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There Are Better Ways to Get Around Town

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There Are Better Ways to Get Around Town

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Old 05-15-18, 03:55 PM
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There Are Better Ways to Get Around Town

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/15/o...ol-left-region
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Old 05-15-18, 05:40 PM
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Paywall. Wonder what the piece is about?
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Old 05-15-18, 06:38 PM
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The following is my favorite part of the article, though the text is quite interesting as well:
Image
CreditTop: Photo by John Massengale; Bottom: Rendering by Gabrielle Stroik Johnson; Design by Massengale & Co LLC
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Old 05-15-18, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulH View Post
Paywall. Wonder what the piece is about?
An Opinion piece praising Amsterdam and Copenhagen ways of getting around town and positing how nice it would be if NYC would adapt similar traffic control measures. Written by John Massengale, an architect and urban designer, was the founding chairman of the New York chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism. He is a co-author of “Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns” and of “New York 1900: Metropolitan Architecture and Urbanism 1890-1915.”
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Old 05-15-18, 10:01 PM
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I haven't reached my free NYTimes limit for the month so I read it. I hadn't realized how bad car traffic had gotten in Amsterdam before they reversed it: "Traffic deaths in the city rose to a peak of 3,300 in 1971, including 400 children". It was due to the rapidity with which they initially embraced the car post-WW-II. No wonder they "fought back"!
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Old 05-15-18, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I haven't reached my free NYTimes limit for the month so I read it. I hadn't realized how bad car traffic had gotten in Amsterdam before they reversed it: "Traffic deaths in the city rose to a peak of 3,300 in 1971, including 400 children". It was due to the rapidity with which they initially embraced the car post-WW-II. No wonder they "fought back"!
Yes, those are incredibly high numbers; so high that it would be nice to know where they can be substantiated. Note that Amsterdam had less than 8% of NL's population in 1970; suggest you take a look at Table 1 at Traffic death statistics in 26 countries.


Note that almost every country listed has had significant traffic death reductions since their high point in the early 1970's, and that the highest numbers for NL (the entire country) were about 3500 in 1972.

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Old 05-16-18, 09:43 AM
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Thanks, sounds like the guy mixed up national and city statistics. Still, countrywide, Netherlands has dropped from 3500 to 661 (almost 5-fold) while the US dropped from 50k to 30k and Canada from 6700 to to 2000, so they are doing a lot better than we are.

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Old 05-16-18, 10:05 AM
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What about car-free pedestrian malls?

Essentially block off chunks of streets from cars, and open them up to pedestrians, bikes, and street vendors.

Maybe we'd see cycle rickshaws being reborn. Pick up passengers + cargo in front of their favorite 5th Avenue store, and truck the to the nearest car-park.

In Europe, there are automatic retractable bollards that will let buses through, but not cars.
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Old 05-16-18, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
What about car-free pedestrian malls?

Essentially block off chunks of streets from cars, and open them up to pedestrians, bikes, and street vendors.

Maybe we'd see cycle rickshaws being reborn. Pick up passengers + cargo in front of their favorite 5th Avenue store, and truck the to the nearest car-park.

In Europe, there are automatic retractable bollards that will let buses through, but not cars.
I did a post a few years ago about how we were supposed to get pedal rickshaws for some Green dignitaries to ride in, in a parade, where others guests would be riding in cars, and the supplier ended up giving us foot-drawn rickshaws, so the upshot was that the whole thing looking weirdly colonial.
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Old 05-16-18, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
I did a post a few years ago about how we were supposed to get pedal rickshaws for some Green dignitaries to ride in, in a parade, where others guests would be riding in cars, and the supplier ended up giving us foot-drawn rickshaws, so the upshot was that the whole thing looking weirdly colonial.
Oh, there are the horse drawn buggies and carriages too. That is, if someone bothers to clean up after them.

Anyway, the closed streets are an interesting phenomenon. We had a downtown mall here in Eugene a few years ago and they re-opened the streets because the vendors liked car traffic. But, many of the big stores (Tiffanys, Sears, the movie theater, etc) all closed anyway.

I don't think the problem was closing the streets, but rather a migration of the big stores out of the center of town, and changes in clientele.

Other cities seem to have vibrant pedestrian malls, especially places with small shops, food places, and a mix of residential and business districts.
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Old 05-16-18, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
What about car-free pedestrian malls?

Essentially block off chunks of streets from cars, and open them up to pedestrians, bikes, and street vendors.

Maybe we'd see cycle rickshaws being reborn. Pick up passengers + cargo in front of their favorite 5th Avenue store, and truck the to the nearest car-park.

In Europe, there are automatic retractable bollards that will let buses through, but not cars.
NYC has put in a few of these pedestrian malls. They are a big success, unless you ask a taxi driver. The merchants were apprehensive, but now they love them. The problem as I see it is that the city is scared to continue converting streets this way. The more, the better, as far as I know.

And we do have pedicabs here. See images here. They're expensive, though.
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Old 05-16-18, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Thanks, sounds like the guy mixed up national and city statistics. Still, countrywide, Netherlands has dropped from 3500 to 661 (almost 5-fold) while the US dropped from 50k to 30k and Canada from 6700 to to 2000, so they are doing a lot better than we are.
Very mixed up, to say the least. Not only was the article writer mixed up about his statistics, he was grasping at strws when he attributed NL's reduction in traffic deaths to Amsterdam's "shared spaces" policy. He also discussed various ideas from Copenhagen, Stockholm and London but did not attribute any quantitative reduction in traffic deaths or collisions to those ideas as he did for the Amsterdam "shared spaces" idea.

