Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sustainable Car-Free Cites

Photo Credit: Crawford, Carfree Times

As Paris France prepares to host serious discussions on climate disruption at the climate summit in December, the Carfree Times is promoting their film to promote awareness and topics on sustainable urban living. Among the topics:

  • Car-free Cities
  • Transport
  • Energy
  • Food & Fiber
  • Water with Healthbridge Canada and Building a Better Bangladesh premeired the 53 minute film in Dhaka Bangladesh and Kathmandu Nepal 13 August 2015. Watch "Recovering from Disruption: A Comprehensive Approach to Building a Sustainable World"
Vimo format here (recommended)
YouTube format here (popular)
See postcards of car-free cities Madrid, Dublin, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Helsinki and soon Paris France at the Carfree Times here.    

Attention NIMBY's:  prepare to duck and cover.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Transport Space Required (Retold)

Q: How should 200 people commute best?
A: Use the best tool for the job.

See transportation solutions from the Seattle Commuter Toolkit here.

The Washington Post animated the Commuter Toolkit here.

Monday, August 10, 2015

LA Council Votes for Vision Zero
UPDATE:  LA City Council vote 12-2 approves their Mobility Plan 2035. The automobile is no longer king in Los Angeles. "People were strong-armed into automobiles but no longer" - Council member Mike Bonin.

Next the Plan goes to Mayor Eric Garcetti for approval. 

Tuesday August 11 the LA City Council votes to approve the new mobility plan for the city of Los Angeles that includes Vision Zero - a program to abolish traffic fatalities by 2025. The overall intent of the plan is to reduce Angelinos reliance on the automobile for transportation.  The plan was approved in a preliminary council vote on 4 August and cleared for the vote tomorrow. This document replaces the existing LA Circulation Element, the transportation component of the city's General Plan. Laguna's Circulation Element was last updated in 1998, as an exercise a working document was prepared but with no intention to update the General Plan.

Hear audio coverage of this development at KPCC Radio 89.3 FM here.

The Los Angeles Mobility Plan 2035 is arranged in these sections:

Pedestrian Enhanced Destination Areas - identifies high pedestrian concentration areas and their proximity to transit

Transit Enhanced Network - prioritizes improvements for increasing mode share of auto alternatives at the expense of driving mode share

Bicycle Enhanced Network - a 180-mile street network for prioritized bike mode share including bike lanes and cycle tracks

Vehicle Enhanced Network - identifies 79 miles of heavy regional traffic slated for more infrastructure, active enforcement, limited parking and active monitoring to optimize traffic flow

The document calls for an additional 300 miles of protected bike lanes separated from traffic by curbs or other physical barriers. It identifies 117 miles of new bus-only lanes and another 120 miles of streets where bus-only lanes would operate during rush hour.

Mobility Plan 2035 also adopts the commitment to Vision Zero adopted by a growing number of European and US cities.

Vision Zero - a bold commitment to traffic safety with zero tolerance for cyclist and pedestrian fatalities due to traffic by 2025.

StreetBlog LA says it this way: "Vision Zero is a transportation planning, law enforcement, and planning project started in Sweden in 1997. The goal is simple: eradicate traffic fatalities. Any traffic fatality is one too many. Every decision involving transportation, from how wide a road should be to how to target traffic enforcement efforts, must meet the goal of making the streets safer for all road users."

Statistics show three of every 100,000 Swedes die in traffic crashes every year, 5.5 per 100,000 across the European Union and 11.4 in the USA. The US has three times the number of per capita fatalities as Sweden.

LA Walks specifies the mission strategy for Vision Zero this way: 
Freedom to Move
The Human Factor
The Vision Zero Initiative

The planning process has not been without controversy. Major issues raised over the mobility plan written by David Zanhiser, Los Angeles Times:

  • The measure of traffic congestion, the means to alleviate it and the criteria for success is not in the domain of automobiles exclusively.
  • The environmental impact report concludes the plan's projects would increase congestion, noise and cause cut-through traffic in residential neighborhoods.
  • Road user behavior is changing, generations of people under age 35 choose to live car free and car-lite. 
  • More scrutiny is anticipated to ensure emergency vehicle access.
  • L.A. officials say the mobility plan is an acknowledgment the city can't build its way out of congestion problems.
  •  "A paradigm shift of this kind often causes growing pains," said Connie Llanos, spokeswoman for Mayor Eric Garcetti, who supports the mobility plan. "But the long-term benefits outweigh the impacts."
Hear audio coverage of this development at KPCC Radio 89.3 FM here.

Transportation Alternatives of NYC invites you to sign a petition to change motor vehicle 'accidents' to 'crashes', that would change the way law enforcement and the insurance industry treats collisions with pedestrians and bike riders.

Friday, August 7, 2015

CicLAvia is SUNDAY!

The best way to introduce your community to Complete Streets Policy is experiencing the CicLAvia, Adonia Lugo PhD, Urban Anthropologist, Urban Adonia. 

The Culver meets Venice CicLAvia is Sunday August 9, 2015.

This six mile route connects Culver to the beach and back, 9am to 4pm Sunday.

See the route map and information page here
See the CicLAvia FAQ page here.