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567Re: re WorldTransport Forum Sustainable transportation in tongues was Fwd: Re: [Kyoto2020] Express toll roads + More on

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  • Kerry Wood
    Feb 19, 2006
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      Two suggestions for your list of the dimensions of transport

      1) Merge the first two, and the two energy ones towards the end:

      -- Direct energy use (less any energy recovery)
      -- Energy consumed in manufacture (less any energy recovery)

      2 Add a new dimension

      -- Conflicts between modes

      Let me explain this new dimension. Urban transport solutions broadly
      fall into four categories:

      Walking and cycling
      Passenger transport use
      Planning objectives
      Car use

      The first two categories are pretty much supportive of each other and
      can be supported by planning objectives: medium density, accessibility,
      urban villages, pedestrian streets, woonerfs and so on. Most of this is
      traditional urban planning, or non-planning, going back centuries, and
      is probably about as sustainable as we are likely to get.

      The problem is that car (and truck) use will inevitably be in conflict
      with this approach, but eliminating all car and truck use is not an
      option. However, they need to be restrained if we are to get a good
      sustainability outcome. Unfortunately the opportunity for restraint was
      missed first time around and we have been living with the consequences
      ever since. Left to itself the car creates risk for pedestrians and
      cyclists, slows buses and trams by congestion, blocks streets (and
      footpaths) by parking, and makes streets and adjacent buildings noisy
      and fume-filled. Cars also offer the prospect of easy escape to rural
      peace but never deliver for any length of time.

      Worse, urban planning has tended to focus on facilitating a
      less-sustainable mode which is in conflict with more
      sustainable/old-fashioned/less sexy modes.

      If sustainability is an objective, then the target needs to be
      minimising the unsustainable effects of car use. This still tends to
      focus on easing congestion, because cars are less polluting in
      free-flowing traffic. But seen from an urban sustainability
      perspective, it might be better to focus on ensuring that the
      sustainable modes can function adequately:

      Lower speed limits (mostly 30 km/h)
      Close rat runs
      Bus and tram priority and lanes (closing lanes to cars will INCREASE
      Less street parking and NO footpath parking
      Regular safe and easy crossing points for pedestrians

      And so on


      Kerry Wood
      38a Calcutta St
      Wellington 6004
      New Zealand
      On 2006 Feb, 16, at 9:32 AM, Anzir Boodoo wrote:

