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Re: [carfree_cities] FAQ: get together

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  • J.H. Crawford
    ... Ken Avidor has developed a plan for an isolated small city of about 30,000 people. There s a very small sketch of it in Carfree Cities. It s similar to the
    Message 1 of 11 , May 3, 2002
      Rob Hines asked:

      >Is there a reference design for a single
      >district car-free city (of course inter-district metro would not exist
      >but interurban rail could be established to a nearby large urban centre)?

      Ken Avidor has developed a plan for an isolated small city of about
      30,000 people. There's a very small sketch of it in Carfree Cities.
      It's similar to the reference district in many ways, with, of course,
      the necessary transport changes, in this case a light-rail system that
      would connect with an Amtrak station.



      -- ### --

      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      mailbox@... Carfree.com
    • powerwalker
      ... Yes. I know Town of Mount Royal, which is also a nice place to live carfree, but it s not the same as Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhoods. Anyways, both are
      Message 2 of 11 , May 5, 2002
        > >How about Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhoods in Montreal?
        > As it happens, I spent some time as a child in the Town of Mount Royal,
        > a close-in railroad suburb of Montreal and know both McGill and the
        > park somewhat. I'll comment some on this idea.
        >
        Yes. I know Town of Mount Royal, which is also a nice
        place to live carfree, but it's not the same as
        Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhoods. Anyways, both are
        not that far from each other and neighbourhoods near
        the train station where you mention could also become carfree. I think it
        would be a bit harder though since it's less dense than Plateau.
        The best thing to do is to convert the easiest places first, and then expand
        outwards.

        > This is a basically sound beginning condition.
        >
        As it is presently, lineups build up at the front door of "Apartment For
        Rent" signs, and it's the worst place to choose if you are car-dependant.
        This means places where you can easily live carfree are in demand. Imagine
        what will happen should these neighbourhoods become carfree.

        > The park is the icing on the cake.
        >
        Yup. You don't have to drive our of the city to nature places to escape city
        noise; just climb up the mountain!


        > I agree that this could be an excellent starting point, especially as
        > a large percentage of local residents would probably be strongly in
        > favor and might work actively to implement the change. There is one
        > significant problem that I see--Montreal has some of the worst winter
        > weather of any city in North America. It's much colder than Toronto
        > and gets a lot of snow. I know that some people manage to bike through
        > this winter, but I doubt if there are very many people who are willing
        > to do this. Those living in the area who are now dependent on cars for
        > getting to work are going to resist this change strenuously. Solutions
        > will have to be found for them, which will entail either providing good
        > public transport alternatives or findng a parking place for them on
        > the edge of the carfree area.
        >
        Yes. Improving public transport is always the solution. We should implement
        more trams/buses to ensure a fast link to the metro, hence a fast link to
        the underground network. Once you enter the metro, you don't face bad
        weather until you pop out at your destination station. Or better, if your
        workplace or school is linked to the Underground Network, then you don't see
        bad weather until you're back out of the metro after the day.

        A solution would be to put more year-round bike parking (for hard core
        cyclists), and locker facilities for skis (or skates, scooters...) at the
        concerned metro stations. Once cars are gone, snow could be removed on only
        half of the street (reduce snow removal costs) to allow wheeled devices to
        travel and easy walking, and the other half could keep its natural snow
        cover to allow skiing (faster than walking) as a transportation mode.

        Another solution could be to build a couple more metro stations, and/or
        extending the underground tentacles of existing ones. The ones near Plateau
        only have one or two exits, so they could be improved with several tunnels
        running several blocks, like the ones downtown, hence reducing necessary
        outdoor walking.

        If we can get people to walk no more than 5 minutes outdoor (at worst 10?)
        to the nearest metro entrance, then the problem would be somewhat handled.

        And turn another ugly wide fast artery in the periphery into a parking strip
        for residents and visitors?

