Posts categorised ‘Transport’

Link: “Norway Wants People to Park Their EVs and Ride the Bus”

Original post found at: https://www.thedrive.com/news/norway-wants-people-to-park-their-evs-and-ride-the-bus

In efficiency terms, for C02 and emissions in general, it is always going to be better to use mass transit than individual cars, no matter how green they are. Norway’s problem is that it gave such great incentives to buy EVs, going way back, that now people are choosing to drive their cars, powered from the cheap electricity off Norway’s clean grid, rather than get on a bus or train.

Link: “Rewilding Cities” by Clive Thompson

Original post found at: https://clivethompson.medium.com/rewilding-cities-b654e8abf7fb

Talks about the need to reverse car-centric planning, starting with the example of Utrecht (which buried at least one canal under a motorway, then later changed it back into an attractive canal around which people can socialise). It adds:

In the same way that monocropping corn creates weaker, less resilient land, monocropping our streets with cars creates cities that aren’t as vibrant as they ought to be. We often don’t notice it, because we’ve trained ourselves to think of streets as “almost exclusively for cars”. But if you think of all the things you could do with streets, you realize how weird it is that we have, for decades now, used them mostly only for vehicles.

I totally agree! Cars should not be able to drive easily or efficiently through residential areas, or commercial areas, or pretty much any area where people are. They should have to go slow, to play second fiddle to pedestrian and cycle traffic, to duck and weave around pop-up parks and outdoor dining and extensive traffic calming. And most of all, there should be high-quality public transport options, so people go, “Ugh, who the hell would want to drive there? I’m going some other way.” In that way we can actually make cities, towns and suburbs desirable places to be.

Wiki: Suburban Rail Loop

The Suburban Rail Loop is a public transport project in Melbourne to build a new railway line running through the middle suburbs. Construction began in June 2022, with the first section scheduled to open in 2035. With the government claiming its ultimate price tag will be $50 billion, the line is planned to be built in three stages:

  1. SRL East: from Southland to Box Hill, via Clayton, Monash …

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Car-Centric Ableism

I originally posted a version of this post as a comment on Mastodon(external link) but I thought I might as well syndicate it back here. The context was a poll about whether or not the slogan “ban cars” is ableist.

The thing that gets me about the “non-car-centric societies are ableist” line is that there are way more disabled people who can’t or …

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Link: “What would a flying-free world look like?”

Original post found at: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220519-what-if-we-all-stopped-flying

This was an interesting article. As it itself acknowledges, we probably wouldn’t totally get rid of planes or flying. But for climate reasons, we should definitely look to replace as many flights as we can with train journeys (high-speed and/or overnight sleeper trains), teleconferencing, electric bus coach journeys, etc.

As an Australian, it definitely seems clear to me that there will always be airports and flights here. To reach any other land from here will require flying (or, as the article suggests, a return of passenger ships – but the time-consuming nature of that means it’s not very likely to become popular again). Far-flung cities like Perth, Darwin or Cairns will also probably need scheduled passenger flights. But that said, currently a huge chunk of Australia’s aviation emissions are short-distance flights between cities in Australia’s southeast (Melbourne-Sydney, Sydney-Brisbane, etc. – and Sydney-Canberra is absolutely not a route that should ever have existed, the cities are like three hours apart by car!) and this is where high-speed rail would absolutely be a boon. Among infrastructure wonks here it’s kind of a meme, everyone loves the idea of high-speed rail, politicians love promising “feasibility studies” for a temporary boost in the polls, but it’s just not economic. Well, maybe if we actually factored in the externalities of all these fucking short-distance flights, suddenly it would be economic 🤷🏻‍♀️

Link: “Clean Transport 101: Replace” by Simbera

Original post found at: https://the-iron-road.blogspot.com/2022/04/clean-transport-101-replace.html

Good post about how we need increased investment in public transport and cycling infrastructure to get people out of cars. Some particularly good points included:

  • The value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of nodes in that network, so if you double the number of buses (or computers connected to the Internet, or whatever) you quadruple the usefulness of the network.
  • It’s tempting to look at the slow, infrequent, buses that run for a short span of hours, or the piecemeal bits of safe cycling infrastructure that are separated from each other by car-dominated hellscapes, and say “Look, nobody’s using what we’re providing now! Why would we invest more money into it!?” But you can’t judge the need for a bridge by counting the people swimming across the river, and you can’t judge the demand for PT or cycling when the options provided are crummy.

Came across this infographic on Twitter(external link) and I really appreciated it. For all that, e.g. the Greens here are harping on about EVs constantly, there are a ton of negative environmental consequences to car use that are not solved by EVs at all.

Infographic titled ‘Hidden Environmental Impacts of Driving’. It shows an iceberg, the majority of which is submerged under water. Above the water is written ‘vehicle emissions’. Below the water many more environmental impacts are listed: ‘pavement & concrete production’, ‘urban heat island effects’, ‘impervious surface run-off’, ‘particulate matter (from tires & brakes)’, ‘vehicle manufacturing’, ‘loss of natural land due to sprawl’ and ‘parking construction and maintenance’. At the bottom of a graphic runs a bar saying ‘posted on /r/fuckcars’ with the Reddit logo.
a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a socialist and a feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.