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Re: The strategic context of xTransit

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  • ann_hackett
    Dear Eric, Could the Stockholm Congestion Pricing project use this trial period as an opportunity to become an evolving, data gathering, living laboratory?
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 5, 2006
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      Dear Eric,

      Could the Stockholm Congestion Pricing project use this trial period
      as an opportunity to become an evolving, data gathering, living
      laboratory? They could systematically sample car reduction /
      elimination strategies such as:
      * xTransit
      * the Langeveld option
      * variations of Pico y Plata
      * parking reduction with dedicated bike lanes
      * free bus rides
      * car free days

      Ann Hackett

      --- In xTransit@yahoogroups.com, "Eric Britton" <eric.britton@...>
      > Dear Friends,
      > From some of the echoes I have been getting since we had this new
      > posted, we still have a way to go to make it clear what this is all
      > and how it works. I guess that is to be expected for a concept
      which almost
      > by definition is so new and so still amorphous that it is hard for
      us to get
      > our heads around it. "Is Eric talking about taxis?" If so, we know
      all kinds
      > of things about them that just won't do". "Isn't this just the
      kind of
      > thing that is going to send traditional public carries to the
      grave? If so,
      > we need be very careful".
      > And then if I say "not exactly taxis as you now them" then someone
      will step
      > up and tell us the horror stories that are part of [and here you
      place your
      > favorite developing world xTransit villain/hero (depending on who
      you are),
      > starting with públicos, Colectivos, Peseros, etc.] – regaling us
      > stories of their danger, outlandish behaviour, resistance to
      regulation and
      > oversight, driver incompetence and worse, insouciance, criminality,
      > maintenance, hyper-pollution, pick-pockets, molestation of your
      wife and boy
      > does that list go on.
      > Lots of losers or non-starters too in the historic closet of
      xTransit when
      > people have tried to cross it with state of the arts communications
      > technologies: all those short lived DRT projects which for any of a
      > of reasons failed to find their place in the past.
      > And through it all the steady leitmotif of these carriers putting
      > traditional forms of public transport in jeopardy, in part since
      they steal
      > passengers who should be willing to wait just a bit longer and try
      to get a
      > seat on the bus. And the fact that there are so many of them
      dodging around
      > as they do in the traffic stream that it eats up the room which
      > belong to the deficit financed scheduled services.
      > But all of that is the past, and it's now 2006 and we need to get
      better at
      > moving people swiftly and safely in cities that are street starved.
      There is
      > only one way to go: and that's what we call xTransit.
      > Here to conclude is a new section that appears now on the site
      under the
      > heading: The strategic context of xTransit
      > I invite you to go over these several pages with a fine tooth comb.
      > need to be improved and it is you who are the next part of this
      > Eric Britton
      > PS. Let's not forget. Car owner/drivers are not the enemy. They are
      > customers.
      > "How street space is allocated, priced, and managed tells people
      how to
      > travel".
      > - Michael A. Replogle, Environmental Defense, 5 Jan 2005 and said
      right here
      > A full and proper understanding of the actual context of this thing
      we are
      > calling xTransit is vital to figuring out what if anything to do
      next with
      > this concept and way of helping people to get around in our
      cities, and,
      > yes, small communities as well. Without the context by way of
      > this is only one more of those many ideas, maybe good, maybe bad,
      that we
      > can chat about forever and as the damage from the old dysfunctional
      > continues to mount day after day. But as I hope you know that is
      not what we
      > are trying to do here at the New Mobility Agenda.
      > For a pretty good and fairly detailed introductory overview on the
      > problematique as we see it, we can refer you to the "Here's our
      > opening section of the Kyoto World Cities 20/20 Challenge at
      > www.kyotocities.org <http://www.kyotocities.org/> . But in the
      meantime and
      > with one eye to the clock, what about accepting the following as a
      > good surrogate for the rest when it comes to the
      dysfunctionalities --
      > thereby putting aside for the moment our very real concerns with
      > economic costs, health impacts, taxpayer burden and the long list
      goes on
      > (as you will see if you turn to the full treatment)? But let's
      simply for
      > the purpose of putting xTransit into perspective think about all
      this for
      > now as if the only problem that concerns us immediately is that
      of . . . the
      > (egregious) space requirements of the "old mobility" (that is car-
      > system.
      > The key to the New Mobility Agenda in cities lies in what is
      basically a two
      > pronged approach: (a) aggressive, strategic infrastructure
      management and
      > (b) parallel creation of a wide range of first class, desirable
      > alternatives to the old mobility system which is now to be gently
      moved out
      > of the city (or more realistically be greatly reduced in target
      areas and
      > times), all while being left as a personal option for other
      transport as
      > people may wish. (Bearing in mind that recent studies provide
      evidence that
      > Swiss and German city dwellers who get to work and into the center
      > non-car means, nonetheless for the most part continue to own and
      use own
      > cars for less dense travel and in the off peak).
      > The strategy is to withdraw steadily street space from "normal
      mixed use"
      > and transfer it to more space efficient users, via programs of
      > traffic management, surface treatments and compliance monitoring.
      And this
      > long list runs all the way from people walking and cycling in
      safety to
      > traditional scheduled public transport plying fixed routes. That's a
      > beginning, but is not going to be enough in most cities and their
      > where the actual pattern of origins, destinations, and times of
      > travel has exploded to a point that new means are going to be
      required to
      > cater to at least a portion of this growing total.
      > Which is where xTransit in all its varieties comes in: space
      > transport (that in most cases has yet to be fully developed and put
      > place) that is by dint of load factors a rightful participant user
      of the
      > new high density streets and lanes.
      > That's the broad strategic vision; now for the details.
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