better ways to get around town

ARTICLE

John Massengale, New York Times, 15 May 2018

New York City’s Department of Transportation has led the American movement for better streets …

The next step is to adopt congestion pricing below 96th Street in Manhattan and then:

1. Decrease the number of Manhattan streets that function as transportation corridors primarily devoted to moving machines through the city.

2. Design and build Slow Zones where people actually drive slowly.

3. Make the transportation corridors that remain better urban places, with a better balance between city life and moving cars.

Automated vehicles can’t save cities

INFOGRAPHIC

Allison Arieff, New York Times, 27 February 2018

When we think about designing the future city, let’s focus on moving as many people as possible. For a starting point, considering how many people can move through a city using each transportation option:

Transit moves the most people – up to 25,000 people per hour, so make transit the first priority.

Next comes walking, with 9,000 people per hour on new, larger sidewalks.

Dedicated bus lanes carry 8,000 passengers an hour. Two-way bike lanes carry 7,500 per hour. Those come next. 

Whether they have drivers or not, cars move the fewest people per hour – about 600 to 1,600.

When we understand that urban transportation is about moving – people not cars – our priorities for space and investment become obvious.

Superblocks: how Barcelona is taking city streets back from cars

ARTICLE / SHORT FILM

David Roberts, Vox, Apr 22 2017

The idea is pretty simple. Take nine square blocks of city. (It doesn’t have to be nine, but that’s the ideal.) Rather than all traffic being permitted on all the streets between and among those blocks, cordon off a perimeter and keep through traffic, freight, and city buses on that.

In the interior, allow only local vehicles, traveling at very low speeds, under 10 mph. And make all the interior streets one-way loops (see the arrows on the green streets below), so none of them serve through streets.

In this way, you create a nine-square-block mini village, the interior spaces of which can be more equitably shared between cars and other uses.


For more from Vox on Cities and Urbanism, click here.

7 principles for building better cities

TALK

Peter Calthorpe, TED, April 2017

So there are seven principles that have now been adopted by the highest levels in the Chinese government, and they’re moving to implement them. And they’re simple, and they are globally, I think, universal principles.

One is to preserve the natural environment, the history and the critical agriculture.

Second is mix. Mixed use is popular, but when I say mixed, I mean mixed incomes, mixed age groups as well as mixed-land use.

Walk. There’s no great city that you don’t enjoy walking in. You don’t go there. The places you go on vacation are places you can walk. Why not make it everywhere?

Bike is the most efficient means of transportation we know. China has now adopted policies that put six meters of bike lane on every street. They’re serious about getting back to their biking history.

Complicated planner-ese here: connect. It’s a street network that allows many routes instead of singular routes and provides many kinds of streets instead of just one.

Ride. We have to invest more in transit. There’s no silver bullet. Autonomous vehicles are not going to solve this for us. As a matter of fact, they’re going to generate more traffic, more VMT, than the alternative.

And focus. We have a hierarchy of the city based on transit rather than the old armature of freeways.

It’s a big paradigm shift, but those two things have to get reconnected in ways that really shape the structure of the city.


To visit Calthorpe Associates website click here.

Adding highway lanes to deal with traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity. 

Lewis Mumford, historian

We must kill the street. We shall truly enter into modern town planning only after we have accepted this preliminary determination.

Le Corbusier, architect

Streets and their sidewalks – the main public places of a city – are its most vital organs.

Jane Jacobs, journalist

When you operate in an overbuilt metropolis, you have to hack your way with a meat ax.

Robert Moses, public official

The Life-Sized City

TALK

Mikael Colville-Andersen, TED TALK, 27 Oct 2015

It’s all about the people in the Life-Sized City. The people are the main priority, not the machines, not the cult of big, the people. Everything else is secondary. Amazing people populate our cities, like The Lulu. The Lulu is not a consumer, she’s not a statistic, she’s not a number. She’s an amazing little human. Don’t measure her, don’t calculate how much money we’re going to make off of her in the course of her life. How much the cult of big is going to earn of this little statistical person. No. You know what you do? You design the city around her as your baseline. You reduce the number of cars, you reduce pollution, you create more green spaces, you build bicycle infrastructure, safe bicycle infrastructure, so that she can ride her bike, because that is all this kids wants to do. (Apart from eating ice-cream … ) You design for her, for the The Lulus of our world. You design for the citizens of the city, every single one of them, all of them apply here. It’s time to hack it back.


For more from Mikael Colville-Andersen, visit his urban design company Copenhagenize click here, for their ‘Bicycle Friendly City Index’ click here, for their short film series ‘Top Ten Design Elements That Make Copenhagen Bicycle-Friendly’ click here and for The Guardian article ‘Copenhagenize your city: the case for urban cycling in 12 graphs’ click here.

New York’s streets? Not so mean anymore

TALK

Janette Sadik-Khan, TED, September 2013

And so, I think that the lesson that we have from New York is that it’s possible to change your streets quickly, it’s not expensive, it can provide immediate benefits, and it can be quite popular. You just need to reimagine your streets. They’re hidden in plain sight.


To learn more about Janette Sadik-Khan’s work on streets and transportation, click here.