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RE: [carfree_cities] Digest Number 1244

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  • Damantoro
    Hello Everybody.... can anyone give me information on type of car free day even that ever held before??? Pelangi want to change the event after having two year
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 10, 2004
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      Hello Everybody....

      can anyone give me information on type of car free day even that ever held
      before??? Pelangi want to change the event after having two year clossing
      the main protocol road in Jakarta.
      Any other idea? please share to us
      thanks

      T Damantoro
      Program Transport PELANGI
      Jl. Pangeran Antasari No. 10 Kebayoran Baru
      Jakarta Selatan 12150, Indonesia
      Ph (62-21) 7280 1172 (hunting), Fax (62-21) 7280 1174
      www.pelangi.or.id <http://www.pelangi.or.id>


      -----Original Message-----
      From: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com]
      Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2004 7:46 PM
      To: carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [carfree_cities] Digest Number 1244


      There are 7 messages in this issue.

      Topics in this digest:

      1. Re: Fwd: [UrbanMaglev] "A Streetcar Named Disaster" HoustonReview
      2/4 (at-grade LRT vs. ..)
      From: Karen Sandness <ksandness@...>
      2. Re: Fwd: [UrbanMaglev] "A Streetcar Named Disaster" HoustonReview
      2/4 (at-grade LRT vs. ..)
      From: "Greg Steele" <thegisguru@...>
      3. Re: Fwd: [UrbanMaglev] "A Streetcar Named Disaster" HoustonReview
      2/4 (at-grade LRT vs. ..)
      From: Peter Cook <mrpc@...>
      4. Re: Fwd: [UrbanMaglev] "A Streetcar Named Disaster" HoustonReview
      2/4 (at-grade LRT vs. ..)
      From: "mauk_mcamuk" <mauk2@...>
      5. Follow-up on Houston
      From: Christopher Miller <christophermiller@...>
      6. Re: Fwd: [UrbanMaglev] "A Streetcar Named Disaster" HoustonReview
      2/4 (at-grade LRT vs. ..)
      From: "Matt Hohmeister" <mdh6214@...>
      7. Car-free Synergistic Living (1 of 10): Biosystemic Stress Reduction
      From: "Nicholas Frank" <anfsyntran@...>


      ________________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________

      Message: 1
      Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 09:44:12 -0600
      From: Karen Sandness <ksandness@...>
      Subject: Re: Fwd: [UrbanMaglev] "A Streetcar Named Disaster" HoustonReview
      2/4 (at-grade LRT vs. ..)

      A couple of points worth noting:

      1. A "conservative student monthly serving the Houston area" mocking
      public transportation? I knew that this was an article written by some
      rightwing outfit before I got to the bottom of the article, because I
      already recognize the snide, triumphant tone. If it's like comparable
      articles written by anti-transit types in Portland and Minneapolis, I
      would be cautious about accepting its claims at face value. The
      anti-transit crowd in both cities routinely lies, exaggerates, and
      leaves out inconvenient facts.

      For example, a local "taxpayers'" group commented on the Twin Cities
      transit strike and claimed that since the traffic was no more jammed
      than usual, transit was an unnecessary drain on the "taxpayers'"
      pockets. This claim appeared on the front page of the Minneapolis
      Star-Tribune on Sunday. Fortunately, the following day, the paper
      carried a story about non-drivers who were being forced to spend $10 a
      day on taxis or walk several miles or beg rides or simply stay home and
      miss out on jobs, medical appointments, and other necessities of life.
      The article concluded that the non-drivers could cope for a few days,
      but that an extended strike would cause real pain.

      2. This is reminiscent of the Portland anti-transit crowd crowing about
      "killer trolleys" after five pedestrians were killed on the westside
      MAX line shortly after it opened. The problem was not that the MAX was
      especially lethal to pedestrians but that people couldn't get it
      through their heads that one has to look both ways before crossing a
      train track. In one case, a drunk had passed out on the tracks. There
      were always fender benders between the MAX and cars, and I witnessed
      some of them. In every case that I saw, they were the fault of the
      motorist.

      3. The claim that light rail reduces traffic congestion has come back
      to bite transit advocates. It clearly doesn't do that, as a visit to
      Tokyo will prove. What it does do is allow people to *opt out* of
      congestion. Publicity for light rail lines should stress this notion.

      4. Is ridership really that low? Why has light rail been so successful
      in Dallas? Are the Houston lines in the wrong places, is the system
      poorly managed, has any PR been done? Is this a case of
      passive-aggressively mismanaging something to prove that "it doesn't
      work"?

      Just some things to think about.