      > Michael,
      > On 1 Feb 2006, at 00:24, Michael Yeates wrote:
      >> Dear Eric and others battling for a better world,
      >> I note the wonderful effort to describe "sustainable
      >> transportation" (ST) and also the interesting comments in the
      >> earlier emails (below). My apologies for any double postings but
      >> both "topics" are included in the subject line above for those who
      >> missed one of them).
      >> There are two aspects of ST that seem to be particularly elusive
      >> whether for short or long trips.
      >> The first is the extent/degree to which the transportation is
      >> "sustainable" eg in energy use to name one "measure". But also
      >> given the historic role of transport(ation) in encouraging/
      >> assisting further development that then requires more
      >> transportation which is usually less sustainable (eg cars, planes
      >> in particular), surely we need to consider the effects/impacts of
      >> transportation on development of towns and cities over time.
      > Apologies for the delays in replying (only 419 unread emails to go!).
      > Let's hit this head on then:
      > Either we stop using the term "Sustainable Transport" OR we realise
      > it is multifaceted and separate those facets.
      > In an ideal world, we can have fully sustainable solutions aside from
      > walking.
      > Human Powered Vehicles are not 100% sustainable as they use non
      > renewable energy and materials in their manufacture, but they are
      > close.
      > Right...
      > Sustainability should be considered in the following dimensions (feel
      > free to add/amend), and this is always a sliding scale.
      > Direct Energy Usage (fuel)
      > Energy recovery in usage (eg regenerative braking)
      > Dangerous Pollutants & Greenhouse Gases
      > Infrastructure / Land take
      > Maintenance regimes
      > Use of harmful chemicals in use and maintenance
      > Energy consumed in manufacture
      > Energy recovery at end of life
      > Ability to absorb traffic growth
      > Ability to cope with traffic patterns
      > Personally, I would maintain that only walking is 100% sustainable
      > (as an aside, that walkable cities and towns are far more pleasant
      > places to live as well, but I reckon we're all biased on that
      > front :-) )
      > There is then a sliding scale. To my mind, when we talk of
      > sustainable transport, we should keep this in mind, and that efforts
      > should be concentrated on moving up these scales in terms of
      > sustainability. I also think that we have to think holistically, and
      > that we cannot conceive of having one mode to the exclusion of all
      > others.
      > Therefore, I see that bikes, trams, trains, shared taxis, and, yes,
      > even cars, have their place within the "transport mix", and we can
      > see this only if we move on from thinking in polar "sustainable / not
      > sustainable" terms and start thinking in terms of "more sustainable /
      > less sustainable", concentrating on the dimensions of sustainability
      > that are most relevant.
      > (and we can be clever/devious and structure our list in such a way as
      > to make one set of modes "look bad", but it's up to us collectively
      > whether or not we want to do that).
      >> So back to the emails below. It seems to me that ST is NOT well
      >> described by light rail if the result is trams bursting at the
      >> seams with people when many of those trips are induced by cities
      >> and towns that have developed in response to faster and further
      >> trips by more people.
      > Here we have the problem.
      > In order to sell the idea to cities, cities will want to see that
      > their spatial influence is being increased. In sustainability terms,
      > this is not something we ACTUALLY want to do. Can we really get round
      > this?
      > Larger cities rely economically on a large hinterland - London would
      > collapse economically if commuting from outside the city became
      > difficult, and other cities worldwide are similar.
      > Do we first have to react to the current situation, to meet the needs
      > of the way people are living now more sustainably, before "tightening
      > the net"? I can't see that we can do anything else, because if we
      > don't appeal to the travel patterns, needs and desires of as many
      > people as possible as quickly as possible, then we're going to stay
      > as a niche interest. I'm not saying that we have to allow people all
      > the mobility choices (spatially) that they have now, but we need to
      > ensure they have all the accessibility choices (to jobs, services
      > etc.) and don't feel hard done by.
      >> I suggest that ST (esp as a "technology" we know currently) really
      >> begins with MAXIMUM use of modes with as close as possible (NOT as
      >> close as practicable) zero energy expenditure and that the
      >> arguments for ST are then much weakened by including high tech non-
      >> renewable and carbon/nuclear energy using modes such as public
      >> transport (aside from public transport schemes such as Copenhagen's
      >> "city bikes" and where the service whether transporting passengers/
      >> freight is provided by others using HPVs etc).
      >> It follows then that walking including human powered vehicles of
      >> all types and for all purposes (ie including cycling) must rank far
      >> higher as ST than any form of carbon consuming mode (and similarly
      >> for nuclear fuel) and in between are the modes fueled/powered by
      >> short term renewables including wind, water and sun and possibly,
      >> some other "natural" thermal sources.
      > OK. Do we then start from the fuel perspective? In one way it's
      > fairly simple and doesn't require as much of the "hard graft" of
      > making people change their ways (which the UK government has given up
      > on). If we can get more electrically powered public transport to be
      > powered renewably and more diesel powered transport moved onto
      > biodiesel (and educate people that LPG and LNG are NOT renewables)
      > then we have instantly moved a lot of public transport up the
      > sustainability scale.
      >> Otherwise and perhaps it is inevitable (but then the description of
      >> ST should say so), ST will be used to promote modes of transport
      >> and development that are far from "sustainable" to the detriment of
      >> the modes that are sustainable.
      > Now that's a thought... we are back to the structure of the
      > "transport mix" here, in having to design systems that do not make
      > public transport a substitute for walking trips, or make cycling more
      > difficult or dangerous. If we are setting criteria for the design
      > (modelling) and evaluation of a public transport solution, should we
      > be looking at its impact on walking and cycling as well as on car use?
      > Finally, the challenge... can we come up with a list of dimensions of
      > sustainability we can agree on, and a list of appraisal criteria that
      > says "this is what we want to do in sustainability terms, and these
      > are the key measures on which we judge success, whatever ultimate
      > form transport projects take". I think we will then be in a position
      > to judge whether individual public transport schemes are "good" or
      > "bad" in terms of promoting a "Sustainable Transport" ethic (without
      > using those words)
      > --
      > Anzir Boodoo MRes MILT Aff. IRO
      > transcience, Leeds Innovation Centre, 103 Clarendon Road, LEEDS LS2 9DF
      > The New Mobility/World Transport Agenda
      > Consult at: http://NewMobiity.org
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