        > I seem to recall Parc as a six-lane thoroughfare that was the way
        > we got to downtown when we drove (mostly we took the train). The
        > problem with cutting this is that it's going to affect a lot of
        > people who are just passing through on their way downtown, as
        > Louis-Luc says. This is where the fight will come (and probably
        > also with Des Pins, which I don't recall). It boils down to the
        > right of inner city neighborhoods to be free of all traffic,
        > including that of suburbanites. It will be a real struggle. One
        > possible solution is to get people to park their cars farther out
        > and take the train or metro on into town. Another approach would
        > be a daytime access charge of $5-10 such as is being proposed by
        > Ken Livingstone for London.
        >
        Good ideas. Maybe, in each direction, one lane for a train, one for cars
        with the access charge, and one
        for cycling and/or buses...

        > >Maybe there are better neighborhoods elsewhere around the world, but I
        > >thought it's worth mentioning Plateau Mont-Royal.
        >
        > So, what are you going to do next? As it happens, I think we have
        > several people on this list from Montreal.
        >
        > Good luck!
        >
        Since our mayor showed up in favor of reducing car use, Montrealers on this
        list could gather and present such a project to him and brainstorm about
        solutions.
        Or better: inform the residents about this possibility.


        Louis-Luc
      • J.H. Crawford
        ... Sorry, I didn t mean to nominate Town of Mount Royal for carfree status--the plateau sounds much better (although TMR is a reasonable candidate for the
        Message 3 of 11 , May 5, 2002
          Louis-Luc replied:

          >Yes. I know Town of Mount Royal, which is also a nice
          >place to live carfree, but it's not the same as
          >Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhoods. Anyways, both are
          >not that far from each other and neighbourhoods near
          >the train station where you mention could also become carfree. I think it
          >would be a bit harder though since it's less dense than Plateau.
          >The best thing to do is to convert the easiest places first, and then expand
          >outwards.

          Sorry, I didn't mean to nominate Town of Mount Royal for carfree
          status--the plateau sounds much better (although TMR is a reasonable
          candidate for the future).

          >As it is presently, lineups build up at the front door of "Apartment For
          >Rent" signs, and it's the worst place to choose if you are car-dependant.
          >This means places where you can easily live carfree are in demand. Imagine
          >what will happen should these neighbourhoods become carfree.

          If the change become permanent, it would probably be possible to
          build new housing in the middle of the streets.

          >> Those living in the area who are now dependent on cars for
          >> getting to work are going to resist this change strenuously. Solutions
          >> will have to be found for them, which will entail either providing good
          >> public transport alternatives or findng a parking place for them on
          >> the edge of the carfree area.
          >>
          >Yes. Improving public transport is always the solution. We should implement
          >more trams/buses to ensure a fast link to the metro, hence a fast link to
          >the underground network. Once you enter the metro, you don't face bad
          >weather until you pop out at your destination station. Or better, if your
          >workplace or school is linked to the Underground Network, then you don't see
          >bad weather until you're back out of the metro after the day.

          Can you post a map of the area, with existing metro and tram (?) routes,
          as well as the distance and direction to the park & downtown?

          >A solution would be to put more year-round bike parking (for hard core
          >cyclists), and locker facilities for skis (or skates, scooters...) at the
          >concerned metro stations. Once cars are gone, snow could be removed on only
          >half of the street (reduce snow removal costs) to allow wheeled devices to
          >travel and easy walking, and the other half could keep its natural snow
          >cover to allow skiing (faster than walking) as a transportation mode.

          There's a problem where the streets cross, in that a 3-4 meter wide
          strip of bare asphalt would have to be crossed on skis ever block.
          But it's a reasonable suggestion, I think. Perhaps short strips of
          Astroturf would allow both skiers and pedestrians to cross.

          >Another solution could be to build a couple more metro stations, and/or
          >extending the underground tentacles of existing ones. The ones near Plateau
          >only have one or two exits, so they could be improved with several tunnels
          >running several blocks, like the ones downtown, hence reducing necessary
          >outdoor walking.

