Pedestrianism among advocates and urban planners in the new, young century has been on the ascent in global cities far and wide, with many pushing for more restrictions on cars in the interests of bipeds and cyclists.
That was part of thinking behind the Shared Streets initiative, a five-hour long event over the weekend. It saw the city demarcate some 60 blocks of Manhattan’s oldest neighbourhood as part of an urban geographical experiment... — the Guardian
Many cities have been trying to go car-less (at least temporarily). For more pedestrian-friendly initiatives, check out these links:Car-free events significantly improve air qualityPrince Charles calls to reclaim the streets from cars with his 10-point “master plan”Humanizing street...
"The idea that you can replace the 10 trips with one autonomous car and travel less distance, that’s the biggest misconception," says Fagnant. "You can get rid of vehicles, but not vehicle miles traveled. Without ridesharing, there's an 8 to 10 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled based on simulations we've run in Austin. You’re not replacing trips [..] the vehicle has to bounce between locations, and relocate to where it’s needed. Those in-between miles will create a lot of extra travel." — curbed.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:How prepared are American cities for the new reality of self-driving cars?The U.S. just got $4 billion to spend on self-driving carsMore Americans are becoming "mega-commuters", U.S. Census stats show
Google said on Monday it bears "some responsibility" after one of its self-driving cars struck a municipal bus in a minor crash earlier this month.
The crash may be the first case of one of its autonomous cars hitting another vehicle and the fault of the self-driving car. [...]
Google said in the filing the autonomous vehicle was traveling at less than 2 miles per hour, while the bus was moving at about 15 miles per hour. — reuters.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:U.S. says computers qualify as drivers in Google's autonomous vehicles; won't even have to go to the DMVThe U.S. just got $4 billion to spend on self-driving carsAdapting self-driving cars to the world of humansDawn of the self-driving car: testing out Tesla's...
Since 2000, the world’s second-largest megacity, Jakarta, has seen its population swell by a staggering 34 percent. Though the city proper is home to just 10 million, the urban zone is home to 30 million [...]
“Jakarta is the largest urban metropolitan area in the world without a metro,” he [Deden Rukmana] says. “And a metro is the most crucial element of transportation for a megacity. There’s no way it can exist otherwise.” — Inverse
Related stories in the Archinect news:Jakarta, already 40% below sea level, is building one of the biggest sea walls on EarthJakarta's "car-free days" are only the start of the city's long journey to becoming bike-friendlyMVRDV-Jerde-Arup Present Peruri 88 for Jakarta, Indonesia
Now in his third year as mayor, the 44-year-old [Eric Garcetti] wants Los Angeles to be “the first postmodern city,” as he tells me, speaking in his art-filled office one morning in October. Throughout the past year, he has made a series of proposals that would fundamentally alter the city by deposing the automobile, which has reigned over Los Angeles for a half-century like a cocksure Third World despot...
Call him the Che Guevara of Southern California infrastructure. — Newsweek
Related:Mayor Eric Garcetti seeks artist to help reduce L.A.'s pedestrian fatalitiesWill Los Angeles be seeing more housing development along its LA River?L.A. Mayor Calls for Mandatory Earthquake RetrofittingGarcetti Calls for 100K New Homes in Los Angeles by 2021Mayor Vows to Make LA More...
For the first two weeks of the year, private cars with even-numbered license plates are allowed on the roads only on even-numbered dates, and those with odd-numbered plates on odd dates. The restrictions have noticeably reduced traffic in a city with 9 million cars, more than double that of a decade ago.
In 2014, the World Health Organization found New Delhi’s air to be the dirtiest of 1,600 cities it studied. Scientists blame the high levels of pollutants [...] for thousands of deaths a year. — latimes.com
Waze sometimes sends drivers through little-used side streets such as Cody Road [in Sherman Oaks, Calif]...Some people try to beat Waze at its own game by sending misinformation about traffic jams and accidents so it will steer commuters elsewhere. Others log in and leave their devices in their cars, hoping Waze will interpret that as a traffic standstill and suggest alternate routes. — The Wall Street Journal
More about Waze on Archinect:Throwback Throughway: when GPS fails, these gorgeous "mental maps" help you navigateWaze takes on the ride-sharing market with new carpooling appArnold Schwarzenegger voices Waze appWaze and its new uneasy bedfellows
between population gains and the popularity of fully self-driving mobility services, we’ll see the total number of vehicle miles grow by 1 trillion. (Half of the 1 trillion it attributes to population growth.) For perspective, U.S. residents drove 3.1 trillion miles in 2014.
