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

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  • Michael Yeates
    Dear Eric and others battling for a better world, I note the wonderful effort to describe sustainable transportation (ST) and also the interesting comments
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 31, 2006
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      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.

      It seems clear that in the not too distant future, rocket trips to the moon and beyond could well be considered as "sustainable" if the ST  definition/description relates primarily to the relative efficiency and/or "necessity" rather than, say, to actual energy consumption eg per person or per kg.

      It would seem that walking or use of human powered vehicles (HPVs) should rank far higher on an ST scale but do they in practice or even in policy?

      This view is supported by the oft-repeated view that "improved" transportation only encourages more use/demand and faster travel induces longer trips ... outcomes which in both cases are arguably not (very) "sustainable" ie global trips by plane of cut flowers ... or people.

      The second consideration then is one I first heard put in a very logical form by Mayer Hillman way back last century (over 10 years ago) in 1995. Hillman questioned the impacts of public transport (which are almost identical to those of dominant car use) being promoted as a viable or useful alternative to reliance on cars (and a similar view applies to trucks etc) rather than promoting walking and cycling.

      The title of Hillman's paper is apt ... "Cycling as the realistic substitute for the car: burying the conventional urban myth about public transport" (Velo-city Conference Basel 1995).

      Thus the real reason for promoting public transport is to do with still catering for the longer, cheaper, more comfortable car-type trips as an alternative to walking or cycling and the impacts they would have.

      This view is now further developed by the notion of carbon use (but other expendables should also be included). As Hillman has pointed out, the per person carbon use for someone (eg me) to fly to the UK from Australia (in that case for a cycling conference!!) is roughly the equivalent per person of the average carbon use for transport for 1-2 perhaps now 3 years in Australia.

      We should never forget that a similar view applies to freight ie per kg.

      So if carefully considered, I have a choice... either I fly to attend a conference in UK once every 1-2 years and use ZERO carbon over that period back here ... or I don't go to the conference. That is the price of a claim for not being even less sustainable!

      Of course I could consider slower modes with much less carbon cost eg like sail powered travel, but unfortunately, to allow more people to travel further and faster, planes have developed rather faster (and with more comfort and convenience and even safety) than sail powered travel.

      So here we have another aspect of ST that does not seem to be considered ... the negative impacts of ST based on other than "natural" or human power.

      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.

      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.

      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.

      That is, there is a high risk of repeating the domination of transport(ation) by modes that are just like the car in terms of outcomes and impacts.

      Unlike back in 1907 (nearly 100 years ago!!), we are in a better position to at least question and guard against these types of problems.

      Why 1907?

      Back in 1907 during a debate about introducing a fuel tax, the UK Prime Minister Asquith described the car as "a luxury that is apt to degenerate into a nuisance". In 1907 ...!!

      How true!

      It therefore seems that in trying to describe/promote ST, we should try to ensure that ST does not facilitate similar outcomes to current practices unless they result in "true" ST.

      We should guard against a proliferation of light rail for example if described/promoted as ST when in fact it is really only a "better" solution and questionable alternative to allowing cities to become so congested that the car is such a nuisance it is no longer a luxury and walking and HPVs become not only viable but again a luxury ...!

      Thus, in the interim and in the description of ST, we should all try to ensure ST encourages more walking or cycling or using any other HPV ... and using public transport and the car less... if only to demonstrate and experience ST.

      That way there is at least a chance that public transport won't, like car use, become so dominant that the "true" ST modes are still seen as dangerous, unhealthy, a problem, inconvenient and a nuisance ... to their detriment.

      In other words, should we not at least consider whether, if ST is not the most suitable description/definition, then perhaps another concept is needed in order to keep ST from "becoming" the description/definition of/for transport(ation) that is promoted as sustainable but is increasingly less so to the detriment of the sustainable modes?

      Michael Yeates
      Convenor
      Public Transport Alliance
      Brisbane Queensland Australia .............
       
      To: Kyoto2020@yahoogroups.com
      From: Anzir Boodoo <ab@...>
      Sender: Kyoto2020@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 22:24:40 +0000
      Subject: Re: [Kyoto2020] Express toll roads + More on

      Eric,
      On 13 Dec 2005, at 14:04, Eric Britton wrote:
      > I love trams by whatever name and feel that indeed they have their 
      > place in and around our cities-- but that is a very specific place 
      > and should not be allowed to be interpreted as the substitute for 
      > sliced bread.
      >
      > What’s wrong with all-light rail in this overall strategic context? 
      > Two things (again in my book):
      >
      > They cost a great deal more than other solutions which can do at 
      > least as good and perhaps a better job in terms of all the basic 
      > parameters that we need to address and meet ­ social, economics (of 
      > individuals and the community as a whole), environmental, resource. 
      > Public health, life quality, community.. .. and of course the long 
      > list goes on.
      Can I offer http://www.trampower.co.uk as a possibility? They've been 
      working on a low cost light rail system that claims to be 
      commercially viable in many cities, and have called upon me to help 
      publicise it.

