Monday, May 5, 2014

The Road to Free Public Transit and Fewer Cars

English: Paris, France : station Velib (bike h...
English: Paris, France : station Velib (bike hire service) Place de la Bastille Français : Station Vélib (Système de prêt de vélo) Place de la Bastille, Paris France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we review a short editorial by Eric Britton’s blog from Paris. He reminds us that the transition from a car addicted sprawled city to one with free public transit and much fewer cars has to be approached in a strategic way through enforcement of regulations and plans that allow or encourage speeding and by planning an urban form that encourages cycling and walking and public transit. At least 5 of the 13 specific measures suggested are needed before proceeding to free public transit along with a clear and public declaration of these steps. Cities such as Paris with its Velib bike sharing program, and Stockholm with its sophisticated congestion charging system, demonstrate how change is possible. Bottom line is for voters to support candidates for City Council who support these measures.

Key Quotes: 

Some steps toward a car freer city: 
• “Strategic parking policy/control/reductions 
• Speed reductions throughout the city and on incoming roads (15/30/50 kph) 
• Systematic reallocation of street space presently available to cars, 
Road user charges for cars entering built-up areas 
• And never never never build new or expand existing infrastructure to permit greater throughput or higher speeds for private cars.” 

“Any FPT project also needs to be reinforced by a carefully thought out program of incentives and improvements for non-motorized transport in all its many forms. Positive incentives such as Park+Ride, carsharing of course, ridesharing, and the full range of affordable new mobility services.”  
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