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Stuart Donovan
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Correction: I've been advised that it's a 10 minute grace period. That's pretty easy for a warden to manage ... indeed they tend to give people a bit of leeway anyway (that's the NZ way!).
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Simon, yes I believe there are minimums in Sydney outside of the central city area. RichardC, I believe some form of (short) grace period already applied in Auckland before vehicles were ticketed. So the proposed changes simply formalises/publicises what wardens were doing anyway. EN57, yes some results are available through the SFpark website. I'm not sure why you need "impressive and convincing results" to make these changes though? Is it not sufficient to a) observe that current on-street parking approaches are failing (at least in Auckland) and b) think logically through what you might do to make them work better? I think that's the approach Auckland has taken learning from SFpark's experience but adapting it to the local context.
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Yay Julie! Look forward to her becoming Minister of Transport in 2014.
Toggle Commented Nov 28, 2011 on our lady in parliament at Human Transit
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@ Alan - I think that's an intelligent way of saying that metric units are better. Metric units are also understood by more people - which tends to increase the usefulness of anything (think of this as social economies of scale if you like). In much the same way that the large numbers of people who speak English (at least as a second language) has made it into the default international language, metric units are the default technical language (assuming that you want to be understood by as many people as possible). @ Lauri - while those conversion ratios are a good first approximation, they don't really solve the issue highlighted by the images in Jarrett's post. That is, they do not reflect the geometry of the street network, which can have major impacts on access to bus stops.
Toggle Commented Apr 27, 2011 on basics: walking distance to transit at Human Transit
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I can understand the journalists perspective, even if it is sensationalist. People who decide to drive in congested conditions do not consider the external costs their choice imposes on other people, particularly the costs of congestion. This misalignment in interests arises because when you sit in queued traffic you do not consider the extra delay you cause to people behind you. As a result, too many people decide to drive in congested conditions, which creates a prima-facie case for government interventions that can internalise these costs into people's decision-making, usually via a charge that makes it more expensive to drive at peak times. You are right on one important level though - people who continue to drive will benefit from reduced congestion and improved reliability (esp. less scheduling delays). What was a cost (i.e. time wasted) becomes a transfer (i.e. government revenue). The benefits of time-of-use road pricing schemes therefore depends on how efficiently revenues are both collected and spent (i.e. what projects they fund). I see no reason why time-of-use road pricing could not be revenue neutral and/or voluntary. A voluntary scheme would just offer multiple road pricing plans. High-cost flat rate all-day? Or variable peak/offpeak tariff? Let people choose, but price the plans so as to encourage people to switch over from flat all-day rate (i.e. fuel taxes) to peak/offpeak tariffs. P.s. In terms of language, I think "time-of-use" road pricing is a better way to describe these schemes. That is, we are just changing the way that we charge for using roads so that our price signals are more aligned with the economic costs of the decision to drive.
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Alon - thanks for the link: your reference is exactly what I have been looking for. I actually encountered this issue on a recent project where I was running "mode choice" regressions using normal density metrics, which were not statistically significant, in contrast to the weighted density which was strongly significant. This post reminds me of a general rule of thumb that "averages can hide more than they reveal." Statisticians have developed a whole range of parameters and techniques to deal with variation that transport planners need to be familiar with. Mees should know better than to draw major conclusions from a small selection of "average" statistics.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2010 on the perils of average density at Human Transit
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I tend to disagree with Alon. From my viewing of the Seattle presentation, I got the sense Jarrett was actually advocating for a balance between logic and vision, rather than eschewing either altogether. The comment on behavioural economics is interesting - it's important to distinguish between "rational" and "predictable," which I suspect is the key theme of Nudge's text (although I have not read it so correct me if I'm wrong). Traditional economics tends to overplays the former, whereas behavioural economics tends to not impute as much logic to people's decisions. For example, we know that people are particularly sensitive to "direct" costs, such as parking, rather than indirect costs, such as "time." This is not rational, but it is predictable - that is, based on previous observations we can make reasonable inferences about how people (where I am referring to a collection of individuals, such as a community) will behave in response to different incentives. Indeed, using our understanding of past human behaviour to predict the future has its own internal logic, even if the behavioural patterns themselves are inexplicable.
Toggle Commented Aug 18, 2010 on dissent of the week at Human Transit
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Happy anniversary and well done Jarrett; great to have you working feverishly at clearing away some o the befuddled thinking that bedevils modern-day transport planning. Your blog has not only provided insight, but also brought different people together from many different parts of the world to create a common sense of shared transit learning. Inspiring.
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2010 on human transit: the first year at Human Transit
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This is a tough one. Yes, successful transit will be crowded. It also will be fast; an attribute that will be negatively impacted should large quantities of bicycles need to be carried on-board transit vehicles (by virtue of their slower loading times). So the key question is how we reduce the need to take bicycles onboard? The Velib concept has two mutual benefits: 1. Allows for one-way trips, reducing the need to take bicycles onboard; but also 2. Ameliorates the need for every body to own their own bicycle, reducing storage demands. One other interesting aspect of "multi-modal" integration is how to integrate transit/cycle/pedestrians corridors, rather than just stations. For example, heavy rail lines often make great cycle trails. Such trails can, of course, increase access to rail stations, while also allowing cyclists to travel longer of their own accord should the rail service not suit their need. More passive surveillance along the corridors is also an added bonus.