      Of course, that doesn't deal with the implementation time and the 
      political reluctance to have light rail that we experience in the UK. 
      Systems which very successfully carry huge numbers of people in full 
      to bursting trams are often described as "failing". partly because 
      virtually none of the systems can recoup their huge construction costs.
      --
      Anzir Boodoo MRes MILT Aff. IRO
      transcience, Leeds Innovation Centre, 103 Clarendon Road, LEEDS LS2 9DF

    • Carlos F. Pardo SUTP
      To extend Michael’s post, I think the basic (physical) dimension that has to be taken into account when thinking about sustainable transport (and transport
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 1 4:20 AM
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        To extend Michael’s post, I think the basic (physical) dimension that has to be taken into account when thinking about sustainable transport (and transport policy) is distance traveled rather than time. Trips must be short in distance, regardless of their length in time. People have to travel one hour per day, by means of any mode of transport. The key is to develop cities and transport systems which would easily provide that hour in sustainable distances. The main “unsustainability” problem in the US is sprawl, which generates longer travel distances, within the same time frame. People will want to live farther because they are traveling faster. However, if you travel by car in cities like Bangkok, the same hour can be spent in much less distance than walking (I did this test many times, and I always won walking!). People are used to cars to such extent that they feel the time spent will always be less than walking or by bus.

         

        -          A reminder that will always help us: speed = distance/time; time = distance/speed; distance = time x speed.

        -          A second reminder: Einstein’s special relativity formula was correct only for very high speeds (but that is a slightly different topic).

         

        Best regards,

         

        Carlos F. Pardo
        Coordinador de Proyecto
        GTZ - Proyecto de Transporte Sostenible (SUTP, SUTP-LAC)
        Cl 125bis # 41-28 of 404
        Bogotá D.C., Colombia
        Tel:  +57 (1) 215 7812 / 635 9048

        Fax: +57 (1) 635 9015 / 236 2309
        Mobile: +57 (3) 15 296 0662
        e-mail: carlos.pardo@...
        Página: www.sutp.org

        - Visite nuestra nueva sección de Latinoamérica y el Caribe en http://www.sutp.org/esp/espindex.htm

        - Únase al grupo de discusión de Transporte Sostenible en Latinoamérica en http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sustranlac/join

         


        From: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Michael Yeates
        Sent: Martes, 31 de Enero de 2006 07:24 p.m.
        To: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
        Cc: Kyoto2020@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: re WorldTransport Forum Sustainable transportation in tongues was Fwd: Re: [Kyoto2020] Express toll roads + More on

         

        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.

        It seems clear that in the not too distant future, rocket trips to the moon and beyond could well be considered as "sustainable" if the ST  definition/description relates primarily to the relative efficiency and/or "necessity" rather than, say, to actual energy consumption eg per person or per kg.

        It would seem that walking or use of human powered vehicles (HPVs) should rank far higher on an ST scale but do they in practice or even in policy?

        This view is supported by the oft-repeated view that "improved" transportation only encourages more use/demand and faster travel induces longer trips ... outcomes which in both cases are arguably not (very) "sustainable" ie global trips by plane of cut flowers ... or people.

        The second consideration then is one I first heard put in a very logical form by Mayer Hillman way back last century (over 10 years ago) in 1995. Hillman questioned the impacts of public transport (which are almost identical to those of dominant car use) being promoted as a viable or useful alternative to reliance on cars (and a similar view applies to trucks etc) rather than promoting walking and cycling.

        The title of Hillman's paper is apt ... "Cycling as the realistic substitute for the car: burying the conventional urban myth about public transport" (Velo-city Conference Basel 1995).

        Thus the real reason for promoting public transport is to do with still catering for the longer, cheaper, more comfortable car-type trips as an alternative to walking or cycling and the impacts they would have.

        This view is now further developed by the notion of carbon use (but other expendables should also be included). As Hillman has pointed out, the per person carbon use for someone (eg me) to fly to the UK from Australia (in that case for a cycling conference!!) is roughly the equivalent per person of the average carbon use for transport for 1-2 perhaps now 3 years in Australia.

        We should never forget that a similar view applies to freight ie per kg.