          Perhaps, although these tunnels, if they are to be equipped with stores,
          require a lot of foot traffic to support. I'm not saying that enough
          foot traffic wouldn't be available, but it has to be considered.

          >If we can get people to walk no more than 5 minutes outdoor (at worst 10?)
          >to the nearest metro entrance, then the problem would be somewhat handled.

          What I don't recall from my time in Montreal is how windy it is in
          the depths of the winter. I seem to recall that temperatures of
          -20 C are common and that it gets even colder. If it's windy, then
          walking 10 minutes or more outdoors can really be a problem.

          >And turn another ugly wide fast artery in the periphery into a parking strip
          >for residents and visitors?

          This is a really tough issue, in fact. It will be almost impossible
          to see the carfree plan if you FORCE everybody to give up the car.
          I think some provision will have to be made for residents to own
          cars and keep them at the edge of the carfree area. This could bd
          done in a way that made it very expensive, so as to discourage that
          and maybe encourge a modest amount of carsharing, but I don't see
          it as being possible any other way. This doesn't necessarily mean
          more street traffic and parking in the surrounding areas than now
          exists. If you give residents in the adjacent areas exclusive
          rights to use available street parking (by way of stickers), and
          provide only multi-level underground garages (with steep rental
          rates) for residents of the carfree area, then you've pretty well
          handled the problem. Traffic should be down, not up, since there
          will be fewer people driving to and from the area than now.

          >Good ideas. Maybe, in each direction, one lane for a train, one for cars
          >with the access charge, and one
          >for cycling and/or buses...

          The issue of commuters to downtown using Parc will require very
          serious attention. I don't know that we have a solution yet.

          >Since our mayor showed up in favor of reducing car use, Montrealers on this
          >list could gather and present such a project to him and brainstorm about
          >solutions.
          >Or better: inform the residents about this possibility.

          Start with local groups, I think. Keep the mayor's office informed
          as soon as you have 100 members or so, but don't look for much
          help from there until the movement is large (although you might
          be pleasantly surprised).

          Regards,



          -- ### --

          J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
          mailbox@... Carfree.com
        • powerwalker
          ... I ll see what I can find. Grossly, it s between metro stations Berri-UQAM and Jean-Talon on the Orange line. The STM (Montreal Transport Society) site is
          Message 4 of 11 , May 6, 2002
            >
            > >> Those living in the area who are now dependent on cars for
            > >> getting to work are going to resist this change strenuously. Solutions
            > >> will have to be found for them, which will entail either providing good
            > >> public transport alternatives or findng a parking place for them on
            > >> the edge of the carfree area.
            > >>
            > >Yes. Improving public transport is always the solution. We
            > should implement
            > >more trams/buses to ensure a fast link to the metro, hence a fast link to
            > >the underground network. Once you enter the metro, you don't face bad
            > >weather until you pop out at your destination station. Or better, if your
            > >workplace or school is linked to the Underground Network, then
            > you don't see
            > >bad weather until you're back out of the metro after the day.
            >
            > Can you post a map of the area, with existing metro and tram (?) routes,
            > as well as the distance and direction to the park & downtown?
            I'll see what I can find. Grossly, it's between metro
            stations Berri-UQAM and Jean-Talon on the Orange line.
            The STM (Montreal Transport Society) site is www.stm.info. The suburban
            train Montreal/Deux-Montagnes (the one that stops in TMR) passes under the
            Mount-Royal in a tunnel. I imagine adding a station in the tunnel, with a
            stairway up into the park! That would make a link from Underground downtown
            into the nature...

