Welcome to Oslo! NO PARKING.
More and more European cities are effectively banning automobiles from their city centers — and it seems to be working out just fine for local businesses. The cities are "discovering that restoring these historic spaces to their pre-automobile states is as good for tourism, local business, and overall civic contentedness as it is for air quality and a shrinking carbon footprint."
What happened when Oslo decided to make its downtown basically car-free?
It was a huge success: Parking spots are now bike lanes, transit is fast and easy, and the streets (and local businesses) are full of people. To help support the shift, the city made “massive improvements in public transport and making cycling safe and comfortable,” says Rune Gjøs, Oslo’s head of cycling.
Fast Company, 24/01/2019
The Transcendent Incompetence of the L Train Fiasco
Fascinating case study of how projects can move forward with no-one actually questioning anything. This is an issue with many BRT projects. "In all walks of life — engineering, politics, transportation — there is a fine line between the earned wisdom of experience and the toxic self-regard of a credentialed rut."
New York Times, 12/01/2019
Scooter Companies vs. the Regulators
Regulators vs dockless mobility: it's what drove Mobike and Ofo into the ground in Guangzhou, and the experience is also familiar in the US.
Shenzhen's silent revolution: world's first fully electric bus fleet quietens Chinese megacity
Interesting though uncritical take on bus fleet electrification in Shenzhen, headlining the noise reduction benefits. Bus frequency is very high even in off-peak periods, with near empty electric buses ubiquitous in off-peak periods, providing an impressive level of passenger service. However, Shenzhen still does not manage to provide any real-time information on bus arrivals at bus stops, and the city does not provide any significant on-street bus priority anywhere, and the benefits of high bus frequency have nothing to do with electrification. The article does clear up one mystery: why such extremely high off-peak frequency even where buses are near empty? Evidently a large subsidy requires buses to meet operational-km targets. Our proposal for Shenzhen's next step forward for its 100% electric bus fleet? Implement BRT or meaningful bus priority and provide real-time bus arrival information for passengers at bus stops.
Sydney's new 80km walk to be most spectacular in the world
"It was an act of imagination to have Sydneysiders understand the scale of public land around the harbour. The idea that you can walk from Bondi to Manly is a reality now". The multi-day walk would become a "major tourist attraction". It would be as good if not better than the world's great walking trails including North America's Appalachian Trail, the Camino de Santiago in France and Spain, and Cinque Terra in Italy. Together with federal and state government agencies, six related mayors agreed to link existing coastal and harbour-side walking tracks and paths, and erect consistent signs and directions. About 60 km of the trail is on public land. The rest will be on footpaths, including near Point Piper, Darling Point and Potts Point.
Sydney Morning Herald, 26/11/2018
Milking Scooters for Cash Helps Cities Build for the Future
"In Austin, officials are charging companies $100 a bike or scooter during its experimental phase, and could raise tens of thousands annually. Mobility startups operating in Santa Monica, California, have shelled out a $20,000 each for the right to operate, plus $130 per each device on the street, plus $1 per device per day for the privilege of parking on the public sidewalk. (That last charge is modeled off the way the city charges restaurants for outdoor dining.) Participants’ in Los Angeles’ soon-to-launch scooter and bike program will have a similar setup. Portland, Oregon, meanwhile, is charging the companies operating there a 25-cent per trip fee."
Cities on the World Stage: A ‘superblock’ design that inspires more like it
Superblocks to the rescue? "The Superblock has the potential to address a number of urban priorities, including air quality, noise pollution, public health and social isolation. Barcelona’s leadership and ambition with the Superblock is refreshing, and others around the world are taking notice."
成都正在打造“轨道+公交+慢行”绿色交通体系，未来成都将打造 “9廊27线216片”自行车网络，规划自行车道共计4315公里。“9廊”为自行车专用道网络，规划里程共计300公里。“27线”为自行车主通道，规划里程共计468公里。“216片”为自行车优先道 网络，规划里程共计885公里。
China UTC, 30/09/2018
Robert Venturi: the bad-taste architect who took a sledgehammer to modernism
Robert Venturi, author of one of the 20th Century's best books on architecture, 'Learning from Las Vegas', has died. The Guardian: "Venturi was one of the most influential figures in 20th-century architecture, taking an erudite sledgehammer to the dogmas of modernism and arguing for a world that embraced history, diversity and humour."
