China’s Guangchangwu – loosely translated as “square dancing” – gathers large groups of people for dancing in public squares, on street corners, and in parks. Although a popular pastime among retired and senior members of society, Guangchangwu is not typically embraced among younger generations. Although a recent series of confrontations over Guangchangwu likely indicates a cultural clash between older and younger generations, the most pressing issue it raises is the ever-prominent problem confronting urban planners in China: how to design socially inclusive cities that meet the diverse accessibility needs of different social groups, including seniors. And beyond that, how can Chinese urban planners promote social integration while mitigating possible negative externalities, like noise from Guangchangwu?Guangchangwu sparks controversy in China
Guangchangwu embodies an active lifestyle and promotes social interaction and physical exercise, but its noisiness, dominance of public spaces, and connotation with the old-fashioned have recently stimulated great controversies and heated online discussions.
In suburban Beijing, a man went so far as firing gunshots and releasing Tibetan mastiffs to disperse a crowd of Guangchangwu dancers. In Taizhou, Shandong Province, Guangchangwu “dancing queens” stirred up disputes over parking spaces they illegally commandeered as their dance floor, outlined with duct tape. These disputes stem from urban planning practices that don’t adequately address the needs of groups like seniors, who seek to build community by participating in Guangchangwu or other activities in public spaces.China ushers in an era of aging
Although aging population structures are not common in the developing world, China has experienced a remarkable demographic shift throughout the past few decades, due in part to the country’s “One-child Policy” and universal healthcare system. According to the 2010 Sixth National Census, individuals aged 65 and over constitute 9% of the entire population, a figure that’s nearly doubled in 30 years. The population aged 60 and older now totals 190 million, which surpasses any other country in the world – and it’s still growing by 3% each year. At this rate, it is estimated that one out of every five people will be in the elderly bracket by 2030.Why urban planners need to pay attention to seniors
Seniors generally exhibit different lifestyles, preferences, and physical mobility than younger populations. A 2007 study revealed that older Chinese individuals are more likely to spend longer amounts of time during non-peak hours on recreational and discretionary activities than younger individuals. Furthermore, most outdoor activities that seniors engage in take place within a one-kilometer (0.62 miles) radius of their homes, which underscores the importance of improving urban and community design to ensure higher quality of life – seniors aren’t willing or able to travel longer distances to tap into social networks.Socially inclusive design requires fresh thinking for Chinese cities
China’s rapidly aging society is putting the country’s pensions, healthcare, and caregiving systems – as well as its urban planning – to the test. The invasion of Guangchangwu “dancing queens” to parking spaces, street corners, and other public spaces is merely one facet of how existing urban planning fails to address the needs of seniors. Another example is that many special care facilities for seniors are located on the periphery of cities, where essential public amenities like hospitals and mass transport are extremely lacking. Finally, in cities throughout the country senior-friendly resources like signage, outdoor chairs, and walkable spaces are often ignored, even when they’re originally planned.
In order for China’s cities to be truly accessible for all of their residents, urban planners should consider the following questions:
- At the citywide scale, what does the large senior population mean for the economy and society? What vision and policies can we employ to address the needs of a changing population?
- At the community level, how can we design communities that enable seniors to maintain independence and a high quality of life as they age? Is there sustainable funding available to implement plans to make communities more livable and socially inclusive?
- In regards to transport planning, how do we shift away from the over-emphasis on meeting commuters’ needs to addressing the mobility needs of all members of society? How can we design complete streets that enable safe and efficient access for all users?
As the composition of Chinese cities change, seniors are just one vulnerable social group that is often overlooked by the country’s top-down planning system. Rural-urban migrants, low-income individuals, individuals with disabilities, and other minority groups are often similarly excluded. With Chinese cities making progress towards sustainable development, it’s time for urban planners to begin planning cities where all people feel valued, differences are respected, basic needs are met, and everyone can live in dignity.
A few days ago I asked how much Britain had progressed in the last six years. Now I'm looking further back in history. In the 1950s and 1960s the Rank Organisation made in the UK made a fascinating series of films called "Look at Life". These films documented many aspects of British society fifty year ago. Youtube user dokkertrigger has made many of these films available. I've chosen three of David Hembrowhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2013/12/what-has-britain-learnt-since-1960s.html
At long last. The Copenhagenize Anthem. By Junior Reid."Me no want no bus, no car, me no want no blasted minivanMe no want no bus, no car, me no want no basted minivanJussa wanna ride upon me bicyle for transportation"We'll be playing this in loop at our company christmas party. Nice.Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.
