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Re: [NewMobilityCafe] bicycles and public transport [looking for words]

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  • Theo Schmidt
    ... My own candidates would be effective , efficient , or freedom transportation. None of these is very good. Let s keep thinking. Recapitulating: Walking
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 22, 2008
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      Eric Britton wrote:
      > Let’s see now . . . we have here a form of “public transportation”
      > that is capable of moving very large numbers of people in ways that
      > offer great advantages in terms of . . .

      Simon Norton schrieb:
      > We already have a term that encompasses both of the above together
      > with walking, namely "sustainable transport".

      Christa schrieb:
      > How about active transportation?

      My own candidates would be "effective", "efficient", or "freedom"
      transportation.

      None of these is very good. Let's keep thinking.

      Recapitulating:

      Walking is the only way of moving *very* large numbers of people
      *anywhere* and the fastest method of transport over short distances. In
      many places there is no problem with the status of walking as there is
      generally no alternative (e.g. pedestrianised city centers, shopping
      malls, Venice!) or it is a sport or vocation also for the rich (e.g.
      hiking, tradtional religious routes). It is also in general the safest
      form of transport per trip and certainly the most altruistic, as damage
      to the environment and to others is minimal.

      Given the most basic public space (any flatish or reasonably smooth or
      hard area) and the most basic private property (any old bicycle),
      cycling quickly becomes more efficent and effective than any other
      transport method. Given a more advance public infrastructure (smooth
      roads) and more private means (well-engineered bicycle, tricycle,
      trailer, velomibil, HPV, multi-person vehicles, electric-assist
      vehicles) cycling also becomes the fastest form of transport over
      average distances and with average loads. This is especially so in heavy
      conguestion. Unfortunately traffic planners consider cycling "slow"
      transport because they measure peak rather than average speeds. Commuter
      races and cycling messengers however regularly prove the superiority of
      cycling. Pairing cycling with trains (or folding bicycles with
      high-speed trains) we also have the fastest form of transport over long
      distances.

      Given the fact that cycling costs little (saving money otherwise spent
      on vehicles, fuels, insurance and repairs) but increases health (saving
      money spent on medicine, doctors and hospitals), and saves the community
      costs associated with energy and pollution (also CO2), it is *the*
      ecomobile, being both economical and ecological (as long as you don't
      overdo it and don't eat the wrong foodstuffs).

      These facts are mostly undisputed but often ignored. And human beings
      are by natural design physically lazy, so that most people prefer to
      drive vehicles or use public transport even when they know how much
      better cycling is. Many are also overly fearful. This is borne out by
      the fact that the higher helmet usage is, the more cycling seems to
      decrease. (I'm not saying this is a causality, but a correlation.) In
      actual fact cycling is safer per trip than driving, much more
      altruistic, and if you take health effects into account, it is is also
      safer per distance travelled than driving.

      Cycling is also fun - in the right environment. This is closely coupled
      with the "freedom" aspect. You are generally free not just to go
      anywhere but also to stop anywhere - not possible with larger vehicles.


      So, with our words and definitions we have to get across the "eco",
      "velo", "sano", "libero" and perhaps also "fun" aspects.


      Theo Schmidt
    • Richard Layman
      from my blog...  Richard Layman, DC Mobility hubs and next generation transportation planning For a couple years, I have been writing about what I call the
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 22, 2008
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        from my blog...  Richard Layman, DC

        Mobility hubs and next generation transportation planning

        For a couple years, I have been writing about what I call the mobilityshed or transitshed. See:

        -- Update of the mobility shed/mobilityshed concept (April 2008)
        -- Mobility shed revisited (November 2007) which includes this diagram


        I learned today that there is work on a similar-parallel concept, called a mobility hub, in part at the University of Michigan, in the Sustainable Mobility, Accessibility Research and Transformation Project. This e-newsletter has a couple case studies of mobility hubs in Bremen and Toronto, which function similar to how I think about mobility-transit services provided within transit sheds.

