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Re: carsharing

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  • roy russell
    Simon, I haven t seen any formal study that ties the reduction in registered vehicles with the adoption of car sharing. However, I do know that in both
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 22 9:17 AM
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      Simon,

      I haven't seen any formal study that ties the reduction in registered vehicles with the adoption of car sharing.  However, I do know that in both Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC while there has been an increase in population over the past 10 years the number of registered vehicles has dropped, generally consistent with around 20 vehicles removed for every car sharing vehicle added.  These numbers are also consistent with surveys of car sharing members who report that they would own a personal vehicle were it not for the availability of car sharing.

      I do think a preferable alternative to building a new 1,000 car parking structure could be to promote car sharing.  If conditions are right for it then it should be easy to displace that many personal vehicles with far fewer shared ones.  In Cambridge, MA with a similar  population (though higher population density) to Cambridge, UK, vehicle registrations dropped 2,685 between 2003 and 2008.  In DC vehicle registrations dropped 14,900 between 2005 and 2008.


      -Roy Russell
      --- In NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com, Simon Norton <S.Norton@...> wrote:
      >
      > About 25 years ago there was a threat of a large underground car park under one
      > of Cambridge's commons and there was a vigorous and successful campaign to
      > oppose it by getting the County Council to go for park & ride instead.
      >
      > The problem is that they haven't progressed since then and still regard park &
      > ride as the solution to all of Cambridge's traffic problems. The guided busway
      > (currently over 2 years behind schedule and well over budget) is seen as
      > essentially a glorified park & ride system. Meanwhile conventional bus services
      > have been neglected and are now under grave threat all over the county.
      >
      > Campaigners have tended to see park & ride as a way of increasing car parking
      > capacity serving a city without the need to actually allocate valuable land for
      > car parking. The system also relieves the central area of the city but can
      > actually increases problems on some radial routes leading to the car parks.
      >
      > The point I am trying to make is that park & ride is part of a solution, but it
      > is not in itself a solution. As long as there are spaces in the city centre
      > there will be traffic to use them, and there will be pressure to make park &
      > ride competitive, which may mean lower fares than on bus services used by
      > non-motorists and buses racing past stops even though these have few other buses
      > serving them. However, if local authorities went for a complete phase-out of
      > central parking except in cases of need then things might be better.
      >
      > I have now started to wonder whether things might be similar with carsharing. In
      > other words, can it give worthwhile improvements unless accompanied by a
      > phase-out of individual car ownership ? Does anyone have any evidence to show it
      > can ?
      >
      > Simon Norton
      >
    • Richard Layman
      Arlington County did a study after their initial support of carsharing (they were the first jurisdiction in the DC region to allow the cars to be parked on the
      Message 2 of 13 , Mar 22 9:46 AM
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        Arlington County did a study after their initial support of carsharing (they were the first jurisdiction in the DC region to allow the cars to be parked on the street, in dedicated parking spaces), but it was 4 years ago or so and I don't remember the results.

        The point is that one particular thing is never enough, you have to have a well balanced transportation demand management program, a great transit system, compact development land use policies, etc. so that a greater number of trips can be accomplished by walking or biking (or transit), etc.

        Alexandria VA has just released a new TDM plan which I haven't yet read.

        Arlington County's master transportation plan is  "beautiful" conceptually in that each plan element derives from the goals and policies and is in turn congruent within the element with those policies.  E.g., since a primary goal is the reduction of single occupancy vehicle trips, it means that the parking and curbside management element doesn't prioritize individual car ownership, but accords streetspace to car sharing, transit stops, etc.

        Seattle's Urban Mobility Plan is also excellent and worth reading...

        The biggest lesson from the experience with sustainable transportation in cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Portland, etc. ought to be that change is a process that starts with a breakthrough vision, but a vision that is supplemented by incremental improvements of a substantive nature going forward.

        Note that for all their efforts, DC's mode split for walking/biking/transit commuting is something like double that of Portland's.  We have the right spatial pattern (and a strong employment center at the core), plus heavy rail transit, so we get away with insubstantial transportation demand management planning.

        One thing in and of itself is never enough.  DC has proved that with transit.  We do a lot of transportation planning badly, but we can get away with it because we have a great spatial pattern bequeathed to us by L'Enfant.  When you have a spatial pattern that derives from the Walking City era (1800-1890), when you add transit service back and bike infrastructure, it extends the already extant land use patterns that promote placemaking, compact development, and sustainable transportation.

        A parking garage/park and ride on the edge of a city is a 1970s policy.  It's 2011.  And there have been 40 years of knowledge gains in the interim...



