Most American cities paved over their streetcar tracks decades ago, deeming the services slow, rickety and inconvenient. Commuters have long preferred cars and buses. But streetcars—sometimes known as trolleys or trams—are making a comeback. Services are rolling out in at least 16 American cities, with dozens more in the works [...] The relationship between streetcars and development is not clear, say researchers funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). — the Economist
Marshall, Garrick and Piatkowski are talking about a different set of health concerns: not communicable diseases like cholera, but lifestyle diseases like diabetes. "The literature suggests," they write, "that the shift in industrialized nations toward a more sedentary lifestyle is linked to increasingly auto-dependent lifestyles, which in turn is linked to lower density developments and auto-friendly land uses." Maybe we're designing places, in other words, that make it harder to be active. — washingtonpost.com
I see nothing wrong with replacing the hegemony of cars with the hegemony I am proposing, of bikes. Those who need buses would be no worse off than they are now. But a problem would come if a city like Amsterdam had a bike modal share of 90 percent, as could achieved if end-of-trip strategies were built into all buildings to eliminate the problem of bike theft, and if shelter removed the inequity of cycling being the one mode remaining where people get wet. — cycle-space.com
Central Atlanta Progress, a nonprofit corporation of Atlanta business leaders, has released the documents from a recent assessment of Downtown Atlanta parking. They include reports on the existing parking situation and recommendations for “improving the customer parking experience in Downtown Atlanta.” [...]
The first sting was felt when I read this nugget from the report:
A person’s first and last impression of a city begins and ends with parking.
Ouch! I beg to differ. — ATL Urbanist
With so many crossovers in private operations, public data, and private uses, our future transit agency would blur the line between public and private sectors in a way we haven’t yet pioneered. The challenge is one of governance, bureaucratic turf, organizational development, planning, and public policy, not simply one of technology. Technology is just a tool, and our human institutions can either make use of it or try to ignore it. — urbanomnibus.net
It’s been named one of the top “Freeways Without Futures” in the nation and described as a “perfect example of obsolete infrastructure.” [...]
Now, nearly half a decade later, the project to remove a large portion of the Terminal Island (TI) Freeway in West Long Beach has officially gone out to bid in an RFP with an estimated bid value of $225K. It marks a major event in Southern California’s urban design history, being the first freeway removal project [...]. — longbeachize.com
Houston’s Bayou Greenways plan is perhaps the largest active transportation project in the country right now — if residents can actually use it for transportation when it’s completed.
Jen Powis of the Houston Parks Board has described the greenway project as a cross between the Atlanta Beltline and the Portland Bike Master Plan, which “re-envisions transportation” in the city. — usa.streetsblog.org
The story of Boyle Heights reminds us that urban highway teardowns don't always end in victory. [...]
"What we don't know, however, is the story of the losers, the urban men and women who fought the freeway, unsuccessfully, on the conventional terms of political struggle, who weren't able to pack up and move on, and who channeled expressive cultural traditions to register their grievances against the presence of unwanted infrastructure." — citylab.com
[Helsinki] has announced plans to transform its existing public transport network into a comprehensive, point-to-point "mobility on demand" system by 2025 ... allowing people to purchase mobility in real time, straight from their smartphones. [...]
Subscribers would specify an origin and a destination, and ... the app would then function as both journey planner and universal payment platform, knitting everything from driverless cars and nimble little buses to shared bikes and ferries — theguardian.com
Where apps and mass transit collide, commuters struggle most with coordination. Now, with so many different forms of transit, both public and privately mediated, commuters (and cities) need navigation tools that compare all options for them. Making this as accessible as possible, as Helsinki is...
[...] tech guru and multimillionaire Tim Draper has put forth a plan which will solve the ills of the state by – wait for it – splitting it into six smaller states! This “Six Californias” plan [...], as you might expect, divides the state into six smaller chunks, maintaining county lines. [...]
But there’s another reason to oppose the plan that few people are talking about: it would do damage to the state’s transportation systems, especially mass transit. — thisbigcity.net
In June, the “Innovation in Mobility Public Policy Summit,” sponsored by the Association for Commuter Transportation, Transportation Sustainability Research Center, Mobility Lab, Transit Center, and Shared-Use Mobility Center, brought together a range of participants to discuss these themes in Washington, DC. — urbanomnibus.net
At the summit, elected officials, transportation entrepreneurs, academics, and developers engaged with a number of questions including, “What are new ways of solving urban mobility problems? How can we better design systems to address the needs of the public? Who should be engaged to make this...
Officials in Tel Aviv, Israel, announced this week that the long-anticipated skyTran system should be up and running by the end of 2015. Tel Aviv — globally famous for its terminally congested traffic — will serve as the pilot program for planned systems in Europe, India and the United States. [...]
Call up a sky car on your smart phone and the pod-shaped vehicle will pick you up at a designated station and whisk you off to any other station on the system. — news.discovery.com
“The future — of a walkable, transit-friendly Los Angeles — is being built right now,” the report says. “It will allow people to drive everywhere they want, assuming they can put up with the traffic, and provide the option of walkable urbanism for those who want it.” — latimes.com
You can’t build your way out of congestion. It’s the roads themselves that cause traffic. The concept is called induced demand, which is economist-speak for when increasing the supply of something (like roads) makes people want that thing even more. [...]
What [economists] Turner and Duranton (and many others who’d like to see more rational transportation policy) actually advocate is known as congestion pricing. This means raising the price of driving on a road when demand is high. — wired.com
The wisdom of surrounding transit stations with "seas" of park-and-ride lots may be turning. In theory, park-and-ride seems like a great transportation compromise, converting full-trip drivers into part-trip riders. In practice, the opposite often occurs, with former non-drivers now commuting part of the way by car.
That unexpected practical shift can increase vehicle miles traveled in a metro area, subverting the sustainability goal of transit. — citylab.com
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