That prized garage space or curbside spot you’ve been yearning for may be costing you—and the city—in ways you never realized. A journey into the world of parking, where meter maids are under siege, everybody’s on the take, and the tickets keep on coming
[Source: Los Angeles magazine]
I haven’t lived in an American city yet which has parking problems but I have heard that availability of a parking spot is often the deciding factor in where you live in the city. But even with an assured spot, you can still not be worry-free.
Unfortunately the system in most cities in India is broken, and most notably so in Chennai. The government-mandated meter is never switched on, and the passenger has to negotiate the fare upfront before boarding. Residents of the city consider the system to be highly overpriced, and a significant section doesn’t even venture to travel by it. In Bangalore and Mumbai, rickshaws refuse to ply to areas from where they are unlikely to get onward passengers, and in a number of cities, it is rumoured that the number of autos on the road far exceeds the number of licenses issued.
Reforming any form of dispersed and piecemeal transportation utilities is a gargantuan task in India.
[Link to A Fair Auto Fare]
The source of the disconnect between San Francisco's transit-first heart and its car-centric hand is an arcane engineering measure called "level of service," or LOS. In brief, LOS suggests that whenever the city wants to change some element of a street — say by adding a bike lane or even just painting a crosswalk — it should calculate the effect that change will have on car traffic. If the change produces too much congestion, then a great deal of time, money, and additional analysis must go toward the project's consideration.
[Link to The Transportation Planning Rule Every City Should Reform]
IN the future, perhaps our time will be known as the first decade of the Bicycle Wars, with righteous armies fighting over traffic lanes, bike paths and sidewalks, indeed over the very purpose of the streets themselves. Like many wars, it’s a question of territory, and the pedestrian has been losing for years.
[Link to The Pedestrian Loses the Way]
In addition to the typical traffic congestion caused by daily commutes and gridlock from construction and accidents, reports have estimated that over 30 percent of traffic in a city is caused by drivers searching for a parking spot.
[Link to IBM Global Parking Survey: Drivers Share Worldwide Parking Woes]
Overall we find that bicycling infrastructure creates the most jobs for a given level of spending: For each $1 million, the cycling projects in this study create a total of 11.4 jobs within the state where the project is located. Pedestrian-only projects create an average of about 10 jobs per $1 million and multi-use trails create nearly as many, at 9.6 jobs per $1 million. Infrastructure that combines road construction with pedestrian and bicycle facilities creates slightly fewer jobs for the same amount of spending, and road-only projects create the least, with a total of 7.8 jobs per $1 million.
[Link to Pedestrian and Bicycle Infrastructure: A National Study of Employment Impacts]
“The study shows a 20 percent overall reduction in travel time compared to similar intersections that use conventional traffic designs,” says Dr. Joe Hummer, professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State and one of the researchers who conducted the study. “We also found that superstreet intersections experience an average of 46 percent fewer reported automobile collisions – and 63 percent fewer collisions that result in personal injury.”
[Link to No Left Turn: ‘Superstreet’ Traffic Design Improves Travel Time, Safety]
Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized.
We are integrating the needs of bicyclists in federally-funded road projects. We are discouraging transportation investments that negatively affect cyclists and pedestrians. And we are encouraging investments that go beyond the minimum requirements and provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.
The U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray Lahood announced a major shift in policy and attitude toward making urban transit bike-friendly.