Ground-up Transportation
In Belize hitch hiking is mainstream and a very accepted carpooling system of sharing transportation in a country where most do not own cars

In Belize hitch hiking is mainstream and a very accepted carpooling system of sharing transportation in a country where most do not own cars

 

 

Cycling, good for the health of our cities and ourselves

In Brooklyn cycling is an easy and agile way to get around, good for the health of our cities and ourselves

Refurbished school buses serve as public transportation in Belize

Refurbished school buses serve as public transportation in Belize

Subways are the fastest and most efficient way to move thousands, daily through our cities

Subways are the fastest and most efficient way to move thousands, daily through Brooklyn and NYC

 

Photography Credit:  Aminah Ricks

Cycling Creates Currency

Urban cycling supports sustainable cities and ensures the health of its city-zens.  Yet at times it comes up in controversial conversations as well, such as cycling vs car lanes, helmet regulations, you get the idea.

Our friends at Momentum Mag propose yet another benefit of urban cycling to consider that is purely about dollars and cents.  They suggest a positive correlation between the presence of city cyclists and upticks in the economies of local shops.

An example is an art gallery owner in Memphis, Pat Brown, who pinned her hopes on “community members who were determined to transform Broad Avenue from a fast-moving thoroughfare, where traffic whizzed past boarded-up storefronts at 50 mph (80 km/h), into a bustling arts district”.

The local nonprofit group Livable Memphis, together with the Broad Avenue Arts District, put in a temporary cycling lane that ran down the street in front of her gallery.  After the protected bike lane opened, a local art walk that typically drew only 1,000 people attracted 15,000.  How’s that for thriving, not just surviving in these tough economic times.

And this trend is worldwide. Momentum reports “Researchers in Muenster, Germany suggest that because bicyclists buy smaller quantities and thus shop more frequently, they’re exposed more often to temptation – more likely to get extra items that aren’t on the shopping list. So it’s not surprising that a survey of 1,200 consumers in Bern, Switzerland, found that businesses made more profit per square meter of bike parking ($9,900 per year) than car parking ($8,800).”

Cycling with its slower travel patterns through commercial areas, economically benefits local businesses.  Sometimes, two wheels are better than four!

 

Photo Credit: Momentum Mag

Using Our Feet for Transport – Walk Your City

Walk [Your City] wants to encourage all city residents to get to know their city via their feet, therefore making cities more accessible and affordable for everyone.

“Want to get more feet on the street? Here are the tools you’ll need to plan, create, and install an effective Walk [Your City] campaign, tailored to your goals and community context.” Here’s a page on how to get started

Photo Credit: Emerson-Alecrim in San Paolo, Brazil

All Aboard the Mollie Bus!

You are in the mood to grocery shop. . . but not in the mood to figure out if you should drive, bike or take public transportation?

In San Francisco, there is an initiative that takes this question, out of the equation.

Mollie Stone’s chain of grocery stores has launched the Mollie Bus, a free service that takes you home from the grocery store, to your front door.

On their website, this is how they describe this alternative transport:

Here’s how it works:

  1. You catch it in front of the store.
  2. Your receipt is your bus ticket.  Just get on with your bag, and you’re on your way.
  3. It takes you to your doorstep.  Just tell the driver where you live.
  4. Please remember, it’s not a taxi.  It takes you home, but it won’t pick you up.

We think this is an idea worth replicating.

 

Photography Credit: Aminah Ricks

Walk Score – What is yours?

No two cities are alike.  Neither are all the neighborhoods within each city.  Going further, depending on your particular address within a neighborhood, your walkability and ease of access to public transportation, the grocery store, bank and favorite coffee shop determine your quality of life or lack thereof.

Walk Score is an impressive algorithm that generates a score of walkability by address.  If you live in Canada, Australia or the United States, all you have to do is plug in your location.  Find out if you live in a Walkers Paradise now.

Visit Walk Score

Public Transportation Fail – Detroiter walks 21 miles a day for work

Imagine walking almost the equivalent of a marathon, each day, back and forth to work.  James Robertson, 56 year old, does just that while living in Detroit.  After problems with his car, he had to resort to a short bus ride plus a long walk to maintain his employment with a factory outside of town.

Share your tough or easy commute story.  We want to know how your city serves you daily, please feel free to comment below.

B9315852091Z.1_20150131173627_000_GHB9QTH3A.1-0                                                     Photo and image courtesy of Detroit Free Press

Read the Detroit Free Press’s article written by Bill Laitner.  Discover how a failure in public transportation affects so many, on a daily basis with limited bus routes and no other options for those who cannot afford a car.

Mobility & Urbanization Policies in France

Everywhere in Europe, the preoccupation of the day is how to upgrade transportation infrastructure and adopt policies to meet the demand of a growing urban population. Multi-modal mobility schemes are becoming the urban planning paradigm through which Europe seeks to meet these challenges while also responding to pressure on being efficient and sustainable with energy use to fight climate change.

The policies in transportation planning and network development are as diverse as are the member countries of the European Union. The common European goal is to facilitate and provide easy access to mass transportation to citizens while maximizing energy and drastically cutting emissions of CO2.

This article focuses on mass transit planning and development patterns in France. The French scheme seeks to face the same major challenges that most world’s large metropolis face: congestion, pollution, aging of infrastructure, cost and greening the source of energy. Transportation in France is responsible for a third of greenhouse gas emissions. Paris is among world’s cities that have a high toll of air pollution.

The Multi-modal Mobility, what are we talking about?

In France and elsewhere this policy in transport functions through the prism of multi-modal modality.  A general definition is the ease and efficiency of route in which individuals and goods get from point A to point B using two or more modes of transportation on a continuous network with the slightest interruption.

Here we are concerned with urban mobility in France and in particular the basin of life (metropolitan area) of Ile de France. Therefore, multi-modal transport schemes mean that mass transit systems provide various modes of sharing systems, hubs, relays points where one can hop on a bus, light rail, train or bicycle.

In the Parisian Metropolitan area, the challenge is to make the transportation network and system work with fluidity, efficiently, proximity and accessibility to all.  That means building a network that takes into consideration people that use wheelchairs such as seniors, or infants and others with reduced physical mobility. That also means a system that issues only one ticket regardless how many networks or modes of transportation are chosen during a single journey – eliminating the needs to buy different tickets.  A system that reduces travel time at all scales: locally, regionally, nationally, and cross borders.

The public requires their mass transit system to grow in a smart way, using the latest technologies and connectivity to provide information.  Up-to-the-minute information that the public needs to decide and plan their travel itinerary, at any given moment. When is the next bus leaving from my stop? Will I make my train connection? Is my train running?

These are questions everyone needs to answer when deciding the combination of mass transportation that gets them to their destination in the quickest and most comfortable way.

Photo Credit: Philippe Paul

Dancing Traffic Light

81% more pedestrians waited at a red traffic light, thanks to this interactive dancing feature.

Created by Smart, they share “we believe that smart ideas can turn the city into a better place. Like a dancing traffic light that makes people wait and watch rather than walk through the red light.”

Watch and share your thoughts…

Elevating City Life