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Re: the freedom to walk at night

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  • sidneyfalco@mailcan.com
    In Marseille, France, where I live, there is no freedom to walk at night. Indeed, there is no freedom to walk at at any time, night or day. In Marseille, cars
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 30, 2007
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      In Marseille, France, where I live, there is no freedom to walk
      at night. Indeed, there is no freedom to walk at at any time,
      night or day. In Marseille, cars and motorbikes park on
      sidewalks, and the motorbikes are routinely driven on sidewalks
      whenever and wherever cars impede their progress in the streets.
      In this respect, Marseille is a Third World city, overcrowded
      with motorized vehicles and without a semblance of pedestrian
      rights. Check it out.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Erik Sandblom
      ... A new tram network is being built in Marseille, France, which when completed in 2011 will consist of three tram lines. The first phase opened on June 30,
      Message 2 of 11 , Oct 1, 2007
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        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, sidneyfalco@... wrote:
        >
        > In Marseille, France, where I live, there is no freedom to walk
        > at night. Indeed, there is no freedom to walk at at any time,
        > night or day. In Marseille, cars and motorbikes park on
        > sidewalks, and the motorbikes are routinely driven on sidewalks
        > whenever and wherever cars impede their progress in the streets.
        > In this respect, Marseille is a Third World city, overcrowded
        > with motorized vehicles and without a semblance of pedestrian
        > rights. Check it out.


        A new tram network is being built in Marseille, France, which when
        completed in 2011 will consist of three tram lines. The first phase
        opened on June 30, 2007. It is part of an urban renewal project which
        aims to reduce car use and favour pedestrians, bicyclists and public
        transit users.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramway_de_Marseille

        Could you tell us your impressions of this?

        Erik Sandblom
      • Erik Sandblom
        ... I think the tram is part of the solution. A tram takes as many passengers as two bendy busses, and is better att attracting new custom (ie car drivers)
        Message 3 of 11 , Oct 7, 2007
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          --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Erik
          Sandblom" <eriksandblom@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          >> A new tram network is being built in Marseille, France, which when
          >> completed in 2011 will consist of three tram lines. The first
          >phase
          >> opened on June 30, 2007. It is part of an urban renewal project
          >which
          >> aims to reduce car use and favour pedestrians, bicyclists and
          >public
          >> transit users.
          >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramway_de_Marseille
          >>
          >> Could you tell us your impressions of this?


          > As far as I can see, the tramway so far has had something close
          > to zero effect in reducing car use in Marseille. Although only
          > two of the three planned routes have been constructed, it is
          > clear that the effort has had little to do with environmental
          > problems and much to do with public relations. Cars flood the
          > streets of Marseille, it is true. But an even bigger problem has
          > emerged over the years, and that has had to do with the growth of
          > motorbikes. They are everywhere, not merely parking on sidewalks
          > but being routinely driven upon them as well. They totally
          > dominate the city and the consciousness of the population. When
          > you leave your apartment your head is on a swivel looking out for
          > the next motorbike bearing down upon you. Motorbike drivers
          > believe they are entitled to drive their vehicles anywhere a
          > person can walk. The police provide no restraints.


          I think the tram is part of the solution. A tram takes as many
          passengers as two bendy busses, and is better att attracting new
          custom (ie car drivers) than buses are. Since the tram is good at
          getting large numbers of people to and from the city streets, they
          are often used as part of an urban regeneration scheme.

          Maybe you could write a letter to the newspaper and point out that
          now that there are these nice trams, the police could help make the
          city a more pleasant place by imposing order on the motorcyclists.

          Erik Sandblom
        • sidneyfalco@mailcan.com
          Erik s defense of the tram is too ideological and does not speak to the issues. Nobody has attacked the tram per se, but any public project has to be judged in
          Message 4 of 11 , Oct 8, 2007
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            Erik's defense of the tram is too ideological and does not speak
            to the issues. Nobody has attacked the tram per se, but any
            public project has to be judged in terms of its specific location
            and who are the beneficiaries. The Marseille tram was sold on the
            basis of its alleged environmental benefits and its ability to
            reduce auto congestion in the central city. These have yet to
            materialize and the prognosis is poor. The Marseille tram
            presents a pretty picture to the tourists and far-away promoters.
            But the results do not match the hype. One reason seems to be
            that the tram routes chosen follow too closely existing Metro
            lines. Another is that most people who use the Tram, like myself,
            don't own cars or motorbikes. Thus far, the Marseille tram seems
            to have benefitted mainly the real estate developers who have
            succeeded in moving huge numbers of low income residents into
            other areas. In the States we call it "urban renewal." Erik needs
            to come to Marseille and inform himself of our situation so that
            he might add facts to his perspective. His suggestion that les
            Marseillaise should write letters to the editor is an insult.


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Erik Sandblom
            ... You re right that good public transport does not in itself make cars and mopeds disappear, but as I say, better public transport is part of the answer. I
            Message 5 of 11 , Oct 8, 2007
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              --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, sidneyfalco@... wrote:
              >
              > Erik's defense of the tram is too ideological and does not speak
              > to the issues. Nobody has attacked the tram per se, but any
              > public project has to be judged in terms of its specific location
              > and who are the beneficiaries. The Marseille tram was sold on the
              > basis of its alleged environmental benefits and its ability to
              > reduce auto congestion in the central city. These have yet to
              > materialize and the prognosis is poor. The Marseille tram
              > presents a pretty picture to the tourists and far-away promoters.
              > But the results do not match the hype. One reason seems to be
              > that the tram routes chosen follow too closely existing Metro
              > lines. Another is that most people who use the Tram, like myself,
              > don't own cars or motorbikes. Thus far, the Marseille tram seems
              > to have benefitted mainly the real estate developers who have
              > succeeded in moving huge numbers of low income residents into
              > other areas. In the States we call it "urban renewal." Erik needs
              > to come to Marseille and inform himself of our situation so that
              > he might add facts to his perspective. His suggestion that les
              > Marseillaise should write letters to the editor is an insult.



              You're right that good public transport does not in itself make cars
              and mopeds disappear, but as I say, better public transport is part
              of the answer. I believe many motorists feel they are "above" public
              transport in one way or another, and that is why public transport
              needs some glitz if it is to really help solve the problems. Trams do
              in fact bring a lot of pedestrians to the street, which can work as a
              sort of critical mass to calm the pace of traffic.

              The suggestion to write a letter to the editor was not intended as an
              insult. Obviously you do what you please, but nothing is likely to
              happen without some sort of public relations effort, and that has to
              start somewhere. I agree that having the police ticket offenders is
              one good way forward.

              Erik Sandblom
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