It should be noted that other countries had similar reductions from historical high numbers (Germany and France for example) without adapting Amsterdam's emphasis on "shared spaces."

As far as comparing the U.S. and Canada's traffic death trends and considering one "better" than the other without consideration of population trends or changes in traffic volume is rather simplistic.
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Old 05-16-18, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Very mixed up, to say the least. Not only was the article writer mixed up about his statistics, he was grasping at strws when he attributed NL's reduction in traffic deaths to Amsterdam's "shared spaces" policy. He also discussed various ideas from Copenhagen, Stockholm and London but did not attribute any quantitative reduction in traffic deaths or collisions to those ideas as he did for the Amsterdam "shared spaces" idea.

It should be noted that other countries had similar reductions from historical high numbers (Germany and France for example) without adapting Amsterdam's emphasis on "shared spaces."

As far as comparing the U.S. and Canada's traffic death trends and considering one "better" than the other without consideration of population trends or changes in traffic volume is rather simplistic.
What do you think are the alternate explanations?
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Old 05-16-18, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
What do you think are the alternate explanations?
Likely contributing factors are tighter enforcement against drunken driving, improved roads, motor vehicles with enhanced safety designs including seat belts and air bags, better handling and brakes and safer interiors. The shared roads schemes of Amsterdam are likely not a significant factor at all, even in Amsterdam, and it certainly doesn't explain anything about the rest of NL or anywhere else. In fact the article in the OP provides no clue if the frequency of traffic collisions, injuries or fatalities have significantly changed at all in Amsterdam even with its shared spaces scheme.
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Old 05-17-18, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Likely contributing factors are tighter enforcement against drunken driving, improved roads, motor vehicles with enhanced safety designs including seat belts and air bags, better handling and brakes and safer interiors. The shared roads schemes of Amsterdam are likely not a significant factor at all, even in Amsterdam, and it certainly doesn't explain anything about the rest of NL or anywhere else. In fact the article in the OP provides no clue if the frequency of traffic collisions, injuries or fatalities have significantly changed at all in Amsterdam even with its shared spaces scheme.
Countrywide, pedestrian fatalities look like the largest component of their fivefold reduction in traffic deaths (proportionately, anyway), and that's got to be mostly in cities.
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Old 05-17-18, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Countrywide, pedestrian fatalities look like the largest component of their fivefold reduction in traffic deaths (proportionately, anyway), and that's got to be mostly in cities.
The evidence on this, and quite a few related topics, is reviewed pretty thoroughly in Peter Walker's How Cycling Can Save the World (North American title), which came out last year. If you know it, ignore! If you haven't seen it, well worth a read. The title's a bit of an attention-grabbing overstatement, of course, but Walker presents a very well-reasoned argument on cycling's role in densely-populated urban settings.
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Old 05-17-18, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
It should be noted that other countries had similar reductions from historical high numbers (Germany and France for example) without adapting Amsterdam's emphasis on "shared spaces."
Can't speak for France, but I bicycled to grade school in Germany in the early '60s and did so on grade-separated paths reserved for cyclists. There was a sidewalk and then a small curb down to the cycle path and another curb down to the roadway. Not as extensive a system of cycle paths as in Amsterdam, but quite good for getting around in the city. Very different from the absence of cycling facilities in the US at that time.

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Old 05-17-18, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Can't speak for France, but I bicycled to grade school in Germany in the early '60s and did so on grade-separated paths reserved for cyclists. There was a sidewalk and then a small curb down to the cycle path and another curb down to the roadway. Not as extensive a system of cycle paths as in Amsterdam, but quite good for getting around in the city. Very different from the absence of cycling facilities in the US at that time.
I have fond memories of bicycling to my elementary school in the 1950's on the streets of Philadelphia from 3rd through 6th grade. I wouldn't imply that my anecdote means a thing about traffic collision trends for Philadelphia or the U.S.
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Old 05-17-18, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by cooker View Post
Countrywide, pedestrian fatalities look like the largest component of their fivefold reduction in traffic deaths (proportionately, anyway), and that's got to be mostly in cities.
Could be that that the Dutch do a lot less walking than in the past.
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Old 05-17-18, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
The shared roads schemes of Amsterdam are likely not a significant factor at all, even in Amsterdam, and it certainly doesn't explain anything about the rest of NL or anywhere else.
There are also 'share the road' signs on US roads. Do you think those are more or less effective than the Amsterdam policy whose effectiveness you doubt?
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Old 05-17-18, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Could be that that the Dutch do a lot less walking than in the past.
Could be...
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Old 05-19-18, 05:52 PM
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2. The best way to slow cars down is to throw away all the techniques that traffic engineers developed to make traffic flow quickly.

This is the best comment in the article!

Hallucinogenic Drugs as Therapy? I Tried It

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Old 05-23-18, 06:36 AM
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Want plenty of space for bicycling along with fast travel for non-biking commuters and shoppers? The Boring company will make it possible to totally transform city life and transportation.
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Old 05-23-18, 09:08 AM
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Old 05-23-18, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
Want plenty of space for bicycling along with fast travel for non-biking commuters and shoppers? The Boring company will make it possible to totally transform city life and transportation.
It's Victorian London all over again.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histor...circa_1900.jpg
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