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Slow transport?

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  • Carlosfelipe Pardo
    Hi, Does anyone know of any research or theory of urban planning or transport planning that takes *speed* as a factor to be taken into account? I have been
    Message 1 of 5 , Dec 31, 2007
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      Hi,

      Does anyone know of any research or theory of urban planning or
      transport planning that takes *speed* as a factor to be taken into
      account? I have been searching for this and haven't found anything.
      I thought about this because I've seen that transport planning normally
      takes land use, modes, infrastructure and other factors into account,
      but it doesn't seem to take speed as a component in its own right.

      The only explicit reference I could find was Le Corbusier, who
      emphasizes the role of high speeds in a city, and plans around those
      high speeds (elevated highways, etc). Should we think about slowness as
      a *positive* characteristic of transport? Should we propose slow
      transport as one solution to the problem?

      I think slowness should be promoted not just for reasons of road safety
      but for issues of sustainability in shorter distances traveled (slower
      speeds means longer travel times, so people would try to reduce their
      travel distances) and thus lower energy expenditures and emissions. Of
      course, this would need us to think about strategies to reduce speeds,
      which would include what we're normally promoting (bicycles, pedestrian
      areas, 30km/h speed limits, etc).

      Comments on this are most welcome.

      Ah, and happy new year!

      Best regards,

      --
      Carlosfelipe Pardo
    • Todd Alexander Litman
      Your question raises several related issues: First is the distinction between mobility and accessibility (http://www.vtpi.org/access.pdf ). Most current
      Message 2 of 5 , Dec 31, 2007
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        Your question raises several related issues:

        First is the distinction between "mobility" and "accessibility" ( http://www.vtpi.org/access.pdf ). Most current transport planning uses indicators that reflect mobility, and so inherently favor higher speed modes over lower speed modes, and mobility over accessibility. For example, transportation engineers often use estimates of vehicle traffic delays and roadway level-of-service (LOS) ratings to identify where transportation improvements are needed, which justifies widening roadways, even if this reduces access by walking and cycling, and stimulates sprawled land use patterns, which increases the distance that people must travel to reach destinations. Many planning professionals now realize that improving land use accessibility (for example, by creating more compact, walkable communities) is a legitimate way to improve transportation.

        In addition, many planners now recognize the effects of "induced travel" and a "constant travel time budget" ( http://www.vtpi.org/gentraf.pdf ) which imply that efforts to increase travel speeds do not really reduce congestion or save travel time over the long run, they stimulate more mobility and sprawl. This may provide direct benefits to users (the people who travel more and live in more distant communities) but imposes numerous external costs on soceity, including increased traffic congestion, accident risk, land use impacts, energy consumption and sprawl ( http://www.vtpi.org/landuse.pdf ).

        Since travel time costs are a major factor in transportation project evaluation, it is important that it be correctly valued ( http://www.vtpi.org/tca/tca0502.pdf ). Unfortunately, most current travel models are biased in ways that undervalue walking, cycling and public transit service quality improvements, and overvalue highway capacity expansion, because they ignore the higher cost that should be assigned to unpleasant conditions (walking on busy roads that lack sidewalks, crossing busy highways, waiting for a bus alongside a busy roadway, traveling by crowded bus or train), which should give priority to improvements to these modes ( http://www.vtpi.org/quality.pdf ). Described differently, more objective transportation investment models would be willing to spend as much to reduce per-minute travel time costs (for example, by reducing bus crowding or improving pedestrian conditions) as is spent to reduce the minutes spent in travel (for example, by widening roadways).

        In addition, current planning practices tend to undercount total walking and cycling activity, and ignore or undervalue many of the benefits of shifts from motorized to nonmotorized modes ( http://www.vtpi.org/walkability.pdf ). Fortunately, many people within the transportation planning profession are realizing these points. For example, many recent issues of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Journal ( http://www.ite.org/itejournal/index.asp ) have been filled with articles concerning pedestrian and transit improvement techniques.


        Best wishes,
        -Todd Litman
         


        and the implications of a fixed travel time budget.

        At 07:14 AM 12/31/2007, Carlosfelipe Pardo wrote:
        Hi,

        Does anyone know of any research or theory of urban planning or
        transport planning that takes *speed* as a factor to be taken into
        account? I have been searching for this and haven't found anything.
        I thought about this because I've seen that transport planning normally
        takes land use, modes, infrastructure and other factors into account,
        but it doesn't seem to take speed as a component in its own right.

        The only explicit reference I could find was Le Corbusier, who
        emphasizes the role of high speeds in a city, and plans around those
        high speeds (elevated highways, etc). Should we think about slowness as
        a *positive* characteristic of transport? Should we propose slow
        transport as one solution to the problem?

        I think slowness should be promoted not just for reasons of road safety
        but for issues of sustainability in shorter distances traveled (slower
        speeds means longer travel times, so people would try to reduce their
        travel distances) and thus lower energy expenditures and emissions. Of
        course, this would need us to think about strategies to reduce speeds,
        which would include what we're normally promoting (bicycles, pedestrian
        areas, 30km/h speed limits, etc).