        So if carefully considered, I have a choice... either I fly to attend a conference in UK once every 1-2 years and use ZERO carbon over that period back here ... or I don't go to the conference. That is the price of a claim for not being even less sustainable!

        Of course I could consider slower modes with much less carbon cost eg like sail powered travel, but unfortunately, to allow more people to travel further and faster, planes have developed rather faster (and with more comfort and convenience and even safety) than sail powered travel.

        So here we have another aspect of ST that does not seem to be considered ... the negative impacts of ST based on other than "natural" or human power.

        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.

        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.

        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.

        That is, there is a high risk of repeating the domination of transport(ation) by modes that are just like the car in terms of outcomes and impacts.

        Unlike back in 1907 (nearly 100 years ago!!), we are in a better position to at least question and guard against these types of problems.

        Why 1907?

        Back in 1907 during a debate about introducing a fuel tax, the UK Prime Minister Asquith described the car as "a luxury that is apt to degenerate into a nuisance". In 1907 ...!!

        How true!

        It therefore seems that in trying to describe/promote ST, we should try to ensure that ST does not facilitate similar outcomes to current practices unless they result in "true" ST.

        We should guard against a proliferation of light rail for example if described/promoted as ST when in fact it is really only a "better" solution and questionable alternative to allowing cities to become so congested that the car is such a nuisance it is no longer a luxury and walking and HPVs become not only viable but again a luxury ...!

        Thus, in the interim and in the description of ST, we should all try to ensure ST encourages more walking or cycling or using any other HPV ... and using public transport and the car less... if only to demonstrate and experience ST.

        That way there is at least a chance that public transport won't, like car use, become so dominant that the "true" ST modes are still seen as dangerous, unhealthy, a problem, inconvenient and a nuisance ... to their detriment.

        In other words, should we not at least consider whether, if ST is not the most suitable description/definition, then perhaps another concept is needed in order to keep ST from "becoming" the description/definition of/for transport(ation) that is promoted as sustainable but is increasingly less so to the detriment of the sustainable modes?

        Michael Yeates
        Convenor
        Public Transport Alliance
        Brisbane Queensland Australia .............
         

        To: Kyoto2020@yahoogroups.com
        From: Anzir Boodoo <ab@...>
        Sender: Kyoto2020@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 22:24:40 +0000
        Subject: Re: [Kyoto2020] Express toll roads + More on

        Eric,

        On 13 Dec 2005, at 14:04, Eric Britton wrote:
        > I love trams by whatever name and feel that indeed they have their 
        > place in and around our cities-- but that is a very specific place 
        > and should not be allowed to be interpreted as the substitute for 
        > sliced bread.
        >
        > What’s wrong with all-light rail in this overall strategic context? 
        > Two things (again in my book):
        >
        > They cost a great deal more than other solutions which can do at 
        > least as good and perhaps a better job in terms of all the basic 
        > parameters that we need to address and meet ­ social, economics (of 
        > individuals and the community as a whole), environmental, resource. 
        > Public health, life quality, community.. .. and of course the long 
        > list goes on.
        Can I offer http://www.trampower.co.uk as a possibility? They've been 
        working on a low cost light rail system that claims to be 
        commercially viable in many cities, and have called upon me to help 
        publicise it.

        Of course, that doesn't deal with the implementation time and the 
        political reluctance to have light rail that we experience in the UK. 
        Systems which very successfully carry huge numbers of people in full 
        to bursting trams are often described as "failing". partly because 
        virtually none of the systems can recoup their huge construction costs.
        --
        Anzir Boodoo MRes MILT Aff. IRO
        transcience, Leeds Innovation Centre, 103 Clarendon Road, LEEDS LS2 9DF



      • Anzir Boodoo
        Michael, ... 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
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 15 12:32 PM
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          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
        • Kerry Wood
          Anzir Two suggestions for your list of the dimensions of transport sustainability: 1) Merge the first two, and the two energy ones towards the end: -- Direct
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 19 11:30 PM
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            Anzir

            Two suggestions for your list of the dimensions of transport
            sustainability:

            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
            capacity)
            Less street parking and NO footpath parking
            Regular safe and easy crossing points for pedestrians

            And so on

            k

            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
            > To post message to group: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
            > To subscribe: WorldTransport-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
            > To unsubscribe: WorldTransport-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Chris Bradshaw
            ... Well, today we re presented with a second chance to restrain them. And the need for sustainability is a pretty good reason. ... And when every one needs
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 21 7:11 AM
            • 0 Attachment
              Kerry Wood:

              > 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.