So this was a nice surprise. I had an early morning meeting in the City Centre and discovered that Vestergade is now a Bicycle Street (cykelgade in Danish). The Dutch call them Fietsstraat, I believe. We have one in a quiet neighbourhood already and they have one in Aarhus, but this is the first decent one in Copenhagen. Basically, as the sign says, there is only slow driving allowed on this street and the cyclists decide the flow and tempo. It is one way for cars but cyclists are free to ride in both directions. The idea is nothing new. Rest assured, there has been a lot of effort to implement these Bicycle Streets for a long while but the Copenhagen police - like with so many other bicycle-related issues - have refused to allow it. Bizarrely, they can veto things they don't understand, without being obliged to say why or refer to any evidence.Now we see that a Bicycle Street is in place, if only for a test period. But it'll work, so I'm counting on it being made permanent.I spotted a couple of other things the other day, whilst riding on the Bicycle Superhighways for a project that Copenhagenize Design Co. is doing for the Capital Region.A countdown signal for cyclists at a traffic light. It is in place in many cities for pedestrians and I've seen them in some Dutch cities. I don't really see the point on a cycle track, but hey.THIS idea is cooler. It's a countdown signal a hundred metres or so BEFORE the light at an intersection. It simply counts down to the next light signal change. If the light is green, it counts down to red and vice versa. It's great and practical. If the light is red up ahead you can see how long before it turns green and slow down accordingly. Nobody likes having to put their foot down on a bicycle so this allows you to adjust your speed to hit the light.If the light is green, it tells you how long before it turns red so you can speed up to make it through the light. Increasing the flow in bicycle traffic. A nice touch.Then there's this. A new cycle track alongside City Hall. It's been there for a while now, after the street was redone. For some bizarre reason, the City decided to play around with a new surface - using these paving stones that look a lot like the ones on the sidewalk and only having a tiny curb separation between them.This is an area with lots of tourists and they can't see the difference between them. There are few pictograms indicating cycle tracks and you often see people walking on them.This idea was a complete brain fart. Useless. And I suppose the City has realised it. Now they have been forced to revert to 1970s style, putting up a fence to pen in pedestrians and keep them off the cycle track. Bicycle infrastructure everywhere else in this city is hand in hand with pedestrian facilities. Separated and parallel. Here, there is confusion - and a waste of money on the fence. It also looks horrible.The City used paving stones in this style out in the Ørestad neighbourhood, but they bought some cheap rock so they ended up ripping them out and replacing them with the standard asphalt they normally use. It thought that would be the end of Paving Stonegate, but then they bought better rock and did this. Stick to the programme, Copenhagen. If you design something badly, that's a shame and you should know better. But when you have to pay to fix it in a sub-standard way and mess up the whole aesthetics of a street, that's embarassing.Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So what about an infographic?
Information graphics, or infographics, recently emerged as a highly popular and effective medium for visualizing and sharing information. According to visual.ly, a website that helps users tell their stories visually, an infographic is: data, sorted, arranged, and presented visually. In other words, an infographic is a visual image used to convey information.
Infographics are powerful. Why? Mark Smiciklas, a digital strategist and consultant, offers three simple explanations: Infographics are easy to digest, easy to share, and cool. Further, the range of information infographics can convey is literally infinite – infographics even come in handy to explain sustainable transport.
These infographics highlight the many co-benefits of sustainable transport – which are so numerous that when you focus on just one it’s easy to lose sight of the others. From increasing access to economic opportunities like jobs and markets, improving road safety, reducing traffic congestion and passenger travel time, mitigating vehicle emissions that contribute to climate change, and making our cities healthier and more livable, there’s a lot to keep in mind. The bottom line is that alternatives to private vehicles – like public transport, walking, and bicycling – can be safer, more effective, healthier for you and the environment, and fun. As a reader of TheCityFix, I bet you didn’t need an infographic to tell you that. Enjoy!
Beijing has launched an effort to tighten up its vehicle quota control regulation and further curb air pollution and traffic congestion in China’s capital city. Echoing the city’s recent “Clean Air Action Plan (2013-2017),” an amendment to the car ownership restriction regulation was issued on November 28, aiming to cut the annual vehicle increases from 240,000 to 150,000, beginning in 2014. With this policy in place, the total vehicle ownership in Beijing will be capped at fewer than 6 million by 2017. However, the new measure only delays future air pollution and congestion that will arise from an ever growing vehicle fleet. In order to mitigate this trend and truly restore clear days to Beijing, complementary measures are necessary to rein in car usage of the existing vehicle stock, such as congestion charging, and improvements in public and non-motorized transport infrastructure.Private vehicles: The main culprit of air pollution and congestion
Vehicle ownership restriction is not new to Beijing, however, there’s a vital need to further restrict vehicle ownership and usage – and to effectively do so will require more than just decreasing annual quotas on car ownership. Beijing began capping vehicle ownership growth in 2011, after which the annual growth rate decreased from 20% in 2010 to the current 4%. Unfortunately, the city’s car ownership was already so large that the lottery scheme came too late to effectively battle its severe air pollution and traffic congestion.Vehicle emissions have negative impacts on public health
According to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB), vehicle emissions contribute 22.2% of the total level of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in the city. PM2.5 is particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers found in the air that pose significant health risks to the population, including premature mortality. Vehicle emissions also account for 58% of total nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (NOx), and 40% of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the city – all of which can have serious negative health effects.
Traffic congestion poses the greatest health threats to drivers. In a congested area, insufficient fuel combustion from idling and cold starts leads to increased PM2.5 emissions. For example, on Beijing’s west 2nd ring road, the PM2.5 level reads 25-30 micrograms per cubic meter in free flow as compared to 90-100 micrograms in congestion. Drivers’ exposure is compounded by increased travel time due to congestion. Beijing’s current average vehicle speed in peak hours is 20-25 kilometers per hour, but according to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport (BMTC) is expected to sink lower than 15 kilometers per hour by 2015 if business continues as usual.
