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Re: [carfree_network] Big Protests in Zagreb / other

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  • Jason Meggs
    Right. More or less. Genevieve, I agree the first question of course is Can we get rid of trucks? as they re large beasts that don t mix well with people.
    Message 1 of 1 , May 21, 2010
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      Right. More or less.

      Genevieve, I agree the first question of course is "Can we get rid of
      trucks?" as they're large beasts that don't mix well with people. As a
      practical matter we can't wave a magic wand and make goods movement
      disappear without major problems (including starvation), so we have to do
      something.

      It's not that trucks are inherently healthy, it's that I don't believe
      there's any better option for making major changes *soon* to reduce carbon
      emissions, and *stop* using oil, along with other health, sustainability and
      economic benefits. There are many fine points and distinctions to be made.
      To be clear: I do not propose removing existing rail and do not oppose
      adopting new rail! (However, rail should be electrified as well.)

      Why electrified trucks?

      Trolley trucks (how about "T-Trucks") are much better than diesel trucks.
      Quieter, "emission free," more powerful, more efficient, can be run on
      renewable energy. Etc.

      They are much quicker to implement than trains. Can do things trains can't.
      Developed countries have large networks for trucking that mix with other
      traffic. This idea uses those existing networks, but in a new, better way,
      retrofitting a new power system onto it. Over time, alternatives can
      replace the system.

      Because T-Trucks will mostly operate on fixed routes (overhead wires),
      adopting a T-Truck system means predictability for where trucks will be
      (presently very difficult to control); thus if only T-Trucks are used, many
      streets could be spared truck traffic. (True, they would have limited range
      off the wires.) Trucks could then be treated more thoroughly as a separate
      transport system (to some extent mimicking trains, much as Bus Rapid
      Transit, or BRT, mimics a rail-based Metro system).

      The idea of a large T-Truck system is still very much theoretical as they've
      never been used *en masse* in the present day, although they've been used to
      limited extent and for big site-specific jobs like mining. With a little bit
      of funding I would put some serious work into this idea.

      One last thing on the "one last mile": Small-scale transport, including
      bicycle trucks/trailers, *ideally* would serve a substantial portion of
      "last mile" distribution, to further reduce the impacts of trucking; another
      option is delivery to homes (including rolling shops) to reduce the impacts
      of shopping trips on the city.

      As for garbage trucks...

      ...that's another topic...

      (Thanks for taking me up on the provocation.)

      Jason






      On Fri, May 21, 2010 at 2:08 AM, Todd Edelman <edelman@...> wrote:

