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World's Most Congested Cities - Better, faster, cheaper?

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  • eric.britton@ecoplan.org
    Dear Sudhir and Sujit, High cost underground metros ? Why not? Sounds great to me. Eh? But one small step first perhaps before spending all that money and
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 27, 2006
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      Dear Sudhir and Sujit,



      "High cost underground metros"? Why not? Sounds great to me. Eh?



      But one small step first perhaps before spending all that money and necessarily
      waiting all those years before your 'deus ex machina' kicks in and is finally
      ready to do those good works. We refer to this necessary step in the planning
      and policy process as . . .



      BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER!



      That's the modest challenge that needs to be put before the responsible policy
      maker and their advisors. In public and with public answers.



      So if we are able to get our hands on all that money and can start to spend it
      tomorrow, how much of the problem can we take care of . . . starting now. As
      opposed to waiting the inevitable twenty or whatever years that good metro is
      going to take.



      This is the vital question that under the New Mobility Agenda we feel needs to
      be asked each time. For starters you have to make that long list of the real
      needs, priority objectives and targets, and then as possible put quantities to
      them. Then you go to the tools, measures, policies side of the ledger and start
      to build your packages of measures with an eye to getting at the problems NOW!



      Now the responses that this approach provides are many and, when you get them
      right, hugely gratifying and effective. That is if you can bear in mind what
      the whole thing is indeed all about.



      Or is that just too simple for all those who are making these decisions, along
      with those who are urging them on? And perhaps, do they have something else in
      mind?



      It's my position that if such an exercise is not run with care and brilliance,
      and the right decisions are made in the full glare of the media and before the
      attentive eyes of civil society, then something is rotten in the state of
      Denmark (or wherever).



      I think that is along the lines that Sujit is suggesting, but let me leave it to
      him and to all of you on this.



      Eric Britton







      -----Original Message-----
      From: sustran-discuss-bounces+eric.britton=ecoplan.org@...
      [mailto:sustran-discuss-bounces+eric.britton=ecoplan.org@...] On
      Behalf Of Sudhir
      Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2006 3:38 AM
      To: Global 'South' Sustainable Transport
      Subject: [sustran] Re: [NewMobilityCafe] World's Most Congested Cities



      Dear Sujit,



      On one hand you suggest TDM strategies and on other hand you suggest that high
      cost underground metros not solving problem of congestion.

      Metro (Underground or overhead) is a viable public transportation mode which has
      the capacity of attracting the private vehicle users.



      It is not only flyovers but also RUB/ROB's constructed contribute to induced
      traffic.



      Regards

      Sudhir



      -----Original Message-----
      From: sustran-discuss-bounces+eric.britton=ecoplan.org@...
      [mailto:sustran-discuss-bounces+eric.britton=ecoplan.org@...] On
      Behalf Of Sujit Patwardhan
      Sent: Monday, December 25, 2006 9:19 AM
      To: Global 'South' Sustainable Transport
      Cc: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com; Eric.britton@...;
      WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com; Sustran-discuss@...
      Subject: [Sustran] Re: [NewMobilityCafe] World's Most Congested Cities



      25 December 2006
      Christmas



      Haven't read what Eric's written (and I'm sure he wouldn't say that) but in my
      humble opinion advocating underground (especially Underground Metros)
      transportation mode as a means of reducing with the traffic congestion on the
      roads is like an Ostrich burying its head in the sand.

      Perhaps the same logic was put forward by the pioneers of flyovers (plenty of
      them hale and hearty in Asian cities) to overcome the problem of crowded
      streets. What many (not all) advocates of the underground are saying is that we
      simply can't do anything about the mess we have created on our streets so let's
      not waste time on locating the "source" of the problem (too many auto vehicles)
      but get on with building the underground tunnels with their promise of high
      (overkill levels) capacity, which may de-congest the streets.

      This of course never happens. Just like flyovers (ones meant to relieve
      congestion, not the ones meant to cross railway lines etc) constructed at huge
      cost become magnets inviting even more auto vehicles (cars and two wheelers) to
      come on the roads, underground metros consume huge finances at the cost of other
      needs of the city and fail to attract level of ridership projected in the
      concocted project reports.

      But by this time the politicians have pocketed their loot, the infrastructure
      companies their obscenely high profits and the public left high and dry with
      over-crowded streets, crowded flyovers and underutilised underground metro.

      If one is really concerned with sustainable transportation and indeed
      sustainable life on our planet one has to acknowledge that auto vehicles have
      long crossed the limit in terms of their ecological footprint. NEW faster/high
      capacity modes, NEW cleaner fuels, we can certainly pursue but let's not lose
      sight of the REAL problem and see how that can be reduced. Incentives for Public
      Transport, Non Motorised Modes (Walking and Cycling) and real disincentives for
      auto vehicles through various TDM measures appropriate for each city. I know I'm
      not saying anything new but in all the technical discussions of pphpd and cost
      per Km etc we sometimes miss the most obvious.
      --
      Sujit
    • Richard Layman
      Sudhir makes a good point though, about the difference between providing transit to people without choices (transit-dependent) vs. being attractive to people
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 27, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Sudhir makes a good point though, about the difference between providing transit to people without choices (transit-dependent)  vs. being attractive to people with mobility choices.
         
        When I talk about this in the DC region, I preface it by saying I am going to be politically incorrect, but many of the issues are really about how to make transit more appealing to people with choices, because transit-dependent people (and note, I am one of them) have to ride anyway.
         
        Being direct helps people think more clearly about the issues involved in mode shift.  (And mode shift, especially from single occupancy vehicle trips, is our #1 issue--other than funding.)
         
