[sustran] World Streets - Weekly digest for 25 October 2010

eric britton eric.britton at ecoplan.org
Mon Oct 25 17:10:46 JST 2010

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click (top right): www.WorldStreets.org  

Op-Ed: Hassaan Ghazali on Public Transport in the Punjab 
This is the first shared posting from India Streets, a sister program to W/S
that is to open for publication on 1 November. At this point the site is
still in Beta. Your visits and comments for improvement are most welcome.
"If you think the NATO oil tankers have a rough time in Pakistan, spare a
thought for the masses which use the local transport system. The manner in
which buses, rickshaws and strange articulated three-wheelers ply on our
roads makes it obvious that there is nothing really ‘public’ about public
transport anymore. We have instead condemned the majority of the population,
many of whom are poor, women and elderly, to a veritable shakedown staged by


"The end of the parking meter" 
This article  by Tom Vanderbilt appeared in yesterday's Wired offering a
readable review of the history of this remarkable American transportation
invention and gift to the world, with good references to Donald Shoup's
monumental "The High Cost of Free Parking" and Paul Barter's Reinventing
Parking blog. Every regular reader of World Streets is well aware that
strategic parking control is one of the key pillars to a city transport
system that is doing its job -- but whether or not the key to this is going
to be the old parking meter, well that we can leave you to judge. 

For your next Car Free Day, go on a diet. 
"When it comes to transport, we've become obese. I mean this in multiple
senses. Our population of vehicles has burgeoned; already around 1 billion
worldwide, it’s expected to double within just 20 years. The vehicle miles
we travel, or VMT, continue to swell; just in the U.S., for instance, VMT
now fluctuates around 250 billion per month – trillions per year – and grows
each month by an average 200 million more. Even our waistlines have expanded
due to excess motor vehicle travel; one study attributes six extra pounds to
the extra driving done by typical suburbanites." 

Commuting your way to divorce 
One of the persistent themes of World Streets is that both the starting and
the ending place for  what is often called "transportation" or
"infrastructure" are not about concrete, steel or rubber, nor
infrastructure, vehicles or even electronics, but people -- ordinary people
like you and me in our day-to-day lives. Here in a short piece by the
behavioral economist Robert Frank that appeared in Saturday's New York Times
is a single paragraph (toward the bottom and conveniently in red here) which
provides  us with one more  trenchant reminder that reminds us of the
importance of starting with people. And the high cost of tailing to do just

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