        One area that they cover that I didn't think much about is the provision of real-time information on availability of the various modes, from parking spaces to bikes for sharing-rental to transit schedules and transit vehicle arrival information.
        Union Station information displays
        WMATA platform displays providing info on subway train arrival times are also fed to the WMATA website. I don't know if they set up these feeds so that they could be included via widgets, in other webpages (a la RSS).

        Transit sheds can be thought of as centered around stations or routes, and transportation diversion programs, such as part of the Arlington transportation demand management surveys, can be used to move people towards optimal mobility based on their place of residence and location of transit services. The TravelSmart program pioneered in Australia is another way to do this.
        Mobility survey, Arlington Transportation Partners

        I haven't always defined each: "Transit shed or transitshed" and "mobility shed or mobility shed" in a particular way.

        Mobility is about getting around. I think the transitshed is about what mode you use to get around with, the service, be it legs and feet or a bus or a bicycle, etc.

        Thinking about next generation transportation planning

        I talk up the Arlington County Transportation Plan which is very good:

        I think it shows us the way forward, but that the framework can be expanded slightly.

        The Main Street Approach has the same problem with the "Design" point. I describe it by stating that the design committee deals with all aspects of the external environment. This means the way buildings look, the street network, etc.

        But I think we could change this a bit and say the design committee deals with all aspects of the built environment, including the transportation and street network, and the quality of the public spaces.

        The same goes with transportation planning. It needs to be about "mobility" not merely "transportation" and the quality of public spaces, i.e., urban design and placemaking, needs to be part of the plan.

        And, I am thinking that as great as the Arlington plan is, it also needs a section on wayfinding and interpretation signage to cover directional, informational, and historical-cultural signage needs for a community.



        --- On Tue, 7/22/08, Theo Schmidt <theosch06@...> wrote:
        From: Theo Schmidt <theosch06@...>
        Subject: Re: [NewMobilityCafe] bicycles and public transport [looking for words]
        To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 5:07 AM

        Eric Britton wrote:
        > Let’s see now . . . we have here a form of “public transportation”
        > that is capable of moving very large numbers of people in ways that
        > offer great advantages in terms of . . .

        Simon Norton schrieb:
        > We already have a term that encompasses both of the above together
        > with walking, namely "sustainable transport".

        Christa schrieb:
        > How about active transportation?

        My own candidates would be "effective", "efficient", or
        "freedom"
        transportation.

        None of these is very good. Let's keep thinking.

        Recapitulating:

        Walking is the only way of moving *very* large numbers of people
        *anywhere* and the fastest method of transport over short distances. In
        many places there is no problem with the status of walking as there is
        generally no alternative (e.g. pedestrianised city centers, shopping
        malls, Venice!) or it is a sport or vocation also for the rich (e.g.
        hiking, tradtional religious routes). It is also in general the safest
        form of transport per trip and certainly the most altruistic, as damage
        to the environment and to others is minimal.

        Given the most basic public space (any flatish or reasonably smooth or
        hard area) and the most basic private property (any old bicycle),
        cycling quickly becomes more efficent and effective than any other
        transport method. Given a more advance public infrastructure (smooth
        roads) and more private means (well-engineered bicycle, tricycle,
        trailer, velomibil, HPV, multi-person vehicles, electric-assist
        vehicles) cycling also becomes the fastest form of transport over
        average distances and with average loads. This is especially so in heavy
        conguestion. Unfortunately traffic planners consider cycling "slow"
        transport because they measure peak rather than average speeds. Commuter
        races and cycling messengers however regularly prove the superiority of
        cycling. Pairing cycling with trains (or folding bicycles with
        high-speed trains) we also have the fastest form of transport over long
        distances.

        Given the fact that cycling costs little (saving money otherwise spent
        on vehicles, fuels, insurance and repairs) but increases health (saving
        money spent on medicine, doctors and hospitals), and saves the community
        costs associated with energy and pollution (also CO2), it is *the*
        ecomobile, being both economical and ecological (as long as you don't
        overdo it and don't eat the wrong foodstuffs).