      > Railways (electric or with their own power) and ships should/will always
      > represent the main part of long distance freight. The main issue is the last
      > (and first) parts of the journey.
      >
      > Joel Crawford has an excellent concept for metro-based urban freight, but
      > this will be difficult to implement or even to retrofit (due to political
      > will, perhaps even more so than costs).
      >
      > So you need to minimize changes of vehicle. Thus, the ideal system uses
      > electric trains which go to location in a city but which does not disturb
      > people, because intermodal freight yards are very noisy. Large ocean going
      > ships can never go past the periphery, and this is moving further from
      > downtowns because waterfront locations are very valuable real estate.
      >
      > Following that, trucks of various sizes are still the ideal last mile
      > vehicle. There are already many electric-based examples, but gas or Diesel
      > vehicles (the latter with particle filters) are cheaper to buy but more
      > expensive to operate. Overhead wires work for trams and buses, but do not
      > get close enough to enough locations to be a practical route for delivery.
      > To make them get close enough could be extraordinarily expensive, and ugly
      > in the eyes of some, e.g. to get down one road in a city to one destination
      > for cargo.
      >
      > Dresden and Zurich have cargo trams for very limited purposes (a VW factory
      > in the former and removing old fridges and computers from neighbourhoods in
      > the latter) and Amsterdam might still do something a little more extensive.
      > The limiting factors here are 1 - capacity on the network. Prague has an
      > incredibly dense network of tram lines, but also trams running every few
      > minutes or less about 18 hours a day, so there is no space for cargo trams
      > and 2 - The need for a third vehicle, e.g. in the pilot for tram cargo in
      > Amsterdam some little electric vehicles, but this idea is heavily ridiculed.
      > (The website for the Amsterdam project is dead).
      >
      > Anyway, all cities are at least a little bit different from each other and
      > sometimes solutions need to be custom-tailored. Utrecht in the Netherlands
      > has this system http://www.cargohopper.com/ which apparently is nice and
      > people like. Maybe some people reading this have more info.
      >
      > So, keeping this all in mind, what Jason suggested - I guess we can call
      > them "trolley trucks" - could be interesting in a city which has a huge
      > amount of trolley lines which are for one reason or another underutilized in
      > one part of the day, and if they lead to a lot of delivery points... but
      > then again underutilized could mean at night, so than delivery could not
      > happen. Then there would also need to be new vehicles developed.... the
      > boxes but not the chassis could be re-used, it seems. These trucks could be
      > dual-mode for overhead wires and off the grid....
      >
      > The most important thing is flexibility in design and in vehicles, and of
      > course buying less and (generally) close. If we just bought 20% less stuff
      > there would be - speaking generally - 20% less emissions with no change of
      > vehicles or technology.
      >
      > - T
      >
      >
      >
      > On 05/21/2010 10:16 AM, Genevieve OConnell wrote:
      >
      > how are trucks good for health, even electrically powered, when they are
      > the cause of so much carnage on the roads?!!! think again. rail freight is a
      > much better and safer option.
      >
      > --- On *Fri, 21/5/10, Jason Meggs <jmeggs@...> <jmeggs@...>*wrote:
      >
      >
      > From: Jason Meggs <jmeggs@...> <jmeggs@...>
      > Subject: [carfree_network] Big Protests in Zagreb / other
      > To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "carfree_network"
      > <carfree_network@...> <carfree_network@...>
      > Received: Friday, 21 May, 2010, 4:02 AM
      >
      > Zagreb, Croatia: In protest of a proposed underground garage with a ramp on
      > the main pedestrian mall, and claims of corruption, large groups of people
      > have occupied the area and torn down fences. This news thanks to a
      > bicyclist friend from Croatia who walked the street as a child.
      >
      > Some of the many news items:
      >
      > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lTvORBc8W0&translated=1
      >
      >
      > http://www.jutarnji.hr/varsavska---tisuce-gradana-u-policijskom-obrucu/777389/?secId=79&foto=1
      >
      > ===
      > As long as I'm writing:
      >
      > In local news here in the San Francisco Bay Area, a new phenomenon known as
      > "Bike Party" has begun, as an alternative to Critical Mass. Claiming to be
      > *not* a Critical Mass; stopping at stop lights and regrouping periodically
      > in parking lots; the ride on the Peninsula is very successful with thousands
      > of people every month. The first copycat Bike Party begins this Friday in
      > Oakland (concurrent with a Bike-In Movie in Berkeley). Critical Mass
      > continues as well. For official CiclovĂ­a style happenings: San Francisco now
      > has "Sunday Streets" and Oakland is organizing its first "Oaklavia" for June
      > 27 (also a good time to be at the Carfree Cities Conference in York). The
      > Bike Party phenomenon is valuable in bringing a taste of a better world
      > without being at all expressly political. It is interesting in the highly
      > racially segregated United States that there is a large Latino contingent;
      > bicycle activists have long grappled with how to bridge the racial divides
      > here.
      >
      > http://www.sjbikeparty.org/
      > http://eastbaybikeparty.wordpress.com/
      >
      > There's lots more news to be shared. If you aren't yet aware, a great
      > source for alternative transportation news in the USA is the (also fairly
      > new) StreetsBlog:
      >
      > http://sf.streetsblog.org/
      >
      > (That's San Francisco, click for other cities such as New York.)
      >
      > Petroleum provocation: what if there were a network of trucks powered by
      > electricity (via overhead wires) rather than diesel trucks? Cheaper, quicker
      > and more versatile than rail; able to serve decentralized land use found
      > today; taking advantage of existing road/bridge/distribution center
      > infrastructure, as well as existing electricity infrasstructure; and able to
      > re-use existing truck fleets. Powered by electricity, which can come from
      > renewable sources, there is no other mass transport solution with a better
      > sustainability profile. Cost effective, energy efficient, and a huge
      > improvement for public health (reducing noise and air pollution). Why is
      > this not more discussed more and actively pursued?
      >
      > ~Jason
      > Berkeley
      > +1 510-725-9991
      > skype jasonmeggs
      >
      > Todd Edelman
      > Green Idea Factory,
      > a member of the OPENbike team
      >
      > Mobile: ++49(0)162 814 4081
      > Immobile: ++49(0)30 7554 0001
      > edelman@...@...
      >
      > Skype: toddedelman
      >
      > Urbanstr. 45
      > 10967 Berlin
      > Germany
      >
      > ***
      >
      > OPENbike - Share the Perfect Fit!
      >
      >


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