Beijing’s harmful air pollution has prompted the municipal government to tackle it at all costs. The city has already carried out several comprehensive measures outlined in the “Clean Air Action Plan” that combine regulatory and economic approaches, and now further vehicle ownership restriction comes next. The upcoming stricter vehicle ownership control features a few key improvements not included in the previous restriction measure:
- Fewer quotas for lottery, but more chances for earlier applicants. The improved “cap-and-lottery” system will provide earlier applicants – candidates who applied one or two years ago but failed to win a license plate – a greater chance this time around than late comers.
- No exemption for new energy vehicles (NEVs). Unlike the last restriction, NEVs will be included in the quota system since they also contribute to congestion. The municipal government will allocate a gradually higher proportion of NEVs a plate every year, so the conventional vehicle quota will shrink to 90,000 in 2017, accounting for only 60% of the total annual quotas.
As a short-term solution, the tightened vehicle quota system buys time for other medium or long-term alternatives to set in, including improvements to public transport, travel demand management (TDM) policies, and urban planning interventions. But car ownership restriction is not without controversies. The lottery system raises significant questions over equity, citizen’s rights, and risks stifling car manufacturing – an important economy driver. Beijing’s local auto industry will face losses due to restricted car sales, and may not receive compensation from the government.
In the longer term, the new regulation needs to gradually evolve to include other market-oriented economic measures, such as parking management, congestion pricing, and low emission zones (LEZs) – which have already been successfully implemented throughout China, Latin America, and in other developing economies. More importantly, citizens must be guaranteed more efficient, comfortable, and eco-friendly transport alternatives through high-quality public transport systems and infrastructure for biking and walking. Only through the combination of these measures can Beijing achieve its goal of cutting vehicle emissions by 25% before 2017.
Sustainable transport initiatives have gained traction in recent years in developing world cities. This trend can be seen in the growth in Bus Rapid Transit and Busway systems around the world, the new bike-sharing scheme in Mexico City, or the investment in cycling networks in Turkish cities, to name just a few examples. However, these types of initiatives often overlook what should be a key component in their planning – traffic safety. Indeed, while sustainable transport initiatives are usually proposed and evaluated based on their impact on travel times, local air quality, accessibility, or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, their potential traffic safety impacts are often overlooked.
A new publication from EMBARQ highlights this issue, exploring the existing literature on the safety impacts of sustainable transport – primarily from the United States and Europe – and adding examples from Latin America and South Asia. The evidence suggests that projects that reduce traffic—such as congestion charging—and those that improve infrastructure—such as high-quality mass transport systems—can have a positive impact on traffic safety, in addition to numerous other co-benefits.Safety impacts of mass transport
Take the TransMilenio bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Bogotá, Colombia. This BRT system is often hailed as an innovative model for mass transport, particularly among cities in the developing world. In addition to its well-documented impacts on reducing GHG emissions and travel times, the first TransMilenio corridor on Avendia Caracas has had an equally significant though under-acknowledged role in improving traffic safety. Findings show that the BRT has contributed to an estimated reduction in traffic fatalities on the avenue by more than 50 percent, helping avoid more than 200 traffic deaths during its first nine years of operation.
The TransMilenio is not the only BRT system that has dramatically improved traffic safety. BRT and other transit priority projects in Guadalajara, Mexico; Mexico City; Ahmedabad, India; and Melbourne, Australia have similarly curbed traffic crashes and fatalities, while improving the quality of transport in their respective cities. The improved safety record is due mainly to the changes in street infrastructure typically needed to accommodate a BRT such as creating a central median, making crosswalks shorter, and reducing the number of mixed traffic lanes – all of which tend to contribute to fewer crashes.Active transport and traffic safety
Cities that have implemented policy and infrastructure to promote cycling have also seen significant safety benefits. Copenhagen and New York City, for example, have both invested in creating or expanding citywide networks of dedicated bike lanes and cycle tracks to promote cycling. In Copenhagen, the total volume of cycling has increased by 28 percent between 1998 and 2009, while the rate of injuries and fatalities to cyclists has decreased by 53 percent. Similarly, New York City had four times as many bicycle commuters in 2010 as it did in 2000, while cycling injury rate (the ratio of cycling injuries to cyclist commuters) declined by more than 70 percent.
It also appears that the safety benefits of cycle infrastructure are not limited to cyclists: A study in New York City found that streets with bike lanes were also safer for pedestrians, a finding that could be attributed to the reduced traffic speeds associated with the introduction of bike lanes and tracks. New York City has also taken key steps to improve walkability and pedestrian infrastructure, with significant benefits for pedestrian safety as a result.Implications for cities in the developing world
Traffic crashes currently claim more than 1.2 million lives every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). That number is increasing, particularly in low and middle-income countries.
In an effort to raise awareness about traffic safety issues and encourage local and national governments to focus on reducing traffic crashes and fatalities, the United Nations declared 2011 to 2020 as the Decade of Action on Road Safety. The initiative includes a clear focus on safe mobility and sustainable urban transport. The WHO has also recognized the importance of sustainable transport in achieving the ambitious goals of the Decade of Action, and its latest Global Status Report on Road Safety includes policies to promote walking and cycling and investment in mass transport as key safety indicators for countries.
Recognizing the potential safety benefits of sustainable transport is a key step, but it is also important to ensure that this translates into high-quality projects on the ground. Through innovative policies and sustainable transport projects, cities in developing countries can meet their growing mobility needs while also significantly improving safety.