      In transit,
      Karen Sand ness



      ________________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________

      Message: 2
      Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 20:32:48 -0000
      From: "Greg Steele" <thegisguru@...>
      Subject: Re: Fwd: [UrbanMaglev] "A Streetcar Named Disaster" HoustonReview
      2/4 (at-grade LRT vs. ..)

      Thank you Karen for pointing out that the author of the story was "A
      conservative student monthly serving the Houston area." I think that
      may have something to do with Peter's reaction. I have to admit
      after reading the article I had to get up and take a short walk to
      cool off. The tone of the article has a "see, told ya it wouldn't
      work" feeling to it that reflects poorly on both Texans and Americans
      (from the US – sorry I know Canada, Mexico and the rest of two
      continents have the right to be called Americans, but that is another
      issue). It is the article not you as the poster is pushing some
      buttons.

      One thing with the article that really burned me up was the whining
      about $340 million. That is NOT a lot of money for a transportation
      improvement project, but when you use a figure like, without putting
      it in perspective it seems like a lot. I did a quick query of
      Pennsylvania's department of transportation's constructions projects
      database (I have access to this at work). Most projects for standard
      road repair are about between $10 and $20 million that is just for
      fixing pot-wholes, resurfacing, etc. And there are three projects
      this year over $340 million.

      I am sure there was a design option to put the light-rail on its own
      right-of-way, but that option would have been much more expensive and
      people like the one who wrote this article would have been the ones
      to shoot it down.

      As to a discussion of safety and light-rail sharing right-of-ways,
      Philadelphia has continuously operated trolleys on the street for
      about a hundred years now. A collision is a very usual event I can
      only recall one, about four years ago. Another good example is the
      streetcar in New Orleans. In parts in operates in the same right-of-
      way as cars (including going around Lee Circle) and then operates on
      the median of a high traffic roads where car traffic makes left turn
      across the rail (often without the aid of a signal). While living
      there for three years I cannot remember any collisions. In
      conclusion, I do think that it is something people need to learn how
      to co-exist with, not as both article seem to be saying - a design
      fault of the system. Neither the New Orleans or Philadelphia systems
      have good signage (some cases none) at crossing. You just grow up
      knowing that the streetcar can't stop quickly and regardless if you
      hit it or it hits you it is your fault.




      ________________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________

      Message: 3
      Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 08:52:19 +1100
      From: Peter Cook <mrpc@...>
      Subject: Re: Fwd: [UrbanMaglev] "A Streetcar Named Disaster" HoustonReview
      2/4 (at-grade LRT vs. ..)

      At 04:14 PM 9/03/2004, Chris Miller wrote:
      > >> An interesting article about problems met with Houston's try at
      > >> introducing light rail while keeping automobile traffic in the same
      > >> right of way. I wonder if there have been any difficulties like this
      > >> elsewhere?
      > >
      > > That is a rather odd question - of course the answer is yes.. Why do
      > > Americans always think that their attempt at something is the first
      > > time it has ever been tried in the world?
      >
      >Actually, I'm Canadian and just happen to be living in Washington DC
      >now. I was rather stung by your reaction to my post. I took the trouble
      >to cross-post it to the Carfree Cities list because it is of obvious
      >interest; getting this kind of a reaction (in this case the unmerited
      >and inaccurate stereotyping of Americans) can be enough to discourage a
      >person from participating any further in a discussion group like this.

      My apologies. I probably got out of bed on the wrong side yesterday.

      >I posed the question out of curiosity, not knowing how much of a
      >problem auto-tramway collisions are elsewhere. When I was in Prague,
      >for example, it seemed to me that this was no problem. Nor, as far as I
      >know, in Amsterdam. My impressions are certainly superficial given my
      >very short stays in either place, and I was wondering how well at-grade
      >trams coexist with other street traffic (whether pedestrian,
      >human-powered, or automobile) in various places around the world.

      Sounds like a bit of a cultural issue - people in European cities are more
      urban focused than in North America or Australia. However, saying that,
      I'm sure there is a problem, just one that isn't given much publicity.

      >The problem will always come up as long as there is coexistence
      >between public transit and some sort of individual locomotion on the
      >same right of way.

      And there always will be coexistence of RoW in a city's transportation
      system. Cars share with cars, cars share with pedestrians, with cyclists,
      cyclists share with pedestrians, cars cycles and pedestrians share with
      trams and trains. Why foist Transit with massive capital costs when cars
      are getting a free ride and are still knocking down pedestrians and
      cyclists?