The Guardian, 20/09/2018
The complex sets of inputs required for quantifying induced demand—including local economic and demographic conditions, the quality and availability of alternative transportation options, and the decision-making processes of thousands of individual actors—leave plenty of room for interpretation.
See No Evil
An article explaining the robustness of supply chains. 'Tributaries' rather than 'chains'. ... "In some sense all gold is the same, so you just buy the cheapest gold you can get. But if you look at it in another way, it matters how it was mined and transported. And then all of the sudden, every piece of gold is a little bit different."
Miriam Posner, Logic Magazine, 11/08/2018
A Once-Maligned Concrete Megastructure in Seoul is Revitalized—Sans Gentrification
A focus on infill and re-use is example for some of the largely abandoned areas in cities like Ji'an, China. "Now, thanks to the Remaking Sewoon Project, which Seoul mayor Park Won-soon spearheaded in 2015, Sewoon Sangga is poised as an adaptive- reuse success story in the city’s post–2008 recession efforts to improve walkability, connect communities, and nurture creative growth."
Secret document warns vision for Sydney's light rail ignored realities
A 'Lessons for Light Rail' report says the project for a light rail from Sydney's CBD to the eastern suburbs should have had a more detailed design process with a longer evaluation and negotiation period. The report notes that "Visions were promoted before understanding the real constraints of the project - the underground utilities and drainage."
China made solar panels cheap. Now it’s doing the same for electric buses.
"Battery electric buses are still a nascent technology; they haven’t hit the steep upward slope of the S-curve yet. For city and county authorities, the decision between BEBs and diesel or natural gas buses is still agonizingly difficult, involving considerations about infrastructure, interoperability, lock-in, and lifecycle analysis that are new to many of them. So the market needs a kick in the pants to really get moving. And it looks like China is providing it."
Apartment buildings are illegal to build in 73.5% of San Francisco
"Apartment building" is defined to be a building with 3 or more homes. It is illegal to build a building with more than 5 homes in 87% of San Francisco. Many apartment buildings already exist in the red and orange areas but would be illegal to build today.
vadimg (data SF Gov, code Github), 19/07/2018
Madrid Takes Its Car Ban to the Next Level
Following an announcement this week, the Spanish capital confirmed that, starting in November, all non-resident vehicles will be barred from a zone that covers the entirety of Madrid’s center. The only vehicles that will be allowed in this zone are cars that belong to residents who live there, zero-emissions delivery vehicles, taxis, and public transit.
Chicago Parking Meter Lease Slow-Motion Train Wreck Only Has 65 More Years to Go
Chicago’s parking meter system raked in $134.2 million last year, putting private investors on pace to recoup their entire $1.16 billion investment by 2021 with 62 years to go in the lease, the latest annual audit shows. Chicago has converted what used to be $23.8 million in annual revenues for the city and turned it into a $21.7 million expense.
China's top national economic planner has issued guidelines specifying that land around high speed rail stations earmarked for development should not on average exceed 50 hectares, although for a small number of stations, that figure goes to up to 100 ha. The NDRC said that new high-speed railway lines should not lead to the partitioning of cities; stations should be located within, or as near as possible to, central urban areas for convenience of passengers; and buildings should not be ostentatious, grandiose projects. Unfortunately, the horse has bolted and these guidelines probably should have been provided a decade ago.
Electric Buses Are Hurting the Oil Industry
China had about 99 percent of the 385,000 electric buses on the roads worldwide in 2017, accounting for 17 percent of the country’s entire fleet. Every five weeks, Chinese cities add 9,500 of the zero-emissions transporters—the equivalent of London’s entire working fleet, according Bloomberg New Energy Finance. For every 1,000 battery-powered buses on the road, about 500 barrels a day of diesel fuel will be displaced from the market.
The Real Reason Your Local Mall is Failing
"And we should also recognize where our wealth really comes from. It comes from our downtown and our core neighborhoods (those within walking distance of the downtown). It certainly doesn't come from people driving through those places. It doesn't come from people commuting in. It doesn't come from tourists or developers or the potential of land development out on the edge."
Strong Towns, 23/04/2018
THE DISGRACEFUL DOCKLESS DRAMA: WHAT DOCKLESS BIKES/SCOOTERS ARE EXPOSING
"For the first time, scooters and bikes, the absolute rockstars of urban mobility, have started coming close to enjoying a similar user experience as cars: the convenient user experience of go anywhere, park anywhere. If cities allow and mandate that we be able to park cars everywhere, why shouldn’t bikes have the same convenience? Especially considering they require 10 times less space than cars and offer enormous efficiency, environmental, cost, and health benefits."