        These facts are mostly undisputed but often ignored. And human beings
        are by natural design physically lazy, so that most people prefer to
        drive vehicles or use public transport even when they know how much
        better cycling is. Many are also overly fearful. This is borne out by
        the fact that the higher helmet usage is, the more cycling seems to
        decrease. (I'm not saying this is a causality, but a correlation.) In
        actual fact cycling is safer per trip than driving, much more
        altruistic, and if you take health effects into account, it is is also
        safer per distance travelled than driving.

        Cycling is also fun - in the right environment. This is closely coupled
        with the "freedom" aspect. You are generally free not just to go
        anywhere but also to stop anywhere - not possible with larger vehicles.


        So, with our words and definitions we have to get across the "eco",
        "velo", "sano", "libero" and perhaps also
        "fun" aspects.


        Theo Schmidt

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      • Michael Yeates
        Interesting ... thanks Richard. An example of this hub concept may well be the idea promoted (and used??) in Aarhus ... in which each concentric circle
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 22, 2008
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          Interesting ... thanks Richard.

          An example of this "hub" concept may well be the idea promoted (and used??) in Aarhus ... in which each concentric circle represents an actual zone - in Aarhus, the inner zone being a zone of pedestrian priority and the next circle being considerably larger radius is a zone of cycling priority ... such that urban design and transport and mobility and accessibility are "harmonised" and mutually supportive in relation to the land use and users needs, convenience and safety etc etc.

          In effect, this puts the "York hierarchy" into practice at both a conceptual and a practical level ... and can apply around ANY centre ... eg not just the CBD but embedded earlier separate villages now swallowed up in a major urban conurbation ... or in new towns or in renewal.

          Radial routes would necessarily penetrate such a "structure" so the longer distance public transport modes ie buses, light and heavy rail are able to maintain their priority ... whereas car traffic is not "welcomed" ...!

          Aarhus certainly featured in many very innovative projects and concepts in the late 1990s, and I for one would be delighted to hear from anyone who has any more recent information and/or experience of Aarhus ... and any similar schemes either proposed or better still, in place.

          But now a word of caution if not warning ...

          Is the much promoted "TOD" concept (aka Transit Oriented Development) becoming or become, little or nothing more than an invitation for developers to promote redevelopment WITHOUT any real commitment to the "transit orientation" other than being near to public transit ?

          It seems TOD is being promoted by developers and prioritised by "planners" as a way to reduce traffic congestion and thus proposals in suitable areas are preferred ie given preferential treatment in the approvals process.

          In other words, is TOD is little more than a means to encourage development and/or demolition and redevelopment ?

          An example is a recent major redevelopment proposal here in Brisbane which is proposed on the site of a suburban movie theatre complex and a number of  small single level street front shops.

          The proposal includes shops and offices, some 100 residential dwellings and a new movie complex.  It can be described as TOD because it is across the road from a major suburban railway station and is in a large suburban "major regional centre" which includes one of the biggest Westfield developed regional shopping centres in Australia. All of which sounds OK ... but is it?

          The redevelopment "requires" some 350 car parks to be provided ... to be constructed at great cost and if the cars and car parks are used, then great conflict will occur where the cars cross from the development onto the road, and if the cars are used in peak hours, they will be added to the already densely congested traffic nearby.

          [ In this world of IT, development applications can now be inspected by people across the world by way or the web or "visited" by way of GOOGLE and other means of "invasion". The location is the southwest corner of Station Road and Coonan Street, Indooroopilly or search for the El Dorado Theatre complex in Brisbane Australia - note that the spelling may also be Eldorado. ]

          I raise this example and the problem of TOD, because if what I shall call the Aarhus zones were used around this major public transport and urban centre, ie also around TOD, then cars would be next to useless and would rarely be used ... achieving what TOD promises.