      >Much as I would agree with your point of view about peoples'
      >perspective, this kind of gives up on the imperative to design the
      >transit system in a way that minimises problems like this. When you
      >design something, you always have to take into account the fact that
      >many people are going to act irrationally: pointing out that they are
      >irrational after the fact isn't going to make your problems go away.
      >(Think of subway suicides, which regularly hold up the Montreal Metro:
      >why not do like Paris does in newer stations, i.e. install glass walls
      >with automated sliding doors on the edge of the platform?)

      Another option is to give a more convenient method of suicide.

      Again in Melbourne, we don't really have that much of a problem when it
      comes to train suicides. The fact that our trains and trams are fitted
      with wheel guards, which are basically a cast iron block that go in front
      of the front wheels, tends to sweep suiciders aside and leave them with a
      headache and an embarrassing story for the hospital staff.

      We do however have this little wonder called the West Gate Freeway, which
      culminates in an approach to the downtown area over a shipping channel (The
      West Gate Bridge). It opened in 1978, carries 150,000 vehicles a day, and
      has 4 lanes plus a breakdown lane in each direction. It's basically a
      bridge of death. On October 15 1970, 35 construction workers died when
      part of the structure collapsed. The fact that it's 53 metres above the
      river below and is not far from the bay means that crosswinds are often
      intense, and cars can be dragged across several lanes by the wind, though
      not always with fatal results. They drop the variable speed limit from
      80km/h (50mph) to 60 (37) or 40 (25) when the wind gets intense, but it
      doesn't always help. Oh, and to top it all off, an average of one person a
      week abandons a car, pushbike or motorbike on the bridge, or walks up, and
      commits suicide by jumping off the side. And of course, the installation
      of fencing on a bridge with high wind would add too much stress to the
      structure.

      Perhaps Futurama style Suicide Booths might be a less disruptive option
      still. Even if only 50% of those who'd otherwise suicide off a bridge or
      under a train decided to go in a purpose designed environment, there'd be
      less need to send police wandering through West Gate Park every week
      fishing out missing body parts here, and fewer subway disruptions in cities
      like Montreal.

      >Interesting question: I *suspect* that there might be fewer simply
      >based on my experience as an urban cyclist. It is astounding how many
      >drivers seem not to twig on to the fact that something that is not a
      >gas-powered vehicle is also part of traffic and needs to be taken into
      >account. My *feeling* is that some drivers would likely identify buses

      Here in oz, bus drivers are allowed to force their way out of bus stops and
      into traffic - not that cars give way like the signs on the back of the bus
      and the question in their drivers license exam says they must do. There
      are occasionally crashes, but not always with the bus. Someone could
      swerve out of the way of the bus and into the side of another car for
      example.

      >unlike trams and such, as "real" street traffic to be taken into
      >account. Perhaps part of the problem with the Houston Metrorail is that
      >it is on a marked-off corridor distinct from the street.

      Isn't the LA Blue Line the same? Not to mention plenty of other Streetcar
      and Light Rail systems across North America. Things will settle down in
      Houston eventually..

      Also, keep in mind that those who do get injured or killed are only self
      destructing, as their biology tells them to do, lest they reproduce and
      pass on the moron gene. In the past, people like this would have been
      wiped out at an earlier age and humanity was able to evolve as a
      result. Now they are being protected and humanity is going backwards.

      (Yes, I'm a fan of www.darwinawards.com )

      >As I have already said, this is a major issue to take
      >into account when cities inevitably start phasing in more and more (non
      >petrochemical based) public transit lines in the coming decades.

      We may have to agree to disagree there..


      PC
      Melbourne, Australia




      ________________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________

      Message: 4
      Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 01:30:02 -0000
      From: "mauk_mcamuk" <mauk2@...>
      Subject: Re: Fwd: [UrbanMaglev] "A Streetcar Named Disaster" HoustonReview
      2/4 (at-grade LRT vs. ..)

      > 3. The claim that light rail reduces traffic congestion has come
      back
      > to bite transit advocates. It clearly doesn't do that, as a visit
      to
      > Tokyo will prove. What it does do is allow people to *opt out* of
      > congestion. Publicity for light rail lines should stress this
      notion.
      >


      This is an amazingly good point. Light rail provides a second,
      complimentary pathway. After enough time has passed, maybe we can
      start retiring the cars from city centers, thus creating carfree
      zones.



      ________________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________

      Message: 5
      Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 21:43:03 -0500
      From: Christopher Miller <christophermiller@...>
      Subject: Follow-up on Houston

      Another forwarded article, with the conclusions of a panel of experts
      that absolve it of design flaws (plus G. W. Bush's plans to veto a
      transportation bill).