            >
            > >A solution would be to put more year-round bike parking (for hard core
            > >cyclists), and locker facilities for skis (or skates,
            > scooters...) at the
            > >concerned metro stations. Once cars are gone, snow could be
            > removed on only
            > >half of the street (reduce snow removal costs) to allow wheeled
            > devices to
            > >travel and easy walking, and the other half could keep its natural snow
            > >cover to allow skiing (faster than walking) as a transportation mode.
            >
            > There's a problem where the streets cross, in that a 3-4 meter wide
            > strip of bare asphalt would have to be crossed on skis ever block.
            > But it's a reasonable suggestion, I think. Perhaps short strips of
            > Astroturf would allow both skiers and pedestrians to cross.
            >

            > >Another solution could be to build a couple more metro stations, and/or
            > >extending the underground tentacles of existing ones. The ones
            > near Plateau
            > >only have one or two exits, so they could be improved with
            > several tunnels
            > >running several blocks, like the ones downtown, hence reducing necessary
            > >outdoor walking.
            >
            > Perhaps, although these tunnels, if they are to be equipped with stores,
            > require a lot of foot traffic to support. I'm not saying that enough
            > foot traffic wouldn't be available, but it has to be considered.
            Ah. I thought more about bare tunnels first, then with time spaces along
            could be rented for stores where there is enough foot traffic. Two sources
            of revenus (with taxes) to the city Council: one at surface, and one
            underground!

            I know some businesses opened up in some downtown tunnels which were bare
            several years ago. Downtown, some shops stay a year or two, they move
            elsewhere and leave the place for a new one, etc....


            >
            > >If we can get people to walk no more than 5 minutes outdoor (at
            > worst 10?)
            > >to the nearest metro entrance, then the problem would be
            > somewhat handled.
            >
            > What I don't recall from my time in Montreal is how windy it is in
            > the depths of the winter. I seem to recall that temperatures of
            > -20 C are common and that it gets even colder. If it's windy, then
            > walking 10 minutes or more outdoors can really be a problem.
            >
            Yes, it often windy, sometimes the temperature gets to -20 or colder, but
            the occurence have been more scarce in the past few years. 10 minutes is my
            walk for home to train, but I know not everyone is willing to do this in bad
            weather. So we still have the tram/bus solution for these cases, with heated
            shelters?

            > >And turn another ugly wide fast artery in the periphery into a
            > parking strip
            > >for residents and visitors?
            >
            > This is a really tough issue, in fact. It will be almost impossible
            > to see the carfree plan if you FORCE everybody to give up the car.
            No. I meant there car parking for residents and visitors. I envisioned
            turning a 6-fast-lane artery into, maybe 1 lane in each direction, and
            perpendicular parkings on each side (twice more parking than "standard"
            parallel street parking). I don't know if it's a good idea, as there might
            be some conflicts between traffic on the lane and people getting in or out a
            parking space.

            > I think some provision will have to be made for residents to own
            > cars and keep them at the edge of the carfree area.
            The above facility would be at the edge, or between two major carfree
            neighborhoods.

            This could bd
            > done in a way that made it very expensive, so as to discourage that
            > and maybe encourge a modest amount of carsharing, but I don't see
            > it as being possible any other way. This doesn't necessarily mean
            > more street traffic and parking in the surrounding areas than now
            > exists. If you give residents in the adjacent areas exclusive
            > rights to use available street parking (by way of stickers), and
            > provide only multi-level underground garages (with steep rental
            > rates) for residents of the carfree area, then you've pretty well
            > handled the problem. Traffic should be down, not up, since there
            > will be fewer people driving to and from the area than now.

            >
            > >Good ideas. Maybe, in each direction, one lane for a train, one for cars
            > >with the access charge, and one
            > >for cycling and/or buses...
            >
            > The issue of commuters to downtown using Parc will require very
            > serious attention. I don't know that we have a solution yet.
            I know this one is difficult, but if some places become totally carfree next
            to it, then people will see the contrast in environment. Thus more residents
            will require reduction in the traffic flow on Parc Avenue.