          Indeed based on overseas examples, quite possibly, the cost savings for purchasers of units in TODs would warrant some and maybe even many of the residential units NOT being required to have expensive underground car parking.

          In other words, TOD should equate fairly closely to "carfree development" and would be, or would become, viable ... and the claim to be a TOD might have some credibility.

          Related to the above and to the following discussions, are there some good examples of "carfree" TOD beyond the individual project?

          Are there any "carfree" TOD major centres or major transit centres?

          One answer is of course is many of the European cities that are NOT "car free" but are so car "unfriendly" that only a tourist or someone totally requiring a car, would try to drive into the "centre".

          Another is those cities where congestion or parking availability (London, Paris, etc) is so bad nobody really would want to drive or try to park ... although some people still do. Is this perhaps because the non-car options are so poor?

          Are there other "planned" examples ?

          Or has TOD simply joined phrases such as "sustainable development" as worthless "greenwash" ?

          MY..........................

          At 10:43 PM 22/07/2008, Richard Layman wrote:

          from my blog...  Richard Layman, DC


          Mobility hubs and next generation transportation planning



          For a couple years, I have been writing about what I call the mobilityshed or transitshed. See:

          -- Update of the mobility shed/mobilityshed concept (April 2008)
          -- Mobility shed revisited (November 2007) which includes this diagram

          []
        • Richard Layman
          wow.  This makes me think of planning as a dialectic. Here s the problem, at least in my experience in the U.S.  Planners plan.  Planners are subject to
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 23, 2008
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            wow.  This makes me think of "planning as a dialectic."

            Here's the problem, at least in my experience in the U.S.  Planners plan.  Planners are subject to suasion by the political and economic elite.  Planners use the rational planning model, which tends to be overly constrained, with narrowly defined scopes of work for planning processes.

            (When I worked on one such plan, not a transportation plan, but a commercial district revitalization plan, I ignored the constraints, and did a wide-ranging analysis, but then, every hour I spent extra meant I made less money/hour, a lot less.)

            Planning processes for the most part aren't allowed to be creative, or to go outside of the boundaries of the scope.  And plans are mostly vision.  And generally there are disconnects between planning and zoning.  Zoning for the most part is parcel focused, while planning focuses on overall districts, districts in which a particular piece of land is only a part of the whole.  But it is the urban form as a whole that matters to us as people living and working in and using spaces.

            All developers do, for the most part, is build buildings.  They can build them adjacent to transit or as part of walkable communities or not.  If the buildings are adjacent to transit, then they need to be linked to and built around these linkages.

            But for the most part, zoning regulations, even with the extranormal requirements of "planned unit developments" aren't fine grained enough to really bring this about.

            Getting back to planning, transportation planning is at best, about transportation, not just highways, but given the theme/name of this list, I am coming to the belief that transportation planning really needs to be repositioned even further, on "mobility and public spaces planning" with the requisite changes in vision and focus.

            That was reflected in the blog entry I just sent.

            Municipalities bobble this too.  E.g., in Montgomery County Maryland they are building an "intermodal" transit station atop the Silver Spring subway station, which will include the adjoining railroad stop, the WMATA and RideOn (county) buses, and bring the inter-city buses over.  The website chortles about the connection that will be provided to local bike trails.  But even though the station is in a large office district, there will be no bicycle station within the center.  There may be one built nearby at some time in the future, but there is no funding for it...

            We have a fair way to go yet to get to New Mobility.

            RL



            --- On Tue, 7/22/08, Michael Yeates <michael@...> wrote:
            From: Michael Yeates <michael@...>
            Subject: Re: [NewMobilityCafe] bicycles and public transport [looking for words]
            To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
            Cc: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
            Date: Tuesday, July 22, 2008, 10:03 PM

            Interesting ... thanks Richard.

