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.

Citymapper

APP / WAYFINDING

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Cities are complicated. We use the power of mobile and open transport data to help humans survive and master them. Apple Apps of the Year 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. Google Choice Editors’ Choice + Best Apps of 2016, 2017

See just how much of a city’s land is used for parking spaces

ARTICLE / TOOL

Adele Peters, Fast Company, 20 July 2017

At the moment, cars spend around 95% of the time parked, and only 5% of the time in use. Huge swaths of cities, either in parking lots, garages, or street parking spaces, are used as storage for cars (while, at the same time, many cities struggle to find enough land to build housing to keep up with demand). “There’s this huge space that’s basically wasted,” says Szell.

The high cost of free parking

ARTICLE / SHORT FILM

Will Chilton and Baird Bream, vox.com, Jul 19, 2017

Off-street parking requirements, really, spread throughout the United States faster than almost any other urban planning invention. They arose partly because of the lack of management of on-street parking. If you can’t manage the on-street parking properly you need off-street parking requirements or everybody will say, ‘How could you let this building be built when there’s not enough parking?

To boil an 800 page book down into three bullet points, I have three basic recommendations:

Remove off-street parking requirements.

Charge the right price for on-street parking. By which I mean the lowest price the city can charge and still have one or two open spaces on every block, so nobody can say there is a shortage of parking. In order to reach that price you have to vary it by location and time of day.

But you have done that, make it politically popular, and spend the revenue on public services on the metered streets.


To visit Donald Shroup’s website click here, for CityLab’s profile ‘Parking Is Sexy Now. Thank Donald Shoup’ click here.

Superblocks: how Barcelona is taking city streets back from cars

ARTICLE / SHORT FILM

David Roberts, vox.com, 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.

A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars. It’s where the rich use public transportation. 

Gustavo Petro, mayor

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

Lewis Mumford, historian

Top ten design elements that make Copenhagen bicycle-friendly

SHORT FILMS

Copenhagenize Design Co., 8 Dec 2016

#01 The Big Picture – uniformity of bicycle network 

#02 The Green Wave for Cyclists – cyclist orientated traffic signalling  

#03 Intermodality – cycling integrated into all public transport options 

#04 Safety Details – design of traffic flow, stop line for cars, traffic lights, bus drop offs, use of rumble strips 

#05 Nørrebrogade – redesign of city artery 

#06 Macro Design – showcase projects that increase cycling network 

#07 Micro Design – tiny details that improve quality of cycling network 

#08 Cargo Bikes – 40,000 cargo bikes in Copenhagen 

#09 Desire Lines – urban design reflects how people actually use (or want to use) the city 

#10 Political Will – people in positions of responsibility who understand how to design a city for people


To learn more about Copenhagenize Design Co. and their work developing bicycle mobility networks click here.

What makes a city tick? Designing the ‘urban DMA’

ARTICLE

Kim Dovey & Elek Pafka, The Conversation, November 2, 2016

When we talk about “urban DMA”, we’re talking about the density of a city’s buildings, the way people and activities are mixed together, and the access, or transport networks that we use to navigate through them.


For more from The Conversation on cities, click here.

Brooklyn Bridge Study Sizes Up Expansion

SHORT FILM

New York Times, 17 August 2016

It’s a good problem to have right? Bicycling is now a mainstream mode of transportation in New York City. Almost a million New Yorkers now are riding their bikes regularly. And we should be providing for cycling as we provide for motoring in New York City.

Brand New Subway

GAME

Brand New Subway, July 2016

It’s an interactive transportation planning game that lets players alter the NYC subway system to their heart’s content. Players can choose to start from scratch or one of several NYC subway maps (including present-day, maps dating back to the early 1900s, or maps from the future). They can build new stations and lines to expand the system to new areas, or tear it down and redesign the whole thing.

Superblocks to the rescue: Barcelona’s plan to give streets back to residents

ARTICLE

Marta Bausells, The Guardian, 17 May 2016

The objectives are ambitious; by implementing these strategies at once, the city wants to reduce car use by 21% over the next two years and increase mobility by foot, bike and public transport. Superblocks will be complemented by the introduction of 300km of new cycling lanes (there are currently around 100km), as well as an orthogonal bus network that has already been put in place, whereby buses only navigate a series of main thoroughfares. This will ensure, says Salvador Rueda, director of the city’s urban ecology agency and one of the drivers of the superblocks idea, that “anyone will be less than 300 metres from a bus stop at any time – and average waiting times will be of five minutes anywhere in the city [current averages stand at 14]”. In addition, “it would be an equitable network in which one could go from any point A to point B with just one transfer in 95% of the cases. Like in a game of Battleship”.


For more from Guardian Cities, click here.

Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize 2016 Laureate: Medellín

SHORT FILM

Lee Kwan Yew World City Prize, 2016

We live in a time when billions of people are moving into cities. Many of these cities, especially the new mega cities, are very dangerous and disorganised. Many of them are getting worse, and many of them are are looking for role models of cities which have transformed themselves, and no city has done as great a job as Medellín has.


For more about the Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize, click here.

Uber’s plan to get more people into fewer cars

TALK

Travis Kalanick, Ted Talk, February 2016

Now, in China everything is supersized, and so we’re doing 15 million uberPOOL trips per month, that’s 500,000 per day. And of course we’re seeing that exponential growth happen. In fact, we’re seeing it in LA, too. And when I talk to my team, we don’t talk about, “Hey, well, 100,000 people carpooling every week and we’re done.” How do we get that to a million? And in China, well, that could be several million.


To read Jarrett Walker‘s response in City Lab to Uber’s (and other tech “disruptors” of transportation) approach to public transport click here.