              Well, today we're presented with a second chance to restrain them. And the
              need for sustainability is a pretty good reason.

              > 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.

              And when every one needs to escape at the same time, they're pretty useless
              (e.g., evacuating New Orleans, or typical Friday evenings and Sunday nights
              between cities and cottage country).

              > 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.

              Indeed.

              > If sustainability is an objective, then the target needs to be
              > minimising the unsustainable effects of car use.

              Not minimizing car use itself?

              > 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:

              This is where the typical road engineering mindset reveals itself. Reducing
              congestion _induces_ more driving, and it is unsustainable.

              There are two approaches to reducing congestion: reducing the car population
              (which carsharing and high ownership taxes address) or widening the
              congested roads, at least at intersections (where it most affects
              pedestrians, transit, and cycling). A third approach, getting those with
              cars not to use them at peak periods, has proven to be unworkable, since
              people who have cars will simply want to use that as much as possible. You
              have to bribe them with low fares and luxury amenities to get them to use
              it -- or charge enormous sums for parking at the destination.

              > Lower speed limits (mostly 30 km/h)

              Yes! But let's pick the speed of bicycles (20-25 kms/h), getting rid of the
              need to segregate modes by speed, and reducing the speed advantage of the
              unsustainable mode over the sustainable.

              > Close rat runs

              This is an approach that is proving to be unsustainable, partly because it
              lengthens trips for the residents of an area, congests the streets with
              services, where the most walking and cycling occures, and only mimics the
              disdained suburban road patterns. Reducing roadspace is more effective
              (e.g., yield streets).

              > Bus and tram priority and lanes (closing lanes to cars will INCREASE
              > capacity)

              Yes, it increases people capacity, but how to you get people with expensive
              personal cars to to agree to ride in the buses?

              > Less street parking and NO footpath parking

              Sorry, but street parking is superior for pedestrians and car occupants to
              off-street parking, and it reduces space for _moving_ traffic. A city with
              only shared cars would probably not need any off-street parking. Parking
              should stop being a required ancillary use, letting the marketplace provide
              it if the provider can charge enough to exceed his costs. (See Shoup, "The
              High Cost of Free Parking", 2004)

              > Regular safe and easy crossing points for pedestrians

              "Regular" could mean any number of things. A good street is one where a
              pedestrian can cross anywhere, after only a few seconds waiting for a gap in
              traffic (or a conscientious driver who yields). The lengthening of theh
              distance between crossing points to coincide where drivers need access has
              resulted in distances that are all too far apart. But when the street is
              too wide (more than two lanes), pedestrians can be forced to use them.

              Yeates:

              > > 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?

              Cities are simply inventions in increased human productivity and creativity
              that comes with compacting space according to some simple rules. Those
              rules were thrown out with the embrace of the automobile by consumers and
              engineers (and engineering is the father of land-use planning, not
              architecture, as it should have been, since the latter understood the way
              city culture is created and enhanced). Ask yourself, does the city of today
              allow the average resident to reach as many everyday destinations with a
              10-minute drive as the city of 100 years ago provided with a 10-minute
              _walk_?

              > > 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.

              The hinterland is very important for getting food and natural resources, but
              there is nothing inherent in the urban workforce having to live in the
              hinterland, too.

              > > 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 think that the energy shortages and price that are accompanying 'peak oil'
              may pre-empt this gentle approach.

              > >> 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

              I have come up with a way to measure different trips: Distance x Modal
              'footprint' x a factor that accounts for storage requirements (parking),
              manufacturing costs, anxiety (speed x size x threat to energy security), and
              pollution (not just directly from the vehicle). For example, walking in a
              traditional neighbourhood to the grocery store 1/2 km away provides a score
              of 1 (1km x 1m2 x factor of one); the same trip in suburbia to a grocery
              store 3.5 kms away is scored as 1,050 (7km x 30m2 x factor of 5).

              As to Dave Wetzel's pitch for land taxes, I find this approach looks only at
              density and ignores how the land uses in an area _complement_ each other to
              reduce the length of trips required by the people who reside and work there.
              If there is good complementarity (what I call TRD, or travel-reducing
              development), the taxes should actually be lower than for properties in
              areas that don't have that quality. The latter areas 'cause' many longer
              (or high-footprint) trips, which cost the city administration (and the
              travelers) lots. Planners have championed _compatibility_ of land uses
              instead of _complementarity_, and have required those doing the building to
              meet only one significant need of the land's occupants: a place to park
              their car, the ubiuquitous distance-slayer. (The requirement to provide a
              toilet is in the building code, not the planner's zoning code.)

              Chris Bradshaw
              Ottawa
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