KPMG expects this growth to come from trips taken by the very young and very old, who can be immobile only due to their inability to drive. By having access to a self-driving shuttle, a world of opportunity would open up. — washingtonpost.com
We discuss the implications of autonomous vehicles in the built environment with Geoff Manaugh on our latest podcast episode, "In LiDAR We Trust".For more on self-driving vehicles:Tokyo's 2020 Olympics won't have Zaha, but it's looking like there will be "Robot Taxi"Milton Keynes invests in...
Spiffing up materials the city puts out to promote safe driving “is definitely not what this is about,” Reynolds said. “It's going much deeper into the way we think about designing the streets. Art has the power to get people to sit up and pay attention and jolt them out of their normal ways of thinking. We can infuse unexpected elements into the design of the streets and the way of moving through the streets.” — The Los Angeles Times
For more on the (changing) art of street navigation: • What Do Pedestrian Traffic Icons Say About Your Culture?• Los Angeles has Created the Perfect Parking Sign• Seeking identity through city fonts• From California to Texas, car culture is losing its monopoly
The same is happening in other UK cities, which have decided that signal junctions are better for traffic flow and safer for cyclists. [...]
After a century of resistance, US cities are finally learning to love the roundabout – the Bronx just got its first – believing them to be safer and better for traffic flow. [...]
“Traffic lights are so fascist and dictatorial, telling you when to stop and go,” says Beresford. “Roundabouts are quintessentially English and democratic in their etiquette.” — theguardian.com
More from Archinect on street design:Humanizing street design with 'shared space'More roads won't ease traffic, but charging drivers more at peak hours will4,114 Stoplights in Los Angeles and the Intricate Network that Keeps Traffic MovingFrom California to Texas, car culture is losing its monopoly
The future of urban roads may be one where motorists, pedestrians and cyclists act as one. Spaces where these usually segregated members of the population live -- or move -- by the same rules. Most importantly, these rules would be social, not formal, to befit the increasingly popular trend of 'shared space'.
"Shared space breaks the principle of segregation," says Ben Hamilton-Baillie, a street designer who [...] brought these spaces to the U.K., which now hosts more than any other country. — cnn.com
Related on Archinect:MIT's "Placelet" sensors technologize old-fashioned observation methods for placemakingDriving in the US is coming to a standstill, and that's a good thingNY Mayor de Blasio's Times Square overhaul runs into massive opposition
For those who assume Los Angeles has the worst traffic in the United States: Not so fast.
Drivers in Southern California spent a whopping 80 hours sitting in traffic in 2014, according to a new report by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and the traffic data company Inrix.
But the city with the dubious distinction of most time lost behind the wheel is Washington, D.C., researchers say, where commuters clocked 82 hours of delays in a single year. — latimes.com
Other metro areas snatching top spots according to the 2015 Urban Mobility Scorecard report:San Francisco-Oakland CA (78 hours)New York-Newark NY-NJ-CT (74 hours)San Jose CA (67 hours)Boston MA-NH-RI (64 hours)
The L.A.-Waze partnership is, at least in theory, an initial step toward allowing the city’s planners and engineers to regain a healthier role in mediating the kinds of longstanding cross-town conflicts that Waze has renewed and amplified. Whether the deal will help to resolve fundamental long-term issues related to the city’s growth and inadequate infrastructure is another matter. — newyorker.com
The Federal Highway Administration has very quietly acknowledged that the driving boom is over. [...]
the agency’s more recent forecast finally recognizes that the protracted post-World War II era has given way to a different paradigm.
The new vision of the future suggests that driving per capita will essentially remain flat in the future. The benchmark is important because excessively high estimates of future driving volume get used to justify wasteful spending on new and wider highways. — usa.streetsblog.org
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
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