      Chris Miller
      Washington DC, USA

      Begin forwarded message:

      > From: MagNews <clew@...>
      > Date: March 9, 2004 1:45:49 PM EST
      > To: UrbanMaglev@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [UrbanMaglev] "Report: Rail design not at fault for rate of
      > wrecks" HoustonChron 3/9 (LRT at-grade vs. ..)
      > Reply-To: UrbanMaglev@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > ".. Experts at the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M
      > University are expected to recommend some minor adjustments to signal
      > timing and signage. .. The high number of collisions on the Main
      > Street
      > line attracted lots of discussion Monday morning at the annual
      > legislative conference of the American Public Transportation
      > Association, the organization that represents transit authorities
      > across the United States. The discussion was sparked in part by a USA
      > Today story published Monday on the line's troubles headlined,
      > "Houston's crash course in light rail."  ..
      >
      > http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/2439643
      >
      > Report: Rail design not at fault for rate of wrecks
      >
      > By LUCAS WALL, Houston Chronicle - Mar 9
      >
      > WASHINGTON -- Houston's Main Street light rail line does not have any
      > fundamental design flaws that would contribute to the high rate of
      > collisions between trains and vehicles, concludes a report by an
      > independent panel of transportation experts to be issued later this
      > week.
      >
      > Metropolitan Transit Authority officials have reviewed part of the
      > report's draft, scheduled to be released at a news conference
      > Thursday.
      > Experts at the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University
      > are expected to recommend some minor adjustments to signal timing and
      > signage. Those suggestions will be in addition to changes Metro has
      > already implemented during the month-long study, including using train
      > horns only in emergencies.
      >
      > "We knew our system had no design flaws but it's always good to have
      > someone else say it," Shirley DeLibero, Metro president and chief
      > executive officer, said Monday at a transit conference here. "We are
      > definitely going to look at their enhancements and implement them
      > before increased service starts."
      >
      > Metro had planned on increasing train frequencies and adjusting bus
      > routes to better tie into the new rail line starting Feb. 15, but
      > postponed the changes until TTI's review was completed. There have
      > been
      > 23 train/vehicle crashes in the past four months, a rate far exceeding
      > that of any other new light rail line in the United States.
      >
      > Metro police cited 22 of the vehicle drivers for traffic infractions
      > that caused the wrecks including illegal left and right turns, running
      > red lights, and failing to yield the right of way when pulling out of
      > a
      > driveway or intersection. Police blamed the other crash on a Union
      > Pacific Railroad employee who bypassed a flashing crossing arm on the
      > test track but are still reviewing what type of citation, if any,
      > should be issued.
      >
      > Some rail critics have said running trains at street level is
      > fundamentally unsafe and should be stopped.
      >
      > The high number of collisions on the Main Street line attracted lots
      > of
      > discussion Monday morning at the annual legislative conference of the
      > American Public Transportation Association, the organization that
      > represents transit authorities across the United States. The
      > discussion
      > was sparked in part by a USA Today story published Monday on the
      > line's
      > troubles headlined, "Houston's crash course in light rail."
      >
      > With Houston the latest city to begin a rail transit system, industry
      > executives are closely watching the safety situation. Several cities
      > have recently started construction of their first light rail lines or
      > are in the design process, including Charlotte, N.C., Minneapolis, and
      > Phoenix, Ariz.
      >
      > Metro also gained attention here Monday with a photo of its new train
      > in The Washington Post, which accompanied a story about the status of
      > the massive six-year transportation reauthorization bill stalled in
      > Congress. That article didn't make reference to the Main Street line's
      > safety problems but rather used it as an example of how rail transit
      > lines are sprouting around the country, making mass-transit funding
      > more appealing to a broader spectrum of House and Senate members.
      >
      > President Bush has threatened to veto the $318 billion highway and
      > transit bill passed by the Senate, however, because of his concern it
      > would expand the federal budget deficit. Bush wants to limit the
      > six-year total, which would also fund dozens of Houston-area road
      > projects, to $256 billion.
      >
      > DeLibero and other Metro executives, board members, and lobbyists are
      > in the nation's capital this week to brief members of Congress and the
      > Federal Transit Administration on the "Metro Solutions"
      > transit-expansion plan, which voters approved in November. It calls
      > for
      > adding 22 miles of light rail by 2012 at a cost of about $1 billion.
      > Metro is counting on the federal government to come up with half that
      > money.
      >
      > The message from Metro to Congress this week is clear, DeLibero said:
      > Finish the six-year reauthorization bill promptly -- the previous
      > legislation expired Sept. 30 and has been temporarily extended through
      > April at existing funding levels -- and do not settle for any amount
      > less than $318 billion.
      >
      > The more money in the pot, the greater chance Metro has at securing
      > the
      > matching funds it needs. The prior bill authorized $218 billion.
      >
      > "Now that we've got the vote approved," DeLibero said in reference to
      > the contentious November referendum, "I hope they really push to help
      > us get those 22 miles complete in time, help us get the federal funds
      > because we are going to need them."
      >
      > Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      > • To visit your group on the web, go to:
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UrbanMaglev/
      >  
      > • To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > UrbanMaglev-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >  
      > • Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
      > Service.
      >
      >