For more information on the relationship between sustainable transport and traffic safety, download the issue brief “Saving Lives with Sustainable Transport,” from EMBARQ, the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) program for sustainable urban transport and planning.
This publication has been possible through funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Peter Midgley joins us as this week’s author for the “Sustainable Urban Transport On The Move” series. We invited Peter to share his vast knowledge on bicycle sharing gained through his experience tracking the growth of bicycle sharing systems since 2007. Peter formerly worked as the Urban Mobility Theme Champion for the global Transport Knowledge Partnership (gTKP), before which he worked at The World Bank for 25 years.
In the past ten years, bicycle-sharing schemes have evolved at an astonishing pace, growing from interesting experiments in urban mobility to mainstream public transport options in cities as large and complex as Paris and London. Thirteen years ago, there were a mere six schemes operating in six countries – Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Portugal – with a total fleet of just over 4,000 bicycles. The largest of these schemes was Copenhagen with 2,000 bicycles. As shown in the map below, today there are an estimated 639 bicycle-sharing schemes operating in 53 countries located in almost every region of the world, boasting a total of about 643,000 bicycles.
The graphic below displays the rapid growth bicycle-sharing has experienced, which has likely outstripped growth in every other form of urban transport. This is especially the case in China, where two systems with a combined fleet of 2,700 bicycles in 2008 quickly escalated to 81 systems with a staggering combined fleet of nearly 440,000 bicycles – a figure that accounts for over two-thirds of the global fleet. To put that growth in perspective, in 2008 the largest bicycle-sharing system was Paris, with 20,000 bicycles. Five years later, Wuhan, China now has the largest bicycle sharing system in the world by far, with an estimated 90,000 bicycles.
Bicycle-sharing schemes are not only attractive; it would appear they are also highly adaptable to different types and sizes of cities. Bicycle-sharing schemes have been developed in large metropolitan areas as well as medium-to-small towns with systems of only about 50 bicycles. In fact, the largest concentrations of bicycle sharing systems are located in Italy and Spain, which have the most cities with bicycle-sharing systems at 124 and 93, respectively.The evolution of bicycle-sharing schemes
Bicycle-sharing schemes have evolved dramatically since the first schemes were introduced in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (1965), La Rochelle, France (1976), and Cambridge, England (1993). With the exception of La Rochelle, these early schemes were closed due to vandalism and theft. To address these issues, “Second Generation” systems began launching in 1991, first in in Farsø and Grenå, Denmark. By 1995, the first truly large-scale scheme was introduced in Copenhagen, Denmark. Second Generation systems were “bicycle lending libraries” with a membership or annual fee. They used custom built, heavy duty bicycles with non-standard components, or specially designed parts that couldn’t be used on other bikes and therefore were impossible to sell, to reduce theft. They were relatively simple and cost little to install, often used manual tracking of bicycle rentals, and most included multiple rental and return locations with coin operated locks. Although they were more dependable, the introduction of smartcard technology in the late 1990s ushered in a “Third Generation” approach that has enabled bicycle sharing to become what it is today.
The first scheme to use smartcard technology was introduced by Clear Channel in 1998 in Rennes, France. Other systems followed soon after, including Lyon, France’s scheme in 2005, and the famous Vélib’ system in Paris in 2007. These “Third Generation” systems used improved bicycle designs, sophisticated docking stations, automated smartcard bicycle locking, and smart card payment systems. Some introduced GPS systems to track bicycles and prevent theft and nearly all used websites to provide users with real time information on bicycle availability. Most were public-private partnerships developed and operated by major advertising companies, such as Clear Channel, JC Decaux, and Comunicare. In almost every case, the companies provided and operated the systems in exchange for free billboard advertising.Contemporary bicycle-sharing: Where we are today
Current “Fourth Generation” schemes include design innovations such as movable and solar powered docking stations, electric bicycles also known as pedelecs, and mobile phone real time availability. Of these features, the introduction of electric bicycles is particularly significant in terms of enabling bicycle sharing in cities with steep terrain, as well as attracting older users. In Fourth Generation schemes, the dominance of advertising companies is less evident and operators now include a variety of business ventures including companies like PBSC Urban Solutions, a spin-off of Montreal’s parking authority that developed the London and New York bike share systems.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news in the world of bicycle sharing. 59 systems have closed in the past year alone, many of which were located in countries like Spain that were particularly hard hit by the global financial crisis. But we’ll discuss this and other challenges to the global scaling-up of bicycle sharing systems in future blog posts, diving deeper into the world of shared-use mobility.
“Optimism is undermined by the amount of work required for full implementation.”
Before withdrawing his nomination as Bogotá’s ombudsman in December 2011, Paul Bromberg recommended that the incoming administration “joyfully receive the public transport system of Bogotá (Sistema de Transporte Público de Bogotá [SITP])”. Although Mayor Gustavo Petro’s new administration reluctantly adopted his recommendation, that’s the only progress in urban mobility it can boast to date. Much work remains, as new SITP buses still co-exist with thousands of obsolete and inefficient vehicles, a legacy of Bogotá’s past.
One recent positive step, and a possible turning point for sustainable mobility in the city, was the launch of new gray buses operating in Carrera 7a in October 2013. Now the blue, orange, and burgundy buses – the new colors of the SITP – are running closer to capacity, especially when compared to ridership levels of mid-2012. Currently, there are more route options than ever before and users are wise to the fact that they have to pay double fare to switch buses.