        Alas, I have never been to the countries you reference, but I imagine a great many of the people want cars both to declare very publicly their affluence, as well as to have access to what is more likely to be a very comfortable way to get around (excluding congestion issues) compared to threadbare public transit.
         
        I look at figures say for the Caracas subway -- 1.2 million passengers/day -- and it makes me embarrassed about DC -- 700,000 passengers/day -- and our system has 2.5 times the trackage.
         
        But I wonder how much of this base in Caracas rests upon transit-dependent riders?  And the fact that the DC regional subway system is designed to support polycentricity and decentralization--forces which make transit harder to provide, more expensive, and less efficient for a greater number of trips.
         
        That being said, I am a big proponent of better, faster, cheaper.
         
        Richard Layman
        Citizens Planning Coalition
        Washington, DC

        eric.britton@... wrote:
        Dear Sudhir and Sujit,

        "High cost underground metros"? Why not? Sounds great to me. Eh?

        But one small step first perhaps before spending all that money and necessarily
        waiting all those years before your 'deus ex machina' kicks in and is finally
        ready to do those good works. We refer to this necessary step in the planning
        and policy process as . . .

        BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER!

        That's the modest challenge that needs to be put before the responsible policy
        maker and their advisors. In public and with public answers.

        So if we are able to get our hands on all that money and can start to spend it
        tomorrow, how much of the problem can we take care of . . . starting now. As
        opposed to waiting the inevitable twenty or whatever years that good metro is
        going to take.

        This is the vital question that under the New Mobility Agenda we feel needs to
        be asked each time. For starters you have to make that long list of the real
        needs, priority objectives and targets, and then as possible put quantities to
        them. Then you go to the tools, measures, policies side of the ledger and start
        to build your packages of measures with an eye to getting at the problems NOW!

        Now the responses that this approach provides are many and, when you get them
        right, hugely gratifying and effective. That is if you can bear in mind what
        the whole thing is indeed all about.

        Or is that just too simple for all those who are making these decisions, along
        with those who are urging them on? And perhaps, do they have something else in
        mind?

        It's my position that if such an exercise is not run with care and brilliance,
        and the right decisions are made in the full glare of the media and before the
        attentive eyes of civil society, then something is rotten in the state of
        Denmark (or wherever).

        I think that is along the lines that Sujit is suggesting, but let me leave it to
        him and to all of you on this.

        Eric Britton

        -----Original Message-----
        From: sustran-discuss- bounces+eric. britton=ecoplan. org@list. jca.apc.org
        [mailto:sustran-discuss- bounces+eric. britton=ecoplan. org@list. jca.apc.org] On
        Behalf Of Sudhir
        Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2006 3:38 AM
        To: Global 'South' Sustainable Transport
        Subject: [sustran] Re: [NewMobilityCafe] World's Most Congested Cities

        Dear Sujit,

        On one hand you suggest TDM strategies and on other hand you suggest that high
        cost underground metros not solving problem of congestion.

        Metro (Underground or overhead) is a viable public transportation mode which has
        the capacity of attracting the private vehicle users.

        It is not only flyovers but also RUB/ROB's constructed contribute to induced
        traffic.

        Regards

        Sudhir

        -----Original Message-----
        From: sustran-discuss- bounces+eric. britton=ecoplan. org@list. jca.apc.org
        [mailto:sustran-discuss- bounces+eric. britton=ecoplan. org@list. jca.apc.org] On
        Behalf Of Sujit Patwardhan
        Sent: Monday, December 25, 2006 9:19 AM
        To: Global 'South' Sustainable Transport
        Cc: NewMobilityCafe@ yahoogroups. com; Eric.britton@ free.fr;
        WorldTransport@ yahoogroups. com; Sustran-discuss@ jca.apc.org
        Subject: [Sustran] Re: [NewMobilityCafe] World's Most Congested Cities

        25 December 2006
        Christmas

        Haven't read what Eric's written (and I'm sure he wouldn't say that) but in my
        humble opinion advocating underground (especially Underground Metros)
        transportation mode as a means of reducing with the traffic congestion on the
        roads is like an Ostrich burying its head in the sand.

        Perhaps the same logic was put forward by the pioneers of flyovers (plenty of
        them hale and hearty in Asian cities) to overcome the problem of crowded
        streets. What many (not all) advocates of the underground are saying is that we
        simply can't do anything about the mess we have created on our streets so let's
        not waste time on locating the "source" of the problem (too many auto vehicles)
        but get on with building the underground tunnels with their promise of high
        (overkill levels) capacity, which may de-congest the streets.

        This of course never happens. Just like flyovers (ones meant to relieve
        congestion, not the ones meant to cross railway lines etc) constructed at huge
        cost become magnets inviting even more auto vehicles (cars and two wheelers) to
        come on the roads, underground metros consume huge finances at the cost of other
        needs of the city and fail to attract level of ridership projected in the
        concocted project reports.

        But by this time the politicians have pocketed their loot, the infrastructure
        companies their obscenely high profits and the public left high and dry with
        over-crowded streets, crowded flyovers and underutilised underground metro.

        If one is really concerned with sustainable transportation and indeed
        sustainable life on our planet one has to acknowledge that auto vehicles have
        long crossed the limit in terms of their ecological footprint. NEW faster/high
        capacity modes, NEW cleaner fuels, we can certainly pursue but let's not lose
        sight of the REAL problem and see how that can be reduced. Incentives for Public
        Transport, Non Motorised Modes (Walking and Cycling) and real disincentives for
        auto vehicles through various TDM measures appropriate for each city. I know I'm
        not saying anything new but in all the technical discussions of pphpd and cost
        per Km etc we sometimes miss the most obvious.
        --
        Sujit


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