Toggle Commented Apr 13, 2010 on can we cycle the "last mile"? at Human Transit
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I think the idea of "performance incentives" is worth pursing. In my experience transit agencies and service providers (whether public or private) have a fairly bad attitude to customer service. This may reflect how transit systems tend to be natural monopolies, in which the consumer has only limited choice especially in the short-term, i.e. once you are their waiting at the stop it is often difficult to change your plans. They could also use these "offers" as a point of difference, as with the quality and/or price guarantees shops provide with goods/services. And it is similar to airline practices of offering compensation ... I think you would want a couple: 1. Late service - Ride free. Sure the people onboard have already paid, but they subsequently get the benefit of the faster trip, quid pro quo. 2. No service - guaranteed taxi ride home. This would require 24/7 helpline, GPS tagged services, and excellent comms with every service. Where drivers continue straight past passengers may be the most challenging "service failing" to address with direct customer guarantees. An effective complaints resolution system coupled with more generous time-tables (as others have noted) may be a better option in this situation?
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Given that the average car-park takes up about 380 sq ft a "market" price for parking is closer to $20/day, rather than $10/day. I smell parking subsidies. Not to say that they should immediately double the cost of parking, but there's obviously room to drive considerable mode shift from parking policies alone. Note that this calculation is based on the following assumptions: - Commercial office space in downtown Portland leasing for $16/sq ft/year; and - Demand justifies charging for parking 6 days per week for 50 weeks per year = 300 days/year.
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2010 on portland: a challenging chart at Human Transit
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P.s. Jarrett - maybe it's time for a post on parking policies? IMO transit advocates often ignore the fact that the price of parking is a key determinant of prevailing travel and land use patterns. Parking is one of the major costs associated with a private vehicle based transport system, yet many cities around the world persist with ill-considered regulations which force developers to provide excessive amounts of parking. Instead of futile debates on the merits of BRT versus LRT, we would be better off advocating for parking reforms, especially abandoning minimum parking requirements, as a way of achieving better transport outcomes. Apologies for the rant, but parking is important!
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2010 on portland: a challenging chart at Human Transit
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I suspect Portland's lack of headway on mode shift reflects subsidies for parking, rather than any failing of transit investment or urban land use policies. Colliers study of international parking rates found Portland ranked near cheapest in the U.S. - at just $9/day. This is comparable with Louisville, KY - a city which is half as dense. Investment in transit is likely to be futile in an environment of subsidised parking. Removing minimum parking requirements and applying a parking levy would be a good start. N.B. I'm not sure off-peak travel stats would make for more positive reading. Surely average incomes increased during this period? Which in turn is likely to have resulted in increased long-distance recreational travel? Trips which are almost certainly undertaken by car. It seems to me that if transit has not made up ground for journey to work, then it's highly unlikely to have made progress for these more dispersed trips. At least from where I'm sitting ... :)
Toggle Commented Jan 11, 2010 on portland: a challenging chart at Human Transit
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While the analogy was, I suspect, slightly tongue in cheek I think there is a fundamental difference between scramble crossings and connective PT networks. In the latter's case you can design the network to "enforce" passengers to transfer at key locations. There is little "push back" from passengers other than those who elect not to travel. When it comes to scramble crossings, however, we must contend with wonderfully stroppy pedestrians. Pedestrians, for whatever reasons, seem to like scramble crossings. There are several such crossings in Auckland City (pop 1.2 million). The City did a study where they reverted some of these to standard phasing, with the result being than many pedestrians, instead of waiting, simply jay-walked upstream. This pedestrian "push-back" created additional safety issues and undermined any incremental increase in capacity that came at the intersection. So I think there is an essential difference between scramble crossings and connective PT networks, and that difference relates to the complexity of the system being analysed. People are (thankfully) often stubborn and irrational.
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2009 on on scramble crossings at Human Transit
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They are lovely. Possibly not so good in earthquake or bomb prone areas but otw lovely.
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2009 on vienna's gentle glass boxes at Human Transit
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Thanks for the pics Jarrett. Brisbane has done very well with it's BRT and for anyone to suggest otherwise (as many of these posts do) is ludicrous. If we measure effectiveness in terms of results, Brisbane's BRT is a standout success. Lots of people being carried at low cost. And over the Tasman Auckland has had similarly positive results with its Northern Busway, which now carries approx 6,000 passengers per hour. Cut your public transport cloth to suit is the key message, and Brisbane appears to have cut its cloth in a very fitting manner indeed. Jarrett - do you any insight into how Translink propose to make use of the connection between the new Northern Busway and the existing SE Busway? Are their opportunities to run through services and would these deliver synergistic wider network benefits?
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2009 on brisbane: bus rapid transit soars at Human Transit
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Stimulating post Jarrett. How does, for example, the billions of dollars poured into developing Maglev compare to investment in wheeled luggage? Innocuous wheels tagged to the bottom of our luggage have improved mobility for millions of people the world over. By most accounts wheeled luggage is a more effective transport technology than Maglev, yet receives little attention. Does this highlight a general need to shift the focus of transport planners away from "technology" and onto "service"?
Toggle Commented Aug 16, 2009 on like a cheetah at Human Transit
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