            An example of this "hub" concept may well be the idea promoted (and used??) in Aarhus ... in which each concentric circle represents an actual zone - in Aarhus, the inner zone being a zone of pedestrian priority and the next circle being considerably larger radius is a zone of cycling priority ... such that urban design and transport and mobility and accessibility are "harmonised" and mutually supportive in relation to the land use and users needs, convenience and safety etc etc.

            In effect, this puts the "York hierarchy" into practice at both a conceptual and a practical level ... and can apply around ANY centre ... eg not just the CBD but embedded earlier separate villages now swallowed up in a major urban conurbation ... or in new towns or in renewal.

            Radial routes would necessarily penetrate such a "structure" so the longer distance public transport modes ie buses, light and heavy rail are able to maintain their priority ... whereas car traffic is not "welcomed" ...!

            Aarhus certainly featured in many very innovative projects and concepts in the late 1990s, and I for one would be delighted to hear from anyone who has any more recent information and/or experience of Aarhus ... and any similar schemes either proposed or better still, in place.

            But now a word of caution if not warning ...

            Is the much promoted "TOD" concept (aka Transit Oriented Development) becoming or become, little or nothing more than an invitation for developers to promote redevelopment WITHOUT any real commitment to the "transit orientation" other than being near to public transit ?

            It seems TOD is being promoted by developers and prioritised by "planners" as a way to reduce traffic congestion and thus proposals in suitable areas are preferred ie given preferential treatment in the approvals process.

            In other words, is TOD is little more than a means to encourage development and/or demolition and redevelopment ?

            An example is a recent major redevelopment proposal here in Brisbane which is proposed on the site of a suburban movie theatre complex and a number of  small single level street front shops.

            The proposal includes shops and offices, some 100 residential dwellings and a new movie complex.  It can be described as TOD because it is across the road from a major suburban railway station and is in a large suburban "major regional centre" which includes one of the biggest Westfield developed regional shopping centres in Australia. All of which sounds OK ... but is it?

            The redevelopment "requires" some 350 car parks to be provided ... to be constructed at great cost and if the cars and car parks are used, then great conflict will occur where the cars cross from the development onto the road, and if the cars are used in peak hours, they will be added to the already densely congested traffic nearby.

            [ In this world of IT, development applications can now be inspected by people across the world by way or the web or "visited" by way of GOOGLE and other means of "invasion". The location is the southwest corner of Station Road and Coonan Street, Indooroopilly or search for the El Dorado Theatre complex in Brisbane Australia - note that the spelling may also be Eldorado. ]

            I raise this example and the problem of TOD, because if what I shall call the Aarhus zones were used around this major public transport and urban centre, ie also around TOD, then cars would be next to useless and would rarely be used ... achieving what TOD promises.

            Indeed based on overseas examples, quite possibly, the cost savings for purchasers of units in TODs would warrant some and maybe even many of the residential units NOT being required to have expensive underground car parking.

            In other words, TOD should equate fairly closely to "carfree development" and would be, or would become, viable ... and the claim to be a TOD might have some credibility.

            Related to the above and to the following discussions, are there some good examples of "carfree" TOD beyond the individual project?

            Are there any "carfree" TOD major centres or major transit centres?

            One answer is of course is many of the European cities that are NOT "car free" but are so car "unfriendly" that only a tourist or someone totally requiring a car, would try to drive into the "centre".

            Another is those cities where congestion or parking availability (London, Paris, etc) is so bad nobody really would want to drive or try to park ... although some people still do. Is this perhaps because the non-car options are so poor?

            Are there other "planned" examples ?

            Or has TOD simply joined phrases such as "sustainable development" as worthless "greenwash" ?

            MY.......... ......... .......

            At 10:43 PM 22/07/2008, Richard Layman wrote:

            from my blog...  Richard Layman, DC


            Mobility hubs and next generation transportation planning



            For a couple years, I have been writing about what I call the mobilityshed or transitshed. See:

            -- Update of the mobility shed/mobilityshed concept (April 2008)
            -- Mobility shed revisited (November 2007) which includes this diagram

            []

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