We also see many more bi-articulated buses in the TransMilenio bus rapid transit (BRT) system – these buses can carry more passengers and are coupled with crucial capacity expansions, such as the impressive National Museum underground station and the new access at the 100th Street Station. Passengers can also use the original smart cards at all TransMilenio stations, which was previously impossible due to technical and contractual glitches. This generates some optimism: it is possible that the city can achieve the desired public transport transformation by 2014 that it has been working towards since 1968.
However, this glimmer of optimism is undermined by the sheer magnitude of obstacles Bogotá currently faces. The April 2014 goal for full implementation is no longer possible. There are too many new buses to incorporate and even more obsolete buses and minibuses to simultaneously phase out. There is also a dire need for a giant boost in user education to change habits, in addition to a need for improving signaling and implementing bus depots. The most critical point seems to be the financial stability of some operators, particularly the groups formed by the “small vehicle owners”. This group was able to gain a significant share of the SITP after enormous effort, but faces considerable organizational and financial difficulties.
In an attempt to address the challenges confronting the small vehicle owners, Mayor Petro has launched a proposal that raises more questions than answers. He launched a “public-private alliance” to save the small vehicles as a resource for the city, “not to remain kneeling in front of five operators” – arguably referring to the large bus operators of the SITP. Direct support with public resources to private operators, large or small, has not been well received by citizens, as these private operators have been under contract to provide buses since 2011.
In light of this controversy, the important thing to focus on is the quality of service SITP provides to its users – the citizens of Bogotá – rather than ideological debates over the ownership of the vehicle fleet.
If the city has to throw some operators a lifeline, the proposal of Deputy Minister of Transport Nicolás Estupiñán seems most fair: help them get loans, which will ultimately be repaid using the rules laid forth in the 2011 contracts. Other proposals may change the contractual conditions, reward failure to comply, and do not solve the fundamental issue at hand – insufficient and poor quality public transport service. Professor Antanas Mockus was right when he stated: “No Latin macho likes raising other people’s children.”
This Op-Ed was originally published on November 29, 2013 in Spanish on El Tiempo.com.
London's cyclists are not to blame for London's low cycling modal share, it's the politicians who should take the blame
Low cycling nations and low cycling cities don't have a problem with how well cycling is marketed, they have a problem with how well their infrastructure works for cycling. Six Londoners died in a short period of time recently and this has been followed by protests including a "Die In". Neither London's Mayor, Boris Johnson nor the Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, appear to be aware of David Hembrowhttp://email@example.com://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2013/12/londons-cyclists-are-not-to-blame-for.html
Low cycling nations and low cycling cities don't have a problem with how well cycling is marketed, they have a problem with how well their infrastructure works for cycling. Six Londoners died in a short period of time recently and this has been followed by protests including a "Die In". Neither London's Mayor, Boris Johnson nor the Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, appear to be aware of David Hembrowhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2013/12/londons-cyclists-are-not-to-blame-for.html
Every single day, nearly 30.9 million people ride Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or busways system globally. That’s more people than the entire population of Ghana or the state of Texas. 19.5 million (63.3%) of these passengers are located in Latin America, 8.2 million (26.4%) in Asia, and 1.7 million (5.6%) in Europe. Maybe you’re one of them, or maybe your city will be next to join the ranks of 168 cities located on every major continent that already have BRT bus corridors or busways.
If you’re wondering how I know all this, look no farther than BRTdata.org. Although it’s been a leading resource on global BRT data for experts and decision-makers in public investment since its launch in April 2012, BRTdata.org recently debuted new visualization tools. This makeover comes just in time for a rapid scaling up of BRT systems – BRT is one of the fastest growing public transport systems, and there are already over 300 BRTs and busways corridors worldwide.
The updated BRTdata.org boasts a bold new visualization scheme and a wide array of indicators broken down by sector, which reinforce this unique global platform as a forerunner in providing BRT data.Bold visualization scheme represents BRT demand per continent by color
The previous version of BRTdata.org used a system of graduated circles to represent daily demand. Although the circles were useful in comparing use of BRTs between various continents, their size was static – they would not change in size as data changed. For example, if demand grew in Latin America, the circle representing Latin America’s demand would not have grown.
The new visualization of BRTdata.org now employs a color gradient to represent demand per continent. As you can see on BRTdata.org’s home page, continents are now entirely filled in by a shade of blue – the lighter the blue, the less demand that continent’s BRT systems have, and the darker the blue, the greater demand that continent’s BRTs have. These shades are flexible, so as data changes they too will change to accurately represent the demand of each continent.
It’s a simple change, but the new visualization makes BRTdata.org incredibly user-friendly and easy to understand. Go on, give it a try!Categorized indicators facilitate positive user experience
Another user-friendly upgrade included in BRTdata.org’s new look is the categorization of indicators – which range from average age to brand and logo, from fuel economy to position of bus doors, and much more. Previously, the indicators were only alphabetized, meaning that you had to know exactly what you were looking for. Now, with the indicators broken down by key aggregates, users can easily browse by theme for indicators that might be relevant to their work or interests.