        Comments on this are most welcome.

        Ah, and happy new year!

        Best regards,

        --
        Carlosfelipe Pardo

        --------------------------------------------------------
        IMPORTANT NOTE to everyone who gets sustran-discuss messages via YAHOOGROUPS.

        Please go to http://list.jca.apc.org/manage/listinfo/sustran-discuss to join the real sustran-discuss and get full membership rights. The yahoogroups version is only a mirror and 'members' there cannot post to the real sustran-discuss (even if the yahoogroups site makes it seem like you can). Apologies for the confusing arrangement.

        ================================================================
        SUSTRAN-DISCUSS is a forum devoted to discussion of people-centred, equitable and sustainable transport with a focus on developing countries (the 'Global South').


        Sincerely,
        Todd Alexander Litman
        Victoria Transport Policy Institute (www.vtpi.org)
        litman@...
        Phone & Fax 250-360-1560
        1250 Rudlin Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3R7, CANADA
        “Efficiency - Equity - Clarity”
         

      • s.p.platt@bham.ac.uk
        Try looking at Newman and Kenworthy (if you haven t already). http://davidpritchard.org/sustrans/NewKen99/ These authors use a model of the pedestrian, the
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 1, 2008
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          Try looking at Newman and Kenworthy (if you haven't already).

          http://davidpritchard.org/sustrans/NewKen99/

          These authors use a model of the pedestrian, the rapid transit and the
          autodependent city - in which time is fixed. People seem willing to spend a
          given amount of time commuting so you can imagine 30 minutes mainly on foot
          producing what are now the small compact often 'heritage' old towns of most
          autodependent cities. The rapid-transit city where people will do a 30
          minute train, tram or bus journey into the centre. This produces a spider
          pattern of lineal routes in and out with small settlements around rail
          stations and other rapid transit stops. With cars the door-to-door
          capability of the car means that in the same 30 minutes people will live
          anywhere that is 30 minutes from their work and removes the need for
          'centres' and 'places' containing premises for trading, for worship,
          attending school, participating in government. 30 minutes remains the same
          but the settlement patterns differ according to dominant means of transport.

          What Adams also says is that drivers use up their extra safety on speed, and
          use their 'enhanced' speed on distance - so that the 30 minute periphery of
          the auto-city gets larger, especially if more roads are built. So time and
          people's willingness to spend a given amount of it on travel is a very
          significant parameter.

          As an urban cyclist for the last 15 years I have valued cycling less for its
          speed but for the amount of predictability that cycling introduces into the
          planning of travel. It is often faster to get from A to B in a city by
          cycle, but for me the greatest value is the way I can plan my day when
          cycling between different meetings - sometimes combining this with tram, bus
          or train travel, a combination made far better as more information about
          rapid transit schedules becomes available.

          Best wishes

          S


          Simon Baddeley
          Inlogov, School of Public Policy
          University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
          0121 554 9794
          VoIP 0121 343 3614
          mobile 07775 655842
          Campus: Sue Platt 0121 414 5002
          s.p.platt@...
          http://www.inlogov.bham.ac.uk/staff/Baddeley.shtml



          > From: Carlosfelipe Pardo <carlosfpardo@...>
          > Reply-To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
          > Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2007 10:14:31 -0500
          > To: Global 'South' Sustainable Transport
          <sustran-discuss@...>,
          > Newmobility Cafe <NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com>,
          > <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
          > Subject: [carfree_cities] Slow transport?
          >
          > Hi,
          >
          > Does anyone know of any research or theory of urban planning or
          > transport planning that takes *speed* as a factor to be taken into
          > account? I have been searching for this and haven't found anything.
          > I thought about this because I've seen that transport planning normally
          > takes land use, modes, infrastructure and other factors into account,
          > but it doesn't seem to take speed as a component in its own right.
          >
          > The only explicit reference I could find was Le Corbusier, who
          > emphasizes the role of high speeds in a city, and plans around those
          > high speeds (elevated highways, etc). Should we think about slowness as
          > a *positive* characteristic of transport? Should we propose slow
          > transport as one solution to the problem?
          >
          > I think slowness should be promoted not just for reasons of road safety
          > but for issues of sustainability in shorter distances traveled (slower
          > speeds means longer travel times, so people would try to reduce their
          > travel distances) and thus lower energy expenditures and emissions. Of
          > course, this would need us to think about strategies to reduce speeds,
          > which would include what we're normally promoting (bicycles, pedestrian
          > areas, 30km/h speed limits, etc).
          >
          > Comments on this are most welcome.
          >
          > Ah, and happy new year!
          >
          > Best regards,
          >
          > --
          > Carlosfelipe Pardo
          >


          --------------------------------------------------------
          IMPORTANT NOTE to everyone who gets sustran-discuss messages via
          YAHOOGROUPS.

