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585Re: WorldTransport Forum Congestion Pricing System Trial Reduces Stockholm Traffic 25 percent in One Month

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  • K.Tsourlakis
    Mar 30, 2006
      Wetzel Dave wrote:
      Congestion charging in London is not just about cars travelling more freely. We have reduced crashes, reduced pollution, given more time at traffic signals for pedestrians, more cycle lanes and cycle stop lines pauinted green in front of vehicle stop lines, pedestrianised a part of Trafalgar Square, more bus lanes and other bus priorities and spent the £100m surplus revenue on improving bus services. 

      I know it is supposed that congestion charge in London was beneficial also for pedestrians and cyclists, but I have the feeling that cars took the lion's share. The scheme zone in London is 22km2 and congestion in the zone during charging hours has been reduced by 30 per cent. If 10% (or maybe more?) is a realistic estimation for the percentage roads occupy in London, that means that 22 x 10% x 30% = 0,66km2 = 660.000 sq.m have been freed from car use. How much surface occupy the additional pedestrianised space around Trafalgar Square and the additional cycle lanes inside the scheme zone (those of them created from previously road space)? And how many people (inside the scheme zone) travel on foot, by bus or cycling, and how many still move on automobiles?

      Accident reduction is not the result of the scheme per se, but the result of the lower car use - and indicates indeed the only real way to cut down road accidents: i.e. to cut down car (and motorcycle) use!

      Not just because of congestion charging but as a result of us implementing the Mayor's Transport Strategy over the past 5 years in London overall we've seen a 40% increase in bus use (now 6.5m bus journeys a day), a doubling of cycling on our Transport for London Red Routes and a 4% modal shift from car to bus. 

      The mayor should be praised for the better public transport measures, but these could also have been implemented without the congestion charge scheme. However it should be noted that better buses are not beneficial only for pedestrians, but also for car users, because they move traffic out of the road, creating this way better road conditions for the remaining car traffic. And an increase in bus capacity is an integral part of the scheme, in order to move the (second class?) citizens who are conscious enough to not use cars, or not able to afford the road charge.

      And now, just to come to the point: what is the (current and perspective, after the congestion charge scheme) modal split in Stockholm? How much space is estimated to be the liberated from car traffic, and how do the project initiators intend to use it - to facilitate motorised traffic, or for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists?

      Best Wishes,
      Dave Wetzel
      Vice-Chair TfL
      Tel: 020 7126 4200
      Sent from my BlackBerry Wireless Handheld
      -----Original Message-----
      From: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
      To: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sun Mar 19 00:30:50 2006
      Subject: Re: WorldTransport Forum Congestion Pricing System Trial Reduces Stockholm Traffic 25 percent in One Month
      It seems you take for granted that everybody aiming at a more 
      sustainable future considers as a positive step these "congestion 
      pricing" schemes. The rejoicing for this restraint of licence and 
      liberty unjustifiable enjoyed by the drivers in the cities until now, is 
      the first spontaneous reaction for most of us. And these schemes can 
      (and should) indeed be used theoretically as a model in an argumentation 
      against car use. However, in the long run, are they truly beneficial for 
      a carfree future for the cities, or are they actually helpful for the 
      prolongation of the car use? Is congestion the core problem in car use, 
      or just a symptom (one of many and more serious)? For a more thorough 
      discussion take a look here:
      Eric Britton wrote:
      [[Have you given your prognosis yet? If not, off to
      http://www.newmobility.org and click Stockholm on the lower let menu. Be
      brave. Say it!]]
      Congestion Pricing System Trial Reduces Stockholm Traffic 25 percent in One
      News Staff  - http://www.public-cio.com/newsStory.php?id=2006.03.06-98651
      The city of Stockholm, Sweden, today announced the early results of a pilot
      congestion pricing system designed to alleviate traffic, reduce pollution
      and increase the use of public transportation. The system uses cameras
      positioned along city routes and the drivers are encouraged to outfit their
      cars with RFID transponders that interact with stations along the road. Cars
      that are not equipped with the device are photographed, matched to a motor
      vehicle database, and then billed by the integrated system. All eligible
      vehicles entering or leaving the charging zone are charged based on time of
      day, with fares highest during peak rush hours, and up to a maximum charge
      per day.
      Developed in collaboration with IBM Research and implemented by IBM Global
      Services, the innovative Stockholm Project has yielded a 25 percent
      reduction in the first month of operation, removing 100,000 vehicles from
      the roads during peak business hours while resulting in a corresponding
      increase of 40,000 mass transit users per day.
      The system is scheduled to run for seven months, at which time Stockholm
      residents will vote on whether or not they will agree to pay for the
      privilege of driving in the city. If the referendum passes, Sweden will
      implement the world's most extensive system of congestion pricing.
      "It is important to me for Stockholm to become an exciting region in
      Europe," said Mayor of Stockholm Annika Billstrom. "From an international
      perspective, it is important to not only have economic growth, but
      environmental growth. Many cities have serious environmental issues. We are
      now doing this trial with a modern, exciting, new system which the rest of
      Europe and the world can learn from."
      "The Stockholm project involved a collaborative effort by some of IBM's most
      talented divisions across the globe and can be replicated in cities around
      the world," said Peggy Kennelly, vice president, IBM On Demand Innovation
      Services. "IBM's ability to harness innovative thinkers around the world
      enables a synergy that combines insight with sophisticated technologies,
      bringing added value business engagements such as the Stockholm system."
      The IBM implementation starts by examining the photographs of the license
      plates and attempting to identify the car number. If the complete number is
      identified immediately, it is recorded in the system and stored for further
      business processing. If identification fails, the picture is moved to a
      central server where sophisticated algorithms make a second attempt at
      identification using techniques such as image enhancement, comparison of the
      front and back plates to make sure they correspond.
      Payment is made by a number of channels including by direct debit triggered
      by the recognition of an electronic tag that is loaned to drivers. Camera
      and number plate recognition technologies identify those vehicles without
      tags, and are also used to verify tag readings and provide evidence to
      support the enforcement of non-payers.
      The technology chosen allows the city authority to vary the charge
      throughout the day, drivers to have direct debit accounts and a more
      efficient total operation. So far, the system has been fully operational
      during the charging hours of 6.30 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. Monday to Friday.
      The New Mobility/World Transport Agenda
      Consult at: http://NewMobiity.org 
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