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Once in a Lifetime

Thanks to Moster Pete on Flickr for this great Creative Commons image of his friend's Jimmy the Cornman tattoo, which gets him one free meal per day for the rest of his life at Casa Sanchez restaurant in San Francisco (or until they go out of business!)

 For the price of a Jimmy the Cornman tattoo, a lifetime of burritos was a bargain for some Casa Sanchez customers. 

Tranvia de Murcia is offering a similar deal: trade in your car for a lifetime transit pass. The campaign is intended to spark use of the new trolley system and reduce driving in the city of Murcia, Spain. The charming promotional videos highlight the frustrations of driving downtown. 

Casa … Continue Reading

Bike, bike, revolution.

Thanks to Paul Krueger on Flickr for this gorgeous photo taken at Vancouver's Hornby Street separated bike lane.

The introduction of downtown bike lanes in Vancouver, Canada has been controversial. In contrast to the concerns about potential business losses and increased traffic congestion, investment into bike infrastructure has demonstrated economic benefits. A recent study from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies found that bicycling contributes $1.5 billion to Wisconsin’s economy every year through bike-related jobs, tourism, reduced health care costs, and a better quality of life.

Vancouver’s Hornby and Dunsmuir bike lanes serve several important functions that will have tangible and intangible benefits.

  • Downtown commuting is now a viable option for more than the most stylish bike courier.
  • The seawall is … Continue Reading

Location, location, location

Reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause global warming is on most current political agendas. At 36%, the largest GHG source in British Columbia is transportation. GHG emissions are a product of vehicle miles traveled (VMT); therefore, a reduction in the latter contributes towards GHG reduction goals.

Thanks to Jeff Turner for this great Creative Commons photo of freeway infrastructure outside Los Angeles.

According to Philip Langdon of the New Urban Network, this is a “data problem” because achieving significant VMT reduction requires precise knowledge of vehicle trips and how they are impacted by mass transit, different development patterns and public policy interventions.

Location determines trips; no additional data is required. Langdon’s article cites a goal of 12% VMT reduction which could be accomplished simply … Continue Reading

Sustainable Transport Ideas: Cycling in Amsterdam

The view from the top level of the multi-storey bicycle parking lot near Amsterdam's Central Station. Photo by author.

Amsterdam is one of the most frequently-cited examples of a cycle-friendly city, and I recently had the opportunity to experience it from the perspective of the cyclist, the pedestrian, the automobile passenger, and the transit user. I was not disappointed by the transport network from any perspective, and was most impressed by the infrastructure that allows cycling to be a dominant form of transport in the city. Cyclists are accommodated by a vast network of well-connected bicycle lanes, traffic-calmed streets, and plentiful bicycle parking (though still not enough).

Amsterdam’s canal streets are, for the most part, traffic calmed to allow cyclists easy passage without dedicated cycle lanes. Cycle lanes on other … Continue Reading

Liveblogging: Jarrett Walker’s Lecture “A Field Guide to Transit Quarrels”

Jarrett Walker cites Personal Rapid Transit as an example of a specific technology that is often championed without consideration for practicality. Thanks to Antonio Edward on Flickr for the evocative Creative Commons photo!

Planning nerds everywhere will doubtlessly share my enthusiasm for a transit planning blogger lecture tour. One of my favourite transportation bloggers, Australia-based Jarrett Walker, delivered a free talk last evening in Vancouver, hosted by the generous SFU City Program.

Describing Mr. Walker as a transit blogger seems too limited. He draws on his background in literary theory to tease out the semantics of transit debates. He actually refrains from picking sides on heated issues such as which technology should be used for Vancouver’s proposed Broadway Corridor line. Instead, let’s … Continue Reading

Weekly Vid: India & China Commuter Trains

…the second video is plucked from BestOfYoutube, and while it might be a long way from ever being realized, the idea of a train that never has to make intermediate station stops is pretty intriguing. Of course, it’s not hard to imagine many of the potential dangers, but the concept seems a logical solution to one of the biggest challenges in streamlining commuter rail – minimizing station time. Anyway, take a peek and share your thoughts…
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Feature: Rails of Freedom

This post was originally published on Itsgettinghotinhere.org on May 14, 2010. Its message of urgency regarding rebuilding America’s rail transportation seems even more relevant today given the worsening environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. What is the price of not acting to reduce America’s dependence on oil?

The Lower Parel train station on the Mumbai Suburban Railway in a rare quiet moment. Thanks to Rohan Shah on Flickr for licensing this great photograph with Creative Commons.

I am obsessed with trains.  There, I’ve said it. I would even go so far as to argue that I love trains more than Joe Biden does. When I was young, my father used to take me to the train station to watch trains. This is … Continue Reading

Editorial: Prioritizing Taxis as Public Transit

Daniel Fontaine is a co-editor of CityCaucus.com and an active political commentator with a background in political science, writing and strategy. CityCaucus occasionally teams up with PlanningPool.com to cross-post articles of common interest… like this one, originally published here.

Should taxis be treated the same way as other public transit vehicles?

Thanks to Travis Nep Smith on Flickr for this great Creative Commons photo of a taxi in rainy Vancouver.

For many of us who live in major urban centres and choose not to own a vehicle (or can’t afford one), taxis are an essential form of public transit that helps us to manage our daily affairs. In my own case, our family decided years ago that we’d sell our second car and … Continue Reading

Dan Burden and Vancouver Weddings

Hearing Dan Burden speak to a Vancouver crowd was like Mariah Carey’s third wedding to the same guy: superfluous, self-congratulatory, and all criticism aside, a great way to renew vows.

Thanks to Christopher Lewis Cotrel on Flickr for this heartwarming photo of a Vancouver bicycle wedding!

Vancouver is an incredibly walkable and bikeable place. We get mixed use right, with small scale neighbourhood grocers and a variety of housing types. We care about the human scale, with tree-lined streets, frequent parks and a never-ending supply of the urban necessity of coffee shops. We fight the good fight in reducing travel lanes and handing them over to people, with the Olympics and the Burrard Bridge as examples. Dan reminded us that not only do we … Continue Reading

Heritage Streetcar Win: San Francisco’s F-Market & Wharves Line

A heritage streetcar on San Francisco's F-line makes its way to the Castro District. Photo by Rachael Young, used with permission.

Today’s post celebrates a particular planning win, San Francisco’s heritage F-Market and Wharves streetcar line, as well as a broader, equally winning trend of urban streetcar revival.

These days, San Francisco’s six mile F-line line is one of the worlds’ longest publicly-operated vintage streetcar routes, boasting a fleet of restored antique cars from around the world. This fall will mark fifteen years since the local public transit system, the San Francisco Municipal Railway, began running vintage cars in regular service between the Castro and Financial Districts. A decade ago, the route was further extended to Fisherman’s Wharf.

Much-loved by residents and tourists, the F-line serves around 20,000 … Continue Reading

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