The information on BRTdata.org is updated monthly, ensuring that the site’s data is as current as possible.BRTdata.org: A unique global platform for BRT data
BRTdata.org is the result of a collaboration between four global organizations: Across Latitudes and Cultures – Bus Rapid Transit Centre of Excellence (ALC-BRT CoE), EMBARQ, the sustainable transport and urban planning program of the World Resources Institute (and producer of TheCityFix), The Latin American Association of Integrated Systems and BRT (SIBRT), and the International Energy Agency (IEA). These founders are dedicated to upholding BRTdata.org’s standing as the most comprehensive, public database of BRT systems around the world, and in order to do so, planning has already begun for the website’s next update. Several universities have also partnered with the BRTdata.org project, including Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Instituto Superior Técnico Lisboa, and The University of Sydney.
As for the new visualization tools, they enhance the already highly recommended BRTdata.org:
“Everybody is realizing that a livable city needs to guarantee the right to move around without being stuck in congestion, and without being prevented from enjoying the views of the surface environment. BRTdata.org is the database that shows us how the prioritization of buses is revolutionizing the way people move around benchmark cities.” – André Jacobsen, SIBRT Benchmarking Expert
“The benchmarking at BRTdata.org has been a great start to help us think about consistent ways to measure and report the impact of BRT across diverse contexts.” – Anson Stewart, MITWhere will the next BRT pop up?
The answer to that question remains to be seen, but every month new BRT systems are launched or expanded – improving the quality of life for thousands of urban residents worldwide. For example, Haifa, Israel recently implemented a BRT system called The Metronit, which measures 40 kilometers (25 miles) long and has three trunk lines serving multiples cities in the metropolitan region of Haifa.
Take a few minutes and check out BRTdata.org’s new features today. You may also enjoy this visualization of BRT and busways systems around the world. After all, you just might find yourself riding a BRT sooner than you think, and help influence city leaders around the world to develop better urban transport for all.
I was in Lima last month to attend the EIMUS 2013 Mobility Conference but the main focus and highlight was the launching of an exciting book.Cyclists & Cycling Around the World - Creating Liveable & Bikeable Cities.It's a good book. An important book. There are 25 authors, each writing a chapter on a massive variety of subjects all relating to urban cycling. A veritable who's who in the industry.Here's my copy of the book, hot of the press in Lima. At the conference it was brilliant to meet up with old friends. Here, from left, are Lars Gemzøe from Gehl Architects, Gil Penalosa from 8-80 Cities, me and Roger Geller from the City of Portland.The Grand Old Man of bicycle planning in Copenhagen, Niels Jensen, chatting with Roger Geller from the City of Portland.In connection with the conference, we arranged a showing of The Human Scale, the film that Gehl Architects produced about themselves and their work, at the City Hall in Lima, with the entire traffic department in attendance.For more information about the book, check out the website Cyclists World.The Facebook group is also up and running.Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.
It’s no secret that visibility is critical to bike safety, especially under dark nighttime skies. To help ensure that cyclists can be easily spotted by motorists in crowded streets, Wouter Walmink, Alan Chatham and Floyd Mueller of RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia created a contraption that can only be described as part disco ball, part bike helmet.
In terms of its shape and function, the helmet is actually quite similar to your traditional bike helmet, but then on turn 104 LED lights, covering the helmet’s entire surface and emitting a soft, friendly glow. The trio of Australian students have dubbed their invention the LumaHelm, and released the following statement on the product’s website:
“LumaHelm turns the helmet into a display through which we can communicate, express and play. We are exploring how this can make cycling safer, skateboarding more expressive, improve communication on construction sites, and affect any other activity requiring a helmet. Through this design and research process we want to find out what wearable technology in the future may look like and how it can be more intimately integrated in our everyday lives.”
The lights are controlled by an”accelerometer”, a motion sensor that warns drivers and pedestrians which direction the rider will take. Moreover, the LumaHelm has a mechanism to read the heart rate of the rider and modify the frequency with which lights shine. Check out the video below to see the LumaHelm in action.
This post was originally published in Portuguese at TheCityFix Brasil.
Happy Thanksgiving, TheCityFix readers! Even if you’re not celebrating today’s American holiday of giving thanks and feasting, here are four things we can all be thankful for:1. Urban mobility is a global priority.
This year’s theme for UN-HABITAT’s annual Global Report on Human Settlements was urban mobility. Because UN-HABITAT is the leading United Nations body working to improve cities, its focus on urban mobility is a game-changer for the global transport community and great news for urban residents everywhere.
Transport Day 2013 at the nineteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) also highlighted the important role the transport sector can play in mitigating climate change, and pushed transport to the forefront of the largest and most influential climate change negotiations in the world.
Equitable access to transportation in cities – where over half of the world’s population lives – ensures that citizens are connected to opportunities. As Dr. V. Setty Pendakur reminded us in a recent interview on TheCityFix, safe and sustainable urban transport is one of three essentials for life in developing countries – along with a job and a place to live.2. Big time national policies are moving human society towards a more sustainable future.
Significant policy shifts at the national level that favor sustainable urban transport and increased involvement by the private sector are key drivers behind a global rise in mass transit. Several national public transportation investment programs have been established in emerging economies like Colombia, India, South Africa, Brazil, and Mexico. This shift is crucial to moving human society towards a more sustainable future, since cities in many developing countries continue to face rapid population growth and increasing private motorization.