Have A Go, 18/04/2018
The Strange Beauty Of Brutalist Architecture, Mid-Demolition
The average age of a building being demolished in the 1950s was 111 years [...] By the early 2000s, the age was down to 60 years. That number seems to still be dropping: another study pegged the age of some demolished buildings at less than 50 years.
Transit retail hitting the mark as train stations multiply
"Transit hubs, like hospitals and airports, are the new frontiers for retailers... Sydney Metro Northwest are planning to deliver retail offerings that are station specific and complementary to the broader newly created station precinct and retail already on offer in the immediate area."
Sydney Morning Herald, 07/04/2018
财经网 Caijing, 02/04/2018
Paris Offers Sweet Incentives to Ditch Your Car for a Bike
The city will reimburse residents who buy e-bikes and cargo bikes by up to €600. A better bet for cities than massive electric car subsidies that do nothing to address congestion issues?
California's Love of Cars Is Fueling Its Housing Crisis
Adding an above-ground parking spot costs $27,000, just for construction, while an underground space runs around $35,000, according to Donald Shoup in 2014.
Highrise car parks to be banned in drive to improve city streetscapes
Underground car parking would be the only type allowed in most city apartment and office developments, under new rules being considered by Melbourne City Council. Many additional streetscape-improving policies are being planned.
The Age, 15/02/2018
China’s SUV Sales Rise Sharply, Underpin Gasoline Demand
SUVs now account for 40 percent of the country’s passenger vehicle market, up from 17 percent in 2013.
The Fuse, 02/02/2018
These maps reveal the truth about population density across Europe
Simply dividing the number of people by the land area of a country is not always the best way to understand population density.
Didi has a brilliant plan to contain the threat of China’s bike-sharing services
By introducing its own bike sharing service inside its own app, Didi aims to tame Ofo and Bluegogo. It wants them to exist as features inside its app, rather than develop services that could challenge Didi’s dominance.
Why experts believe cheaper, better lidar is right around the corner
Lidar used to cost $75,000, but the price may fall to $100. Like radar, lidar scanners can measure distances with high accuracy. Some lidar sensors can even measure velocity, and lidar provides high resolution and works about as well in any lighting.
Ars Technica, 01/01/2018
Empty Buses Allegedly Help Automaker Get Its Hands On Electric Car Subsidies
A national rule compels carmakers to prove that a customer has driven a new-energy car at least 30,000 km on the road before the manufacturer can apply for a subsidy for it.
London's Oxford Street could be traffic-free by December 2018, says mayor
Large parts of London's Oxford Street could be pedestrianised by December 2018, under plans put forward by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
London Overground is experimenting with telling passengers which bits of the next train is busiest
Can the same be done for BRT buses on high frequency lines?
Amsterdam Rethinks the Traffic Light’s Role in City Planning
“In the end, traffic light infrastructure is an infrastructure for cars, not an infrastructure for people on bikes and people walking. In locations with high levels of people on bikes and people walking, traffic lights maybe aren’t appropriate.”
Next City, 05/10/2017
UK is on the road to a cycling revolution
Mobike and the other new arrivals, Ofo, OBike and Urbo, find themselves in harmony with the UK government's health and transportation plans.
China Daily, 30/09/2017
More showers, lockers for workers who cycle to office could be a reality, with grant extension
Singapore transport authority funds construction of facilities, Travel Smart Rewards, and Travel Smart Consultancy Vouchers
Straits Times, 29/09/2017
Tfl plans to make £322m by collecting data from passengers' mobiles via Tube Wi-Fi
TfL in 2016 ran a pilot which tracked Wi-Fi signals from 5.6 million phones as people moved around the London Underground, even if they weren't connected to a Wi-Fi network. It is now in consultation about tracking passengers on a permanent basis.
Sky News, 27/09/2017
Bike-sharing schemes might seem like a waste of space but the economics makes sense
The economic models behind dockless bike share schemes actually have as much to do with data mining, advertising and turning a profit from interest on the deposits as from the bike rental itself.
The Conversation, 19/09/2017
Build it and they will come? Why Britain's 1960s cycling revolution flopped
“If the reasons for Stevenage’s failure to encourage cycling were that it was too easy to drive, then no amount of investment in marketing the town’s cycling facilities would have changed travel behaviour.”
The Guardian, 19/09/2017