        --- On Tue, 3/22/11, roy russell <roy@...> wrote:

        From: roy russell <roy@...>
        Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Re: carsharing
        To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 12:17 PM

         

        Simon,

        I haven't seen any formal study that ties the reduction in registered vehicles with the adoption of car sharing.  However, I do know that in both Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC while there has been an increase in population over the past 10 years the number of registered vehicles has dropped, generally consistent with around 20 vehicles removed for every car sharing vehicle added.  These numbers are also consistent with surveys of car sharing members who report that they would own a personal vehicle were it not for the availability of car sharing.

        I do think a preferable alternative to building a new 1,000 car parking structure could be to promote car sharing.  If conditions are right for it then it should be easy to displace that many personal vehicles with far fewer shared ones.  In Cambridge, MA with a similar  population (though higher population density) to Cambridge, UK, vehicle registrations dropped 2,685 between 2003 and 2008.  In DC vehicle registrations dropped 14,900 between 2005 and 2008.


        -Roy Russell
        --- In NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com, Simon Norton <S.Norton@...> wrote:
        >
        > About 25 years ago there was a threat of a large underground car park under one
        > of Cambridge's commons and there was a vigorous and successful campaign to
        > oppose it by getting the County Council to go for park & ride instead.
        >
        > The problem is that they haven't progressed since then and still regard park &
        > ride as the solution to all of Cambridge's traffic problems. The guided busway
        > (currently over 2 years behind schedule and well over budget) is seen as
        > essentially a glorified park & ride system. Meanwhile conventional bus services
        > have been neglected and are now under grave threat all over the county.
        >
        > Campaigners have tended to see park & ride as a way of increasing car parking
        > capacity serving a city without the need to actually allocate valuable land for
        > car parking. The system also relieves the central area of the city but can
        > actually increases problems on some radial routes leading to the car parks.
        >
        > The point I am trying to make is that park & ride is part of a solution, but it
        > is not in itself a solution. As long as there are spaces in the city centre
        > there will be traffic to use them, and there will be pressure to make park &
        > ride competitive, which may mean lower fares than on bus services used by
        > non-motorists and buses racing past stops even though these have few other buses
        > serving them. However, if local authorities went for a complete phase-out of
        > central parking except in cases of need then things might be better.
        >
        > I have now started to wonder whether things might be similar with carsharing. In
        > other words, can it give worthwhile improvements unless accompanied by a
        > phase-out of individual car ownership ? Does anyone have any evidence to show it
        > can ?
        >
        > Simon Norton
        >

      • Larry Shaeffer
        In Philly back in 02, those factors were why it was such an easy sell to get the city and parking authority on board to provide on-street parking spaces for
        Message 3 of 13 , Mar 23 1:22 PM
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          In Philly back in ' 02, those factors were why it was such an easy sell to get the city and parking authority on board to provide on-street parking spaces for PhillyCarShare. Many of the center city neighborhoods were pressing for parking garages to alleviate a perceived on-street parking shortage for residents. At $40,000 per space (way more now) not counting land costs, the city wasn't anxious to start building.
          BTW: parking study by city planning commish showed there was no real parking shortage in those neighborhoods, it was all perception-"if I can't park in front of my house, there's a parking shortage"
          Larry Shaeffer

          On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 12:46 PM, Richard Layman <rlaymandc@...> wrote:
           

          Arlington County did a study after their initial support of carsharing (they were the first jurisdiction in the DC region to allow the cars to be parked on the street, in dedicated parking spaces), but it was 4 years ago or so and I don't remember the results.

          The point is that one particular thing is never enough, you have to have a well balanced transportation demand management program, a great transit system, compact development land use policies, etc. so that a greater number of trips can be accomplished by walking or biking (or transit), etc.

          Alexandria VA has just released a new TDM plan which I haven't yet read.

          Arlington County's master transportation plan is  "beautiful" conceptually in that each plan element derives from the goals and policies and is in turn congruent within the element with those policies.  E.g., since a primary goal is the reduction of single occupancy vehicle trips, it means that the parking and curbside management element doesn't prioritize individual car ownership, but accords streetspace to car sharing, transit stops, etc.

          Seattle's Urban Mobility Plan is also excellent and worth reading...

          The biggest lesson from the experience with sustainable transportation in cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Portland, etc. ought to be that change is a process that starts with a breakthrough vision, but a vision that is supplemented by incremental improvements of a substantive nature going forward.

          Note that for all their efforts, DC's mode split for walking/biking/transit commuting is something like double that of Portland's.  We have the right spatial pattern (and a strong employment center at the core), plus heavy rail transit, so we get away with insubstantial transportation demand management planning.

          One thing in and of itself is never enough.  DC has proved that with transit.  We do a lot of transportation planning badly, but we can get away with it because we have a great spatial pattern bequeathed to us by L'Enfant.  When you have a spatial pattern that derives from the Walking City era (1800-1890), when you add transit service back and bike infrastructure, it extends the already extant land use patterns that promote placemaking, compact development, and sustainable transportation.

