As a useful introduction to some of the issues in this module please take a look at an on-line educational video about urban transport problems in Asian cities (there are visuals from various places in the region). It can be viewed at:
part 1, part 2, part 3
- part 1, 2:41: "sometimes it feels like the needs of pedestrians are completely ignored." Singapore clearly puts a lot of effort into accommodating pedestrians, and still falls well short. Does this reflect underlying, invisible prejudices, such that even policy-makers who view themselves as progressive and pro-pedestrian approve and implement policies like car-dominated right-of-ways? One example in Singapore: the street in front of LKYSPP campus, Bukit Timah Road, is actually two streets, one in each direction, with a canal in the middle. Pedestrians have to walk to, and then up, across, and down, an overpass; at streetlights, the pedestrian crossings are so poorly timed that it takes two full and lengthy light cycles to cross the road. Second example: crosswalks and right of way in Singapore.
- Many poor people spend hours per day in transportation. Women also face special problems. Disabled people have even fewer transportation choices and can be denied education and employment.
- "In downtown Sacramento, the top view (above-the-canopy) shows that vegetation covers 30% of the area, whereas roofs cover 23% and paved surfaces (roads, parking areas, and sidewalks) 41%" (source)
- part 2, 1:00: Transport Demand Management, TDM.
- part 2, 2:40: "footpaths should be as level as possible, with good ramps, and must avoid forcing pedestrians to go up or down too much ... must be well-maintained and well-lit at night ... shade ... pedestrian bridges are, in fact, not pedestrian-friendly—they are to get pedestrians out of the way so cars can go faster."
- Structural change
- stop incenting huge cities by providing free roads and undertaxed land
- plan within cities better, although planning to provide more road capacity may be self-defeating
- plan for a mix of private autos and other road users
- improve efficiency
- better road management with technology
- road maintenance
- non-motorized transport (walking, cycling)
- NMT is underrecognized
- A comprehensive vision and action plan. Joel's paraphrase/expansion: cyclists need a complete system, which includes a complete route network (it only takes one gap in a bike lane/path/safe-road trip to make a trip too unsafe or unpleasant to ride daily) plus connectivity to other modes, such as bike storage on buses and trains (bicycles are not allowed on Singapore's trains; they are banned during rush hour on LA's trains), and employer facilities. An investment in only a portion of this will be wasted, and will be taken as evidence that there is no demand. But if roads were built in one-mile segments with cliffs at each end, and no cars were seen on the roads, would that be proof that nobody wants to drive on roads?
- traffic management should focus on moving people, not vehicles
- Public passenger transport
- Public transport is for all. Joel's note: Even in Los Angeles, I have seen well-dressed people take the freeway commuter bus from Santa Monica to downtown.
- most urban public transport is based on roads
- Pricing and financing are the key
- There are a lot of good pro-poor, pro-growth transit policies to use
- competition is pro-poor
- Cities should exploit the informal sector
- Mass transit: rail for very large cities only
- the private sector
- private financing is possible
- planning and regulatory arrangements are fundamental to private participation
- Transport can be part of a social safety net
- Road accidents are a global pandemic
- separation of infrastructure from operations
- charging for road infrastructure is efficient and effective financing
- fuel taxes are a proxy for direct charging
- parking charges should be part of infrastructure pricing strategy
- direct charging for roads requires political preparation
- "However, the value of having an integrated urban transport fund does not
depend on any specific tax source being earmarked for transport." Joel's note: the Seattle monorail project failed after its sole funding source, a car tax, underperformed.
- "Decentralized democratic process must be complemented by high technical competence."
Vuchic, V.R. (1999) Transportation for Livable Cities, New Brunswick: Center for Urban Policy Research. (Chapter 2: The City-Transportation Relationship). pp. 23-39 are most relevant for this section.
Litman, Todd (2003) Measuring Transportation: Traffic, Mobility and Accessibility, ITE Journal, 73, 10, 28-32
Turton, B. and Knowles, R. (1998) Ch. 7. Urban Transport Problems and Solutions, in Hoyle, B. and Knowles, R. (eds.) (1998) Modern Transport Geography. Wiley, Chichester. (pp. 135-148 only)
Vasconcellos, E.A. (2001) Urban Transport, Environment and Equity: The case for developing countries, London and Sterling, VA: Earthscan. (Chapter 9. The Technical Issue: Traditional Transport Planning, pp. 96-110)