by Max Brantley
1. How can we ensure our modes of transportation are integrated?Imagine: Talking about moving people rather than cars. Imagine: Talking about multiple modes of transportation — nikes, buses, trams and even feet. In Little Rock, the 30 Crossing project began with the premise that we need to blast 10 to 12 lanes of concrete through the heart of Little Rock to pare a couple of minutes off Bryant and Cabot commutes a couple of hours a day. Some other considerations were added on the margins, after public outcry, but the huge negative fallout on the city grid will be the city's problem, not the state's. The entire 30 Crossing project is about commuters, nothing else. See their publicity folders.
One morning we biked to a train station, boarded the train with our bikes and traveled to a suburb of Copenhagen. Then we biked about 13 miles back to Copenhagen. This flexibility accommodates myriad routines and needs.
2. Can we get better information faster if we test transportation infrastructure, collect data, and evaluate design?
The Danes pride themselves on quality design from streets to bike locks. These designs are piloted, data are collected, and then the design is tweaked, overhauled or abandoned based on the data before being implemented. This process creates a sense of evolution and constant infrastructure improvement geared toward the users.
3. How do we make sure we are asking the right questions?
Typically, we ask how many cars can a street move from point A to point B. In Denmark, the question is: How many people can a street move from point A to point B? Not surprisingly, a street can carry more people when it accommodates multiple modes of transportation.
... the problem with using old measures for assessing traffic congestion is that it leads directly to old “solutions,” like prioritizing fast driving speeds above all other modes of transportation and their associated benefits. We’ve been illustrating this with some simple graphics that show what results when “moving cars fast” becomes the prime or only consideration:You know the answer: Urban decay, induced traffic demand, concrete wastelands that are unfriendly, if not dangerous, to other living beings.