In addition to national efforts to promote sustainable development, the capacity building and funding efforts of many international organizations are also helping to catalyze sustainable urban transport projects. This trend is expected to continue, as eight of the largest multilateral development banks have committed to investing US$175 billion in sustainable transport projects throughout the next decade.3. Innovations in urban design are helping improve the quality of life in our cities.
There are many examples of integrated transport systems worldwide, and urban design is being utilized more than ever to make our cities safe and livable. Indeed, the recent Livable Cities Symposium in Istanbul hosted by EMBARQ Turkey brought together experts and stakeholders in sustainable urban development, citizens, local administrations, and private sector actors to explore the concept of a livable city – what should a livable city look like, and how do we improve quality of life for urban residents? This is an important discourse with the potential for far-reaching impacts in cities across the globe. With the world’s “Most Livable Cities” already being ranked by the media, a bit of healthy competition and sharing ideas may not be a bad thing for urban residents.4. We’re in the thick of a public transport renaissance – and it’s really fun!
In case you’ve missed TheCityFix’s recent Friday Fun pieces, all sorts of crazy things have been going down on mass transit to spice up the daily grind of commuting. From paying for metro tickets with squats in Moscow to song and dance on public transport, it’s impossible to predict what you might encounter while taking mass transit – which is more than you can say for driving your car, alone… probably stuck in traffic. But hey, the choice is yours.
Many thanks to the EMBARQ Global office team, who helped brainstorm for this post! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
Imagine you’re riding in a crowded metro car. It’s so full you weren’t able to get a seat, so you do all you can to stay upright as the train lurches between stations. As your stop approaches, you wonder how you’ll possibly be able to squeeze through the mass of people blocking your way to the car’s exit. Somehow you manage it, but find yourself again trapped in a sea of stalled passengers once exiting onto the platform. Which way do you need to go to find your exit, and how will you fight through the throng of people to get there? For many urban commuters worldwide, this is their daily reality of urban mobility – long lines and short tempers.
In a new video released this week, Juan Carlos Muñoz, Director of the BRT Centre of Excellence, addresses a metro platform gridlock like the one just described in Santiago, Chile. The congestion is caused by crowds of riders attempting to exit in different directions, which not only results in unhappy passengers, but also disrupts the system’s capacity to run on schedule. Instead of operating the programmed 24 trains per hour every morning, only 22 trains operate – a capacity loss of about 10%.
As Muñoz explains, passengers arriving on the 4 line at Tobalaba station in Santiago exit the train and head in different directions in order to exit the station or transfer to a different line. Their disorderly exit creates gridlock on the metro platform, increasing the time it takes to off board passengers and reducing the frequency at which trains can run. Obviously, this is an inefficient and undesirable situation for both passengers and Santiago metro operators.
So how can it be avoided? Check out the video below to see the simple and cost-effective solution to this problem – a solution that allows more trains to service the station, safely carry passengers to their destination, and substantially improve their travel experience.
The doors installed by the Santiago Metro help mitigate the counter flow of passengers on the platform. They direct passengers to the stairs located closest to them, which decreases passenger congestion and allows a steadier flow of people and trains through the station. As a result of the installment, Tobalaba station’s capacity has increased by 15% – an additional 4,000 passengers can travel through the station per hour – and user travel time has decreased by 5%.
This simple improvement to Tobalaba station is an excellent demonstration of how improving the quality of mass transport systems can have direct, positive impacts on people’s lives. Providing high quality mass transport, be it metro, bus rapid transit (BRT), light rail or otherwise, is the key to making sustainable transport the best choice for urban residents. As Muñoz states in the video, transport systems everywhere are full of this kind of opportunity to improve congestion and lines – it’s time to embrace these opportunities as chances to make mass transport an even more attractive alternative to private vehicles.
Exchanging transport lessons between developed and developing countries: Q&A with Dr. V. Setty Pendakur, Part II
Last Tuesday on TheCityFix we shared Part I of our interview with Dr. V. Setty Pendakur, Founding Chair of the Transportation in Developing Countries committee at the Transportation Research Board (TRB). Last week, Dr. Pendakur discussed why sustainable transport is so important in developing countries, and how TRB has worked hard to engage more participants from the developing world, primarily Latin America and Asia. This week he covers knowledge exchange and cooperation between the developed and developing world. Read on for Part II of the interview!
How can transport lessons be exchanged between developed and developing countries?
When we transfer intellectual technology and terminology, whether we try to transfer it to India, China, Vietnam, or Indonesia, we have to be very mindful of how those countries are governed. When you superimpose the American philosophy of government, governance of transport systems, or of everything being decided by a referendum, it will not work in developing countries. What we need to do, through the TRB and research, is move towards the next systems that will retain the good aspects of a concept – sustainable transport – and implement them where governance systems are very, very different.
To put this in perspective, what’s normal and applicable in San Francisco in terms of governance is not at all normal or applicable in Beijing or Shanghai. It’s not normal in Mumbai either, even though we speak about India’s governance system being similar to that of the U.S. They appear similar, but they don’t function the same way. Their internal details and forces of politics are vastly different. For transportation, whether we want to believe it or not, as soon as you want to move from the conceptualization phase to implementation, government and politics become extraordinarily important. This is where planning doesn’t just concerns politics, but where planning is politics.