          A parking garage/park and ride on the edge of a city is a 1970s policy.  It's 2011.  And there have been 40 years of knowledge gains in the interim...



          --- On Tue, 3/22/11, roy russell <roy@...> wrote:

          From: roy russell <roy@...>
          Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Re: carsharing
          To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2011, 12:17 PM


           

          Simon,

          I haven't seen any formal study that ties the reduction in registered vehicles with the adoption of car sharing.  However, I do know that in both Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC while there has been an increase in population over the past 10 years the number of registered vehicles has dropped, generally consistent with around 20 vehicles removed for every car sharing vehicle added.  These numbers are also consistent with surveys of car sharing members who report that they would own a personal vehicle were it not for the availability of car sharing.

          I do think a preferable alternative to building a new 1,000 car parking structure could be to promote car sharing.  If conditions are right for it then it should be easy to displace that many personal vehicles with far fewer shared ones.  In Cambridge, MA with a similar  population (though higher population density) to Cambridge, UK, vehicle registrations dropped 2,685 between 2003 and 2008.  In DC vehicle registrations dropped 14,900 between 2005 and 2008.


          -Roy Russell
          --- In NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com, Simon Norton <S.Norton@...> wrote:
          >
          > About 25 years ago there was a threat of a large underground car park under one
          > of Cambridge's commons and there was a vigorous and successful campaign to
          > oppose it by getting the County Council to go for park & ride instead.
          >
          > The problem is that they haven't progressed since then and still regard park &
          > ride as the solution to all of Cambridge's traffic problems. The guided busway
          > (currently over 2 years behind schedule and well over budget) is seen as
          > essentially a glorified park & ride system. Meanwhile conventional bus services
          > have been neglected and are now under grave threat all over the county.
          >
          > Campaigners have tended to see park & ride as a way of increasing car parking
          > capacity serving a city without the need to actually allocate valuable land for
          > car parking. The system also relieves the central area of the city but can
          > actually increases problems on some radial routes leading to the car parks.
          >
          > The point I am trying to make is that park & ride is part of a solution, but it
          > is not in itself a solution. As long as there are spaces in the city centre
          > there will be traffic to use them, and there will be pressure to make park &
          > ride competitive, which may mean lower fares than on bus services used by
          > non-motorists and buses racing past stops even though these have few other buses
          > serving them. However, if local authorities went for a complete phase-out of
          > central parking except in cases of need then things might be better.
          >
          > I have now started to wonder whether things might be similar with carsharing. In
          > other words, can it give worthwhile improvements unless accompanied by a
          > phase-out of individual car ownership ? Does anyone have any evidence to show it
          > can ?
          >
          > Simon Norton
          >


        • Simon Norton
          Regarding Dave Holladay s post, I think it is important to distinguish the individual and social benefits of carsharing as against car ownership. I believe
          Message 4 of 13 , Oct 24, 2012
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            Regarding Dave Holladay's post, I think it is important to distinguish the
            individual and social benefits of carsharing as against car ownership.

            I believe that there are key benefits that can't be captured as long as
            carsharing remains a niche market.

            In many residential areas every available inch of roadspace is used for parking.
            This means that when people need to have work done on their houses it's
            difficult to find parking space for builders or whoever. It also means less
            space for cyclists and pedestrians. When the road is used by buses, it can
            sometimes mean significant delay for them as they have to move aside every time
            they encounter a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction -- and if one
            suggests that for that reason parking shouldn't be allowed (at least on both
            sides of the road) one will be asked where else people can keep their cars.

            New developments could be much more compact if less space was needed for parking
            and garaging. This would benefit walkers and cyclists, and also lead to less
            loss of land.

            One problem is that charges for residential parking are far too low. In my area
            of Cambridge, for example, an annual permit costs 52 pounds, or less than 17p a
            day based on a 6 day week. By contrast a visitor's permit (which can be used by
            builders etc.) costs 8 pounds for 5 days, i.e. nearly 10 times as much per day.

            For new developments, of course, residential parking has to be designed out from
            the beginning of we want people to rely on carsharing for those mobility needs
            that are unsuited to other modes of transport (which for properly planned
            developments in countries with integrated transport networks would be virtually
            nil anyway).

            Incidentally in response to Chris Bradshaw's posting I agree that the system of
            specialised groups is leading to duplication in what we are receiving.

