This is the first shared posting from India
Streets, a sister program to W/S that is to open for publication on 1 November.
At this point the site is still in Beta. Your visits and comments for
improvement are most welcome.
"If you think the
NATO oil tankers have a rough time in Pakistan, spare a thought for the masses
which use the local transport system. The manner in which buses, rickshaws and
strange articulated three-wheelers ply on our roads makes it obvious that there
is nothing really ‘public’ about public transport anymore. We have instead
condemned the majority of the population, many of whom are poor, women and
elderly, to a veritable shakedown staged by …
This article by
Tom Vanderbilt appeared in yesterday's Wired offering
a readable review of the history of this remarkable American transportation
invention and gift to the world, with good references to Donald Shoup's monumental "The High Cost of Free Parking" and Paul Barter's Reinventing Parking
blog. Every regular reader of World Streets is well aware that strategic
parking control is one of the key pillars to a city transport system that is
doing its job -- but whether or not the key to this is going to be the old
parking meter, well that we can leave you to judge.
"When it comes to transport, we've
become obese. I mean this in multiple senses. Our population of vehicles has
burgeoned; already around 1
billion worldwide, it’s expected to double within just 20 years. The vehicle
miles we travel, or VMT, continue to swell; just in the U.S., for instance, VMT
now fluctuates around 250 billion per month – trillions per year – and grows
each month by an average 200 million more. Even our waistlines have expanded
due to excess motor vehicle travel; one study attributes six extra pounds to
the extra driving done by typical suburbanites."
One of the persistent
themes of World Streets is that both the starting and the ending place
for what is often called "transportation" or
"infrastructure" are not about concrete, steel or rubber, nor
infrastructure, vehicles or even electronics, but people -- ordinary people
like you and me in our day-to-day lives. Here in a short piece by the
behavioral economist Robert Frank that appeared in Saturday's New York Times is
a single paragraph (toward the bottom and conveniently in red here) which
provides us with one more trenchant reminder that reminds us of the
importance of starting with people. And the high cost of tailing to do just
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