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Re: [WorldTransport Forum] environment award

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  • K Tsourlakis
    Yes, I am already aware of it - this has already been widely known and advertised (it would be interesting to be also known the exact schemes and projects
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 31, 2004
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      Yes, I am already aware of it - this has already been widely known and
      advertised (it would be interesting to be also known the exact schemes and
      projects financed through these resourses). And this is indeed a very good
      use for the money collected. However good treatment of pedestrians and
      bicyclists (unlike motorised traffic) does not really need large sums of
      money but the determination to slow down (or even better completely remove)
      motorised traffic and dispose the urban space to them. Does London mayor
      intends to limit space allocated for motorised traffic and turn it into
      pedestrian and bicycle space? In what extent (% of urban space)?
      BTW I don't know what you exactly mean by "BEING REALLY BADLY TREATED" but
      if you want to see a really barbarous treatment of pedestrians and
      bicyclists take a look at: http://www.pezh.gr/english/intro_en.htm
      thanks and regards
      K.Tsourlakis



      At 07:50 ìì 30/3/2004 +0200, you wrote:
      >DEAR K TSOURLAKIS
      >PLEASE BE INFORMED THAT AS PART OF THE LONDON CONGESTION CHARGE PROJECT,
      >THE 20 % REDUCTION IN TRAFFIC VOLUME ACHIEVED IS GOING TO BE USED TO
      >IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS IN LONDON.(WHO ARE
      >PRESENTLY BEING REALLY BADLY TREATED)
      >THE IMPROVEMENT PLAN "TOWARDS A FINE CITY FOR PEOPLE" MADE BY
      >GEHL-ARCHITECTS-URBAN QUALITY CONSULTANTS IN COPENHAGEN WILL BE LAUNCHED
      >JUST AFTER THE MAYORAL ELECTION 10 JUNE 2004.
      >Warm greetings from
      >sincerely yours
      >
      >Jan Gehl
      >Professor of Urban Design
      >Copenhagen
      >Denmark
      >
      >
      >Den 29/3-2004, kl. 23.18, skrev K Tsourlakis:
      >
      >>The justification for the charge (at least according to its name) is not
      >>that cars pollute, embarrass and kill pedestrians, and destroy the city,
      >>but that they congest, i.e. they embarrass other cars and deter them to run
      >>faster. This must also be the reason why, as far as I know, motorcycles are
      >>exempted from the charge. So, the message sent to the public opinion seems
      >>to be "pay in order to drive better and faster" and not "do not drive". It
      >>would be much better if its name were "pollution charge" or (even more
      >>accurately) "motorised traffic damage charge" and this reason were used to
      >>justify it to the public opinion. High technology is not so important for
      >>the control of the motorised traffic, as is the determination to withstand
      >>pressures from organised interests and the proper informing and education
      >>of the general public, which will facilitate this determination. For
      >>instance, bus lanes or parking restrictions could equally well (or even
      >>better in some cases) serve the purpose of limiting motorised traffic. I
      >>think "congestion charge" is not promoted in the best way to educate the
      >>general public for the damages provoked by motorised traffic and the huge
      >>(though mostly hidden) subsidies connected with it. Finally note that I am
      >>not among "the two dissenters" but, although I consider it as a positive
      >>initiative, I am very sceptical about its importance and in any case I
      >>consider it overrated.
    • Wetzel Dave
      Like Athens, London has a long way to go before pedestrians are given equal treatment to cars. However, our Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has made a start. More time
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 1, 2004
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        Like Athens, London has a long way to go before pedestrians are given equal
        treatment to cars.
        However, our Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has made a start. More time for
        pedestrians at traffic light controlled crossings and he has pedestrianised the North side of Trafalgar Square close to the National Gallery art
        exhibition. This has controversially reduced traffic capacity by some 20%.
        Currently, there is a delay for buses and taxis but I expect the long term
        effect will be that many vehicles will avoid the Square altogether and use
        alternative routes - thus easing the pinch-point congestion created.

        We saw a similar effect in the 1980s when I was Chair of the Greater London
        Council's Transport Committee and we introduced many new traffic schemes
        which reduced capacity - not least new traffic signals at Hyde Park Corner
        which cut the traffic capacity but also dramatically reduced road accidents.
        The press berated us for weeks but it did eventually settle down and today
        nobody would dare suggest we remove the traffic signals.

        You can find TfL's cycling action plan on:
        http://www.tfl.gov.uk/streets/pdfdocs/cycling/cycling-action-plan.pdf

        and TfL's pedestrian plan on:
        http://www.tfl.gov.uk/streets/downloads/pdf/walking-plan-2004.pdf

        Dave

        "Solvitur Ambulans"
        Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.
        Windsor House. 42-50 Victoria Street. London. SW1H 0TL. UK
        Tel: 020 7941 4200
        Windsor House is close to New Scotland Yard. Buses 11, 24, 148, 211 and
        N11 pass the door.
        Nearest Tube: St. James's Park Underground station.
        Nearest mainline stations: Waterloo and Victoria (Both a short walk or
        bus ride).




        -----Original Message-----
        From: K Tsourlakis [mailto:ktsou@...]
        Sent: 31 March 2004 21:25
        To: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [WorldTransport Forum] environment award



        Yes, I am already aware of it - this has already been widely known and
        advertised (it would be interesting to be also known the exact schemes and projects financed through these resourses). And this is indeed a very good use for the money collected. However good treatment of pedestrians and
        bicyclists (unlike motorised traffic) does not really need large sums of
        money but the determination to slow down (or even better completely remove) motorised traffic and dispose the urban space to them. Does London mayor intends to limit space allocated for motorised traffic and turn it into
        pedestrian and bicycle space? In what extent (% of urban space)?
        BTW I don't know what you exactly mean by "BEING REALLY BADLY TREATED" but if you want to see a really barbarous treatment of pedestrians and
        bicyclists take a look at: http://www.pezh.gr/english/intro_en.htm
        thanks and regards
        K.Tsourlakis



        At 07:50 ìì 30/3/2004 +0200, you wrote:
        >DEAR K TSOURLAKIS
        >PLEASE BE INFORMED THAT AS PART OF THE LONDON CONGESTION CHARGE PROJECT, >THE 20 % REDUCTION IN TRAFFIC VOLUME ACHIEVED IS GOING TO BE USED TO
        >IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS IN LONDON.(WHO ARE
        >PRESENTLY BEING REALLY BADLY TREATED)
        >THE IMPROVEMENT PLAN "TOWARDS A FINE CITY FOR PEOPLE" MADE BY
        >GEHL-ARCHITECTS-URBAN QUALITY CONSULTANTS IN COPENHAGEN WILL BE LAUNCHED >JUST AFTER THE MAYORAL ELECTION 10 JUNE 2004.
        >Warm greetings from
        >sincerely yours
        >
        >Jan Gehl
        >Professor of Urban Design
        >Copenhagen
        >Denmark
        >
        >
        >Den 29/3-2004, kl. 23.18, skrev K Tsourlakis:
        >
        >>The justification for the charge (at least according to its name) is not
        >>that cars pollute, embarrass and kill pedestrians, and destroy the city,
        >>but that they congest, i.e. they embarrass other cars and deter them to
        run
        >>faster. This must also be the reason why, as far as I know, motorcycles
        are
        >>exempted from the charge. So, the message sent to the public opinion seems
        >>to be "pay in order to drive better and faster" and not "do not drive". It
        >>would be much better if its name were "pollution charge" or (even more
        >>accurately) "motorised traffic damage charge" and this reason were used to
        >>justify it to the public opinion. High technology is not so important for
        >>the control of the motorised traffic, as is the determination to withstand
        >>pressures from organised interests and the proper informing and education
        >>of the general public, which will facilitate this determination. For
        >>instance, bus lanes or parking restrictions could equally well (or even
        >>better in some cases) serve the purpose of limiting motorised traffic. I
        >>think "congestion charge" is not promoted in the best way to educate the
        >>general public for the damages provoked by motorised traffic and the huge
        >>(though mostly hidden) subsidies connected with it. Finally note that I am
        >>not among "the two dissenters" but, although I consider it as a positive
        >>initiative, I am very sceptical about its importance and in any case I
        >>consider it overrated.




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      • K Tsourlakis
        ... Indeed, it is a cost for those who use cars. But the lower the cost, the more driving is encouraged, according to a trivial law of economics. In fact it is
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 1, 2004
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          At 06:59 ìì 30/3/2004 +0100, you wrote:

          >Congestion is not an "embarrassment" as much as a real cost
          >to residents, visitors and business alike.

          Indeed, it is a cost for those who use cars. But the lower the cost, the
          more driving is encouraged, according to a trivial law of economics. In
          fact it is a cost induced from any driver to the rest of the drivers and
          vice versa, while the other external costs not considered in "congestion
          charge" (pollution, noise, "accidents" etc) are unilaterally induced to
          pedestrians and bicyclists.

          >We did not want London to come to a standstill - already speeds
          >were often lower than Queen Victoria could travel in a horse-drawn
          >carriage.

          I 've never argued this is not a good scheme for those who drive -
          especially for those who are also willing and able to pay. Perhaps it has
          some positive aspects for pedestrians and bicyclists too. But as you imply,
          indeed the convenience of car users is the main concern.

          >The Mayor did exempt "clean" cars on the PowerShift register.
          >(Electric, hybrid, gas etc).