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



      ________________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________

      Message: 6
      Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 03:08:00 -0000
      From: "Matt Hohmeister" <mdh6214@...>
      Subject: Re: Fwd: [UrbanMaglev] "A Streetcar Named Disaster" HoustonReview
      2/4 (at-grade LRT vs. ..)

      This reminds me of New Orleans, where the streetcars of an era past not only
      cross
      streets, but travel in the same lanes as vehicles. In the Garden District, I
      have seen people
      riding bicycles and jogging on the streetcar tracks--knowing, of course, to
      get out of the
      way if they see a streetcar coming. Does anyone have New Orleans accident
      figures?

      Oh--I looked at the list of Houston tram accidents, and saw no pedestrain or
      cyclist
      accidents. Could this be because a pedestrian or cyclist is not belted into
      a seat and can
      more effectively look both ways before crossing the tracks? Just a thought.

      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@c...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi All,
      >
      > Regarding the Houston issue, notice that nearly all the
      > crashes involve cars turning left. The only way to tackle
      > this problem is to forbid all left turns across the
      > tracks, which, I believe, run in a center reservation.
      > Drivers are literally getting blind-sided, and the
      > signalling is always a bit confusing in the case of
      > left-turn-on-arrow-only. Colorblind drivers may be
      > seeing a red arrow and thinking it's green. (I know
      > there aren't supposed to BE colorblind drivers, but
      > I'll bet there are plenty in America, where it's drive
      > or die.)
      >
      > Drivers would get used to the idea that you can NEVER
      > turn left across the tram tracks. Instead, they will
      > have to go around the block and approach straight on,
      > when they will be able to cope with the standard traffic
      > signal, which should see them safely across the tracsk.
      > Their sight lines are good and mirrors aren't needed.
      >
      > If this doesn't work, then they will have to physically
      > block all crossing traffic and provide some over- or
      > underpasses to get cars across the tracks.
      >
      > Remember that in Zurich, the decision was made to get
      > cars off the streets where they were interfering with
      > the trams. Gotta get your priorities straight. This is
      > going to be difficult in Houston.
      >
      > Regards,
      >
      >
      >
      > -- ### --
      >
      > J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      > mailbox@c... http://www.carfree.com



      ________________________________________________________________________
      ________________________________________________________________________

      Message: 7
      Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 04:55:19 -0000
      From: "Nicholas Frank" <anfsyntran@...>
      Subject: Car-free Synergistic Living (1 of 10): Biosystemic Stress Reduction

      Synergistic Living (1 of 10): Biosystemic Stress Reduction

      You can start a Stress-Reduction/Transformation Group: Participants arrange
      their chairs
      in a circle once a week in a group setting to perform a self-assessment of
      their
      biosystemic stress and do non-aerobic exercise, stretching, breathing and
      mental
      conditioning. In addition, participants will do one-minute relaxing,
      refreshing stretches
      and mental exercises several times daily at their desks or workstations...

      Read on at http://www.syntran.org/BoxLinks/StartAGroup/frame.html

      Nicholas Frank
      Los Angeles, CA
      http://www.syntran.org



      ________________________________________________________________________
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    • Doug Salzmann
      ... Hello. You should contact Eric Britton at EcoPlan in Paris: He has been involved in planning and promoting carfree days around
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 10, 2004
      • 0 Attachment
        On Wed, 10 Mar 2004, Damantoro wrote:

        > Hello Everybody....
        >
        > can anyone give me information on type of car free day even that ever held
        > before???

        Hello.

        You should contact Eric Britton at EcoPlan in Paris:

        <eric.britton@...>

        He has been involved in planning and promoting carfree days around the
        world from the beginning.

        Also, see the web site at:

        <http://www.ecoplan.org/carfreeday/cf_index.htm>


        Good luck!


        -Doug Salzmann



        --

        "Anybody who thinks we're going to be using cars twenty-five
        years from now the way we've been accustomed to using them
        in the recent past ought to have his head examined. That
        phase of our national history is over..."

        -James Howard Kunstler
        Home From Nowhere


        ---
        Doug Salzmann
        Kalliergo
        Post Office Box 307
        Corte Madera, CA 94976 USA

        <doug@...>
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