            Louis-Luc
            >
            > >Since our mayor showed up in favor of reducing car use,
            > Montrealers on this
            > >list could gather and present such a project to him and brainstorm about
            > >solutions.
            > >Or better: inform the residents about this possibility.
            >
            > Start with local groups, I think. Keep the mayor's office informed
            > as soon as you have 100 members or so, but don't look for much
            > help from there until the movement is large (although you might
            > be pleasantly surprised).
            >
            > Regards,
            >
            >
            >
          • J.H. Crawford
            Louis-Luc replied: From the map links you provided, it s evident that this is a larger area than I had realized--it encompasses half a dozen metro stops. ...
            Message 5 of 11 , May 7, 2002
              Louis-Luc replied:

              From the map links you provided, it's evident that this is a larger
              area than I had realized--it encompasses half a dozen metro stops.

              >> Perhaps, although these tunnels, if they are to be equipped with stores,
              >> require a lot of foot traffic to support. I'm not saying that enough
              >> foot traffic wouldn't be available, but it has to be considered.
              >Ah. I thought more about bare tunnels first, then with time spaces along
              >could be rented for stores where there is enough foot traffic. Two sources
              >of revenus (with taxes) to the city Council: one at surface, and one
              >underground!

              Problem is you have to dig the tunnels on the basis of stores or no stores.

              >Yes, it often windy, sometimes the temperature gets to -20 or colder, but
              >the occurence have been more scarce in the past few years. 10 minutes is my
              >walk for home to train, but I know not everyone is willing to do this in bad
              >weather. So we still have the tram/bus solution for these cases, with heated
              >shelters?

              It would depend on circumstances. Perhaps yes.

              >> This is a really tough issue, in fact. It will be almost impossible
              >> to see the carfree plan if you FORCE everybody to give up the car.

              >No. I meant there car parking for residents and visitors. I envisioned
              >turning a 6-fast-lane artery into, maybe 1 lane in each direction, and
              >perpendicular parkings on each side (twice more parking than "standard"
              >parallel street parking). I don't know if it's a good idea, as there might
              >be some conflicts between traffic on the lane and people getting in or out a
              >parking space.

              Angle parking is the worst for cyclists, as they are invisible to
              cars backing out.




              -- ### --

              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              mailbox@... Carfree.com
            • Rob Hines
              ... Commuters from Laval are going to have to be forced on mass transit. I think that is the only viable solution. They can t be kept from traveling downtown
              Message 6 of 11 , May 7, 2002
                >> No. I meant there car parking for residents and visitors. I envisioned
                >> turning a 6-fast-lane artery into, maybe 1 lane in each direction, and
                >> perpendicular parkings on each side (twice more parking than "standard"
                >> parallel street parking). I don't know if it's a good idea, as there
                >> might
                >> be some conflicts between traffic on the lane and people getting in or
                >> out a
                >> parking space.

                Commuters from Laval are going to have to be forced on mass transit. I
                think that is the only viable solution. They can't be kept from
                traveling downtown and moving traffic to another artery will only move
                the problem.
              • Bijan Soleymani
                ... No matter how bad the weather gets in montreal I can testify from personal experience (walking around) that it is technically possible to walk about 30-40
                Message 7 of 11 , Oct 26, 2003
                  "powerwalker" <exqmtl@...> writes:

                  >> What I don't recall from my time in Montreal is how windy it is in
                  >> the depths of the winter. I seem to recall that temperatures of
                  >> -20 C are common and that it gets even colder. If it's windy, then
                  >> walking 10 minutes or more outdoors can really be a problem.
                  >>
                  > Yes, it often windy, sometimes the temperature gets to -20 or colder, but
                  > the occurence have been more scarce in the past few years. 10 minutes is my
                  > walk for home to train, but I know not everyone is willing to do this in bad
                  > weather. So we still have the tram/bus solution for these cases, with heated
                  > shelters?

                  No matter how bad the weather gets in montreal I can testify from
                  personal experience (walking around) that it is technically possible
                  to walk about 30-40 minutes =~ 3kms. Now I don't expect everyone to do
                  something like this, but that's what is possible.

                  On a side note. I don't know many people who own dogs, but I think
                  they walk them year-round regardless of the weather (or at least they
                  do if they care about their dog).

                  Bijan
                  --
                  Bijan Soleymani <bijan@...>
                  http://www.crasseux.com
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