          Please go to http://list.jca.apc.org/manage/listinfo/sustran-discuss to join
          the real sustran-discuss and get full membership rights. The yahoogroups
          version is only a mirror and 'members' there cannot post to the real
          sustran-discuss (even if the yahoogroups site makes it seem like you can).
          Apologies for the confusing arrangement.

          ================================================================
          SUSTRAN-DISCUSS is a forum devoted to discussion of people-centred,
          equitable and sustainable transport with a focus on developing countries
          (the 'Global South').
        • Tory Damantoro
          Dear Carlos, Happy new year for you, your wife and your little baby. May God bless you with health and prosperity for the whole year. I remember reading a book
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 2, 2008
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            Dear Carlos,

             

            Happy new year for you, your wife and your little baby.

            May God bless you with health and prosperity for the whole year.

             

            I remember reading a book about the history and development of sign board design (sorry I could not remember the title). Due to close relation between speed and vision, the size of sign board spans overtime.  It is very much the same with architectural façade. Prior to motorization era, building facade full of detail ornament that can best enjoyed with walking speed. Now days, the fastest people move the plainer building façade leave the ornamental detail as an interior luxury.

             

            Regarding to the relation between speed and urban planning, it is a very good idea. I think the first thing that you have to address is the role of speed mobility in human quality of life.  Hence you can derivate more detail indicator to measure it and relate it with other indicator if urban quality of life. You may also refer to transportation behavior study which determining relation between speed, side vision and geometric requirement to incorporate it. People from highway engineering are familiar with this issue.

             

             

            Cheers,

            Damantoro

             

             

             


            From: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Carlosfelipe Pardo
            Sent: Monday, December 31, 2007 10:15 PM
            To: Global 'South' Sustainable Transport; Newmobility Cafe; carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Slow transport?

             

            Hi,

            Does anyone know of any research or theory of urban planning or
            transport planning that takes *speed* as a factor to be taken into
            account? I have been searching for this and haven't found anything.
            I thought about this because I've seen that transport planning normally
            takes land use, modes, infrastructure and other factors into account,
            but it doesn't seem to take speed as a component in its own right.

            The only explicit reference I could find was Le Corbusier, who
            emphasizes the role of high speeds in a city, and plans around those
            high speeds (elevated highways, etc). Should we think about slowness as
            a *positive* characteristic of transport? Should we propose slow
            transport as one solution to the problem?

            I think slowness should be promoted not just for reasons of road safety
            but for issues of sustainability in shorter distances traveled (slower
            speeds means longer travel times, so people would try to reduce their
            travel distances) and thus lower energy expenditures and emissions. Of
            course, this would need us to think about strategies to reduce speeds,
            which would include what we're normally promoting (bicycles, pedestrian
            areas, 30km/h speed limits, etc).

            Comments on this are most welcome.

            Ah, and happy new year!

            Best regards,

            --
            Carlosfelipe Pardo

          • Gladwyn d'Souza
            I attended a talk by Daniel Iacofano on The Inclusive City. Daniel with Susan Goltsman edited a book on the subject. One of the topics that came up at the talk
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 3, 2008
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              I attended a talk by Daniel Iacofano on The Inclusive City. Daniel with Susan Goltsman
              edited a book on the subject. One of the topics that came up at the talk was slow streets.
              Daniel said, within the context of the 16th Street Mall in Portland, that a slow street should
              be 5 to 10 mph, 5 being the prefered speed so that all users can share the space. He
              called it a shared roadway but didn't provide any references. I looked through the book
              and didn't see references or studies mentioned on shared roadway. There are ten pages
              from 254f on urban guidelines for shared roadways.

              Shared roadway is in the UC Berkeley bicycle plan which Iacofano consulted on.
              http://pt.berkeley.edu/PDFs/UCB_BikePlanFinal.pdf
              Gladwyn

              --- In NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com, Carlosfelipe Pardo <carlosfpardo@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi,
              >
              > Does anyone know of any research or theory of urban planning or
              > transport planning that takes *speed* as a factor to be taken into
              > account? I have been searching for this and haven't found anything.
              > I thought about this because I've seen that transport planning normally
              > takes land use, modes, infrastructure and other factors into account,
              > but it doesn't seem to take speed as a component in its own right.
              >
              > The only explicit reference I could find was Le Corbusier, who
              > emphasizes the role of high speeds in a city, and plans around those
              > high speeds (elevated highways, etc). Should we think about slowness as
              > a *positive* characteristic of transport? Should we propose slow
              > transport as one solution to the problem?
              >
              > I think slowness should be promoted not just for reasons of road safety
              > but for issues of sustainability in shorter distances traveled (slower
              > speeds means longer travel times, so people would try to reduce their
              > travel distances) and thus lower energy expenditures and emissions. Of
              > course, this would need us to think about strategies to reduce speeds,
              > which would include what we're normally promoting (bicycles, pedestrian
              > areas, 30km/h speed limits, etc).
              >
              > Comments on this are most welcome.
              >
              > Ah, and happy new year!
              >
              > Best regards,
              >
              > --
              > Carlosfelipe Pardo
              >
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