            Simon Norton
          • Richard Layman
            I write about this issue from time to time myself.  I take a kind of cultural studies approach to the issue, asking whether or not we should privilege car
            Message 5 of 13 , Oct 25, 2012
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              I write about this issue from time to time myself.  I take a kind of "cultural studies" approach to the issue, asking whether or not we should privilege car owners over car users.  Car users are supported by carsharing schemes.  In 2005, I came to realize when DC decided to charge car sharing firms for space use at commercial rates, that really we are dealing with questions of privilege for the use of scarce public space, and that current policy typically privileges car owners with maximal "right" to the use of public space (parking lanes on roads) for car storage.   

              - http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2005/10/high-cost-of-free-parking-revisited.html

              I am impressed that Cambridge charges 52 pounds for a residential permit.  In DC, until recently the cost was $15/year (some places, including my block, don't have permit requirements depending on demand, but this would make it harder for me to park if I had a car, in other areas of the ward), now it's $30/year.  In North America, the only example of a significantly higher pricing for residential parking is in Toronto, where it can be as high as $50/mo. (Canadian) depending on various factors.  San Francisco charges $96/year and limits the number of permits that can be obtained by address.

              - http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2010/11/residential-parking-permit-pricing.html
              - http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2010/01/toronto-rules-or-charging-higher-rates.html

              Lately DC has upped the rates significantly for carsharing firms, which comes back to the users in terms of higher rates by $2-$3/hour.  This pisses me off.  It means that in using a carshare 1-3 times/month, I pay far more for the use of public space for car storage than residents who own cars.

              While I still don't think they do it perfectly, Arlington County Virginia's master transportation plan element on "parking and curbside management" does get into this issue somewhat.  It could be better, but it is a start.

              -------

              Goal #2 of the Arlington County Master Transportation Plan is stated as “Move More People Without More Traffic” and it specifically calls for the reduction of the proportion of single-occupant-vehicle travel and shifts from motor vehicles to other modes.
              --------

              Because the plan's goals include limiting single occupancy vehicle trips, the P&CM element prioritizes use of curbspace accordingly, so theoretically carsharing spots are prioritized over spots for single vehicle owners, and compared to DC, ArCo does not look at carsharing's use of this space as mostly an opportunity for income, but as a way to manage the demand for scarce parking space inventory.

              - http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com/2012/05/missing-point-about-performance-parking.html

              ANYWAY, my biggest point on this general issue is that transportation plans are supposed to provide comparative examples and better practice guidance and they most often DO NOT DO SO.  By doing so they create a context where these conflicts can be identified and addressed and argued about even if policy remains the same.  It also provides cover for elected officials on these issues, which tend to be very volatile.

              DC is engaged in a parking planning initiative right now in the context of developing a transpo vision plan but they are mostly doing this aspect in house and the people involved, other than the top planners, don't seem to know very much about parking.  Plus they aren't introducing into the mix comparative examples from other jurisdictions, so as a result the ideaspace ends up being pretty dull and static.

              Even when participants say good things or make points that indicate that change is possible, most of the facilitators don't know enough about the subject to pick up on their points and the opportunity is lost.

              After participating in one meeting, I offered to facilitate (at no charge) but they blew me off.

              Richard Layman
              transportation planner (bicycle facilities, www.bicyclepass.com)
              Washington, DC


              From: Simon Norton <S.Norton@...>
              To: newmobilitycafe@yahoogroups.com; worldtransport@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 1:11 PM
              Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] carsharing

               
              Regarding Dave Holladay's post, I think it is important to distinguish the
              individual and social benefits of carsharing as against car ownership.

              I believe that there are key benefits that can't be captured as long as
              carsharing remains a niche market.

              In many residential areas every available inch of roadspace is used for parking.
              This means that when people need to have work done on their houses it's
              difficult to find parking space for builders or whoever. It also means less
              space for cyclists and pedestrians. When the road is used by buses, it can
              sometimes mean significant delay for them as they have to move aside every time
              they encounter a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction -- and if one
              suggests that for that reason parking shouldn't be allowed (at least on both
              sides of the road) one will be asked where else people can keep their cars.

              New developments could be much more compact if less space was needed for parking
              and garaging. This would benefit walkers and cyclists, and also lead to less
              loss of land.

              One problem is that charges for residential parking are far too low. In my area
              of Cambridge, for example, an annual permit costs 52 pounds, or less than 17p a
              day based on a 6 day week. By contrast a visitor's permit (which can be used by
              builders etc.) costs 8 pounds for 5 days, i.e. nearly 10 times as much per day.

              For new developments, of course, residential parking has to be designed out from
              the beginning of we want people to rely on carsharing for those mobility needs
              that are unsuited to other modes of transport (which for properly planned
              developments in countries with integrated transport networks would be virtually
              nil anyway).

              Incidentally in response to Chris Bradshaw's posting I agree that the system of
              specialised groups is leading to duplication in what we are receiving.

              Simon Norton



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