When we copy ideas from developed countries and transfer them to developing countries, we have to be very gentle and cautious as to how they are presented to people who can make them happen. We also need to understand what the implementation and finance systems are like, and that requires a lot of research. What has happened is that many developing countries, including India and China and Indonesia – three very big countries – and others like Mexico and Argentina, were essentially copying Los Angeles (L.A.). The result is that after 25 to 40 years of copying L.A., it doesn’t work. If 35-40% of the people in Mumbai walk to work today, they don’t walk because they’re choosing sustainable transport, they walk because they have no money – and no other option. Those are the people who need access to low cost transport systems in order to travel short distances.
Is this exchange of information and transport techniques a two-way street?
Developing countries are very capable of doing whatever’s being done in developed countries. In terms of design, India and China have the same highway system as the United States. However, as soon as you talk about walking, bicycling, urban street design, or transport financing – all of these are native political issues. For example, in Vancouver we pay a 17 cent tax per liter of gasoline, and it’s normal for us to pay taxes on automobiles to pay for public transport infrastructure. In the United States, that would be a very contentious issue! In a small city like Vancouver with only 600,000 people, we have more than 100 km (62.13 miles) of walkways and bike paths on the water. These are examples we can take from developed countries to Mumbai, for instance, which has a considerable waterfront. Mumbai has actually started to develop its waterfront, so yes – transferability can go both ways. We can find other examples in San Francisco, Paris, London, and many other cities, but the key issue is that more than 35-40% of people in many developing countries are very poor. We cannot hope to have successful public transport systems in developing countries if they’re unaffordable for this group. So, there are many lessons to be learned and challenges to overcome – we need to amend solutions from developed countries to make them suitable to developing countries.
One thing countries in North America and Europe can learn from developing countries is how to do more with less. They’re able to do many things with less resources than we do, and much more cleverly. We get consumed by public process, and in the guise of creating private enterprise we generate additional costs. At the same time we have to recognize that in many developing countries there is a lot of corruption and leakage in government systems. So how do we handle this transfer of intellectual technology? We need to make the implementation systems suitable for the political system in which it’s being implemented.
Switching gears – what do you remember of the late Dr. Lee Schipper, co-founder of EMBARQ?
Lee was a good friend. We go back many years now, and when I started talking with a group of friends about doing sessions on developing countries at the TRB, he was right there. His question was very simple, “Setty, what can I do for you?” He was always like that. Gregarious laughter, very contagious happiness – that was Lee. He was 5 to 10 years ahead of everybody, and a giant in his field. He was very persistent and could disagree with you extraordinarily strongly in a meeting or discussion, but still at the end of it we could go enjoy a coffee or beer happily laughing about it. My primary memory of Lee is that contagious laughter and happiness that could convince anybody – “Hey, this is a guy we should support!” We don’t get people like him every year. They come only once in a while. I was very fond of Lee, no question about it. He left a huge legacy – not just for EMBARQ, but for all of us.
Dr. V. Setty Pendakur is the President of Pacific Policy and Planning Associates and Founding Chair of the Transportation in the Developing Countries Committee at the Transportation Research Board. He was recently awarded DARPAN Magazine’s Extraordinary Achievement Award for “Breaking Barriers,” an honor that recognizes a South Asian individual for extraordinary achievements as an influential leader, educator, and contributor to society who continues to inspire future generations.
I had the pleasure to once again visit the G-spot of Bicycle Culture - Groningen in the north of the Netherlands last week. The occasion was to speak at the Let's Gro Festival and to have some meetings with the City. I decided to take my kids with me for the trip south. Because I like bringing my kids with me but also because I was curious. I wanted to see what two Copenhagen kids thought about cycling in a Dutch city or two (we also visited Amsterdam afterwards).Regular readers will remember how Lulu-Sophia (now aged six) outed herself as the World's Youngest Urbanist - and again here, as well as describing her wish for a Life-Sized City.Felix, at 11 years, is no rookie either when it comes to observing his urban theatre. He was the inspiration for my idea to get his third grade class to redesign the roundabout outside their school - as described in my TED x Talk from Zurich last year. He constantly impresses me with the conversations we have about urban planning and his anthropological observations.We spent a brilliant two weeks in Barcelona a couple of summers ago. Riding bicycles all over the place on their infrastructure. It was interesting to see them react to that city, so why not Groningen and Amsterdam, too.Danish or Dutch... it's all good. It's all inspiring the world regarding bicycle infrastructure and mainstream bicycle culture. I just wanted to see how two kids from one of the world's best bicycle cities, where they cycle every day, would react to the Bicycle Capital of the World, and to Amsterdam.Culturally and socially, Denmark and the Netherlands are cousins. So many aspects of life are so incredibly similar that you often feel that you're in the same country. Indeed, one of the most fundamental differences that I've been able to come up with is that in the Netherlands they cover a slice of bread with chocolate sprinkles, whereas in Denmark we have thin chocolate wafers designed to fit the average slice and lay cleanly on top of it.We were met at the station by two friends from the City of Groningen - Jeroen and Annet - on a chilly evening. Rental bikes had been arranged from the train station parking facility and we pedalled off to the hotel. It's a small city so it wasn't far. It was around 17:45 so the streets were still lively. Felix rode up front with our hosts while I tailed The Lulu to make sure she had her brain wrapped around her new bike. She did.Upon arrival, Felix delivered his first observation. "I was a bit nervous riding on the cycle track from the station and then through the city. There were all these pedestrians trying to cross so I had to watch out for them. