Posts categorised ‘Transport’

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.

Wiki: Robert Risson

As chairman of the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board between 1949–1970, Robert Risson played a critical role in saving Melbourne’s tram network from destruction, the way that happened in every other Australian city (almost uniformly to their modern-day regret). He had a successful military career before coming to run our tram network, and some have suggested that it was that …

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Link: “3 in 4 people want to ride a bike but are put off by lack of safe lanes”

Original post found at: https://theconversation.com/3-in-4-people-want-to-ride-a-bike-but-are-put-off-by-lack-of-safe-lanes-172868

Good points made here! I’d certainly be “interested” in learning to ride a bike but it’s too damn unsafe for distances any further than I can already walk. It also makes the great point that bikes are more useful for local trips, like maybe a few suburbs away, rather than the huge radial trips into the city and out again that planners always plan for. I’m not surprised, either, that people in the outer suburbs also express high interest in cycling if safe paths are provided, because many of those areas are not designed at a walkable scale. Like, if the nearest shops are 30 minutes’ walk away you won’t do that, but if it’s at least safe to cycle, you could cover that distance in 10 minutes and not need to drive. Obviously it’d be better for every single neighbourhood to be walkable in the first place but baby steps, yo!

This past week I had some work that took me to the southern part of the Frankston line, a section of which has just been grade-separated (lowering the railway line below road level so cars don’t have to wait at level crossings). I took some pictures of the newly rebuilt Bonbeach Station (and a shot of the view towards the beach from there, just because 😊). Honestly I thought it was pretty nice – the station is a lot closer to normal ground level than the stations further north at Ormond/McKinnon/Bentleigh, and the sandstone-like walls soften its appearance from those other stations’ imposing industrial chic. Relevant to my interests, too, the rebuilt station is further south and thus closer to where I actually had to go to work!

On a sorta related note: the station also had a friendly NZ woman working there to talk to people about the new station, and she was also rather keen on telling me how amazing all the grey and drizzly weather was 😂

a view from platform 2 of Bonbeach Station, looking south (towards Frankston) a view from platform 2 of Bonbeach Station, looking north (towards the city) a view from the overpass of Bonbeach Station, with an empty four-lane road closest to the camera, houses on the other side of that, and the sea visible about three blocks away

Ughhh, I HATE how lousy our bus service is. Yesterday, 10 minutes late (so I raced to the stop for nothing). Today, 2 minutes early (so I missed it). The next one isn’t for 45 minutes so I had to ask Viv to ditch WFH for a while to come drive me… 😡

Link: “‘What if we just gave up cars?’: Cop26 leaders urged to dream big”

Original post found at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/nov/10/what-if-we-just-gave-up-cars-activists-press-cop26-leaders-to-dream-big

At a series of protests held on Wednesday, activists urged greater funding for public transport and walking and cycling paths, arguing that a promised “green revolution” away from cars during the Covid pandemic has failed to materialize in most cities.

Nancy Henderson, a protester who lives in Glasgow, said that cycling flourished during lockdown but that many people have switched back to cars as they don’t feel safe cycling in traffic.

“That’s an issue with electric cars, people will still feel unsafe with them around,” she said. “It doesn’t actually change the issue of congestion and the number of cars on our streets. Going electric doesn’t change the blight of cars in our cities. We are still isolated in our little booth, not communicating, not meeting other people.”

a cartoony avatar of Jessica Smith is a left-wing feminist who loves animals, books, gaming, and cooking; she’s also very interested in linguistics, history, technology and society.