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Transportist: February 2020
We skipped the January Transportist Newsletter this year (confusing future archivists), and in its place we launched the TransportLab Newsletter. Most of you should have received that, but they are separate mailing lists.
I also attended TRB along with students and colleagues from TransportLab, and then keynoted at Transforming Transportation at the World Bank/WRI, so happy to meet many of you in person again or for the first time.
Sydney has been smoky, with poor air quality, but managed to avoid the brunt of the Australian bush fires which devastated other parts of Australia. Despite reports on US media, the whole continent is not on fire, though something like 6% of the state of New South Wales did burn, destroying far fewer than 6% of houses. It does look like the end-times though.
I am pleased to report that The 30-Minute City: Designing for Access is now available for purchase
The book reads fast, with just over 20,000 words, and contains 50 images and 6 tables.
This book describes how to implement The 30-Minute City. The first part of the book explains accessibility. We next consider access through history (chapter 2). Access is the driving force behind how cities were built. Its use today is described when looking at access and the Greater Sydney Commission’s plan for Sydney.
We then examine short-run fixes: things that can be done instantaneously, or nearly so, at low budget to restore access for people, which include retiming traffic signals (chapter 3) and deploying bike sharing (chapter 5) supported by protected bike lane networks (chapter 4), as well public transport timetables (chapter 6).
We explore medium-run fixes that include implementing rapid bus networks (chapter 7) and configuring how people get to train stations by foot and on bus (chapter 8).
We turn to longer-run fixes. These are as much policy changes as large investments, and include job/worker balance (chapter 10) and network restructuring (chapter 9) as well as urban restoration (chapter 11), suburban retrofit (chapter 12), and greenfield development (chapter 13).
We conclude with thoughts about the ‘pointlessness’ of cities and how to restructure practice (chapter 14).
The appendices provide detail on access measurement (Appendix A), the idea of accessibility loss (B), valuation (C), the rationale for the 30-minute threshold (D), and reliability (E). It concludes with what should we research (F).
Table of Contents
1 Introduction 15
2 The 30-Minute City: Then and Now 19
3 Traffic Signals 25
4 On the Four Paths 29
5 Bikesharing 35
6 Timetable 37
7 Rapid Bus 39
8 Interface 45
9 Gradial: Or the Unreasonable Network 51
10 Job-Worker Balance 55
11 Urban Restoration 59
12 Retrofit 69
13 Greenfields and Brownfields 75
14 A New Profession: Urban Operations 81
A Theory 89
B Accessibility Loss 93
C Access Explains Everything 95
D Why 30 Minutes? 97
E Reliability 99
F Research Agenda 101
Master of Transport at the University of Sydney
Classes start in early 2020, apply now for term 2.
Transport Accessibility Manual
The Committee of the Transport Accessibility Manual met at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington DC in January.
We discussed the first (preliminary) draft of the document, which was distributed to mailing list members before the meeting. Contact me directly if you would like to be added to the mailing list.
Talks and Conferences
I will be in Auckland, New Zealand for the IAEE - International Association of Energy Economics conference 12-15 February 2020. My talk will by on Friday Feb 14 1:40 - 3:20.
Dual Plenary 4: Energy Transition in Transport | Chair: Professor Frank Jotzo, The Australian National University . Speakers: Professor David Levinson, University of Sydney, Dr Amela Ajanovic, Vienna University of Technology, Dr Selena Sheng, University of Auckland.
(OGGB3 | 260-092)
December issue of WalkSydney Newsletter,
Zhao, Xia, Cui, Mengying, and Levinson, D. (2020) Temporal Variations in Daily Activity Networks Using Smartcard Data Presented at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, January 2020.
Walsh, Lexie, Xian, Tingsen, and Levinson, D. (2020) Walking and Talking: The Effect of Smartphone Use and Group Conversation on Pedestrian Speed.TeMA – Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment. 12(3), 283-294. [doi]
A scoping indicator identifying potential impacts of all-inclusive MaaS taxis on other modes in Manchester by Ian Philips, Andrew Walmsley, Jillian Anable
Sunday Drivers, or Too Fast and Too Furious? by Juan Francisco (Frank) Arellano, Kevin Fang
The 30-Minute City: Small Decisions for Big Gains (iMove article)
News & Opinion
Transit and Microtransit
Metro Transit says bus stops are improved with better signs, more shelters [Perhaps my only legacy in the Twin Cities, successfully advocating for better bus stop signs]
[US] Federal officials give green light to red bus lanes [Because the US government has taken it upon itself to decide the coloration of pavement to the detriment of safety and efficiency for many years, in the name of standardization]
Sydney Light Rail 2 line opens. It was not without “teething pains”. I rode it. The ride quality was fine. It was, in fact, slow. My 15 year old son fell asleep on opening day.
Why Sydney's south east light rail is so slow and how to fix it [Greg Sutherland, SMH]
Why Sydney Light Rail (L2) is slow and how to fix it [Bambul at Transport Sydney]
Comment: they should be called trams, though they are super-long and have some exclusive right-of-way. The word trams is much shorter than Light Rail, and signage and communication should be clear and direct.
The states with the least ambitious safety targets - Smart Growth America
Oslo has reduced annual vehicle fatalities to 1 (1975: 41 døde i Oslo-trafikken. 2019: Én død i Oslo-trafikken.). You can too.
Pacific Highway turns the corner on safety [Still not completely dual carriageway between Sydney and Brisbane, which would have been done c. 1982 in the United States.]
Walking, Biking, Micromobility
US finally giving boot to official foot measurement [Did you know there was more than one foot, and I don’t mean left foot and right foot? While we are at it, did you know US shoe sizes increment in units of 1/3 inch?]
Wholesale, Logistics, Supply Chain, Freight
Railroads are slashing workers, cheered on by Wall Street to stay profitable amid Trump’s trade war [Process innovation, this should be a good news story]
Aviation and Space
Australian Expression of the month:
The 30-Minute City: Designing for Access. (2019) By David M. Levinson (Book 5 in the Access Quintet)
A Political Economy of Access. (2019) By David M. Levinson and David A. King (Book 4 in the Access Quintet)
Elements of Access: Transport Planning for Engineers, Transport Engineering for Planners. (2018) By David M. Levinson, Wes Marshall, Kay Axhausen. (Book 3 in the Access Quintet)
Spontaneous Access: Reflexions on Designing Cities and Transport (2016) by David Levinson. (Book 2 in the Access Quintet)
The End of Traffic and the Future of Access: A Roadmap to the New Transport Landscape (3rd edition). (2017) By David M. Levinson and Kevin J. Krizek. (Book 1 in the Access Quintet)
Metropolitan Transport and Land Use: Planning for Place and Plexus (2018) by David M. Levinson and Kevin J. Krizek.
The Transportation Experience: Second Edition Garrison, William and Levinson, David (2014)