          The term "clean" car (even quoted) is misleading. Electric cars also
          pollute, since almost the totality of electric power is produced by fossil
          fuels or (even worse perhaps) by nuclear power - they just shift the place
          of pollution out of the city. Of course this is somehow better than
          conventional cars, but far from ideal.

          >Motorcycles have no front number plate in the UK and so could not
          >be enforced by our cameras - hence the exemption.

          It seems to be another technological weakness of this system.

          >My suggestion for sceptics is to come and see for yourself. I couldn't
          >believe the difference myself when my bus started to run to time, I
          >could safely cross the road and it was much easier to cycle.

          I think that bus and bicycle lanes is a much better (and easier) solution.
          If the goal is to move people from private cars to public transit (in an
          egalitarian way - not just prohibiting through monetary charges to the less
          privileged to drive), then the difference of the required time between the
          two modes is important, not only the absolute time spent for the trip. And
          obviously roads could be crossed with more safety when they are congested,
          since the speed of cars is lower. Car needs are quite different from
          pedestrian or bicyclists needs (and in most cases conflicting).

          >Not perfect, but for London, congestion charge has been a giant step
          >in the right direction.
          >
          >The lessons learnt are
          >1. Strong political leadership (Nobody but Ken Livingstone would have
          >been able to face the press and media barrage and still introduce it in
          >London),
          >2. A local scheme to meet local needs. Other cities considering this need
          >to develop their own answers to their own unique problems and not just dust
          >down the London Scheme and try to implement it out of context. Listen and
          >learn from our successes and our mistakes but develop your own scheme.
          >3. A huge expansion in public transport, (our Mayor put over 1,000 new buses
          >on the roads);
          >4. Strong Project management;
          >5. Consultation - real consultation and a readiness to change the scheme
          >in the light of representations.

          What is best for London depends on local political balances, and certainly
          is up to the Londoners to decide. However I have the impression that the
          present discussion is about some international prize and the impact this
          scheme has from a global viewpoint.

          >Best wishes
          >
          >Dave
          >
          >Dave Wetzel
          >Vice-chair,
          >Transport for London
          >Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street.
          >London. SW1H 0TL. UK.
          >Tel 020 7941 4200
          >
          >Close to New Scotland Yard.
          >Buses 11,24,148,211,N11 pass the door.
          >Nearest Underground - St James's Park tube station.
          >

          Regards and thanks for your response
          K Tsourlakis
        • Tramsol@aol.com
          ... charge is the rigorous management of the space resource. 1) apply the UK statute that roads are provided SOLELY for the passing and repassing of traffic -
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 2, 2004
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            In a message dated 02/04/04 20:20:21 GMT Daylight Time, ktsou@... writes:

            I think that bus and bicycle lanes is a much better (and easier) solution.
            If the goal is to move people from private cars to public transit (in an
            egalitarian way - not just prohibiting through monetary charges to the less
            privileged to drive), then the difference of the required time between the
            two modes is important, not only the absolute time spent for the trip. And
            obviously roads could be crossed with more safety when they are congested,
            since the speed of cars is lower. Car needs are quite different from
            pedestrian or bicyclists needs (and in most cases conflicting).

            One method of control, which is perhaps more equitable than a congestion charge is the rigorous management of the space resource.

            1) apply the UK statute that roads are provided SOLELY for the passing and repassing of traffic - in its widest sense, embracing pedestrians, cyclists, and all powered vehicles.  Use of roads for any other purpose will not be tolerated, save for the grace and favour arrangement of allowing a vehicle to stop momentarily to take on or offload goods or passengers.

            2) with this pretext the provision of space to park a vehicle becomes a marketable resource, but equally one which can be rationed by land use regulation - and plain commonsense.

            3) It has been well demonstrated by the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, and various projects to enhance cycle parking at rail stations thet the traffic volume can be significantly affected by the amount of parking available.  Indeed structured parking charges (penalising arrivals at certain times of day, or racking up the rate for long stay parking - famously £440.00 for 24 hours on Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley Stations, but free (at the same locations) for the first 20 minutes).

            Thus access to all activities is equitably given to any person walking in the door, but the issue then becomes the detail of what they do with their mode of transport.  Pedestrians have the edge here, and cyclists can park their vehicles in very small spaces, for which many accept they may need to pay, bus, train, and taxi users enjoy the fact that their vehicle is taken away by a driver, and indeed car users can have the same facility, at a price, either of a driver, or a paid for space within walking distance.

            Of course making roads solely for moving traffic greatly simplifies the issue over parking restrictions with signs and painted lines - if its a road then there is no parking - period....Hoare-Beleisha worked that one out... where did we start to go wrong?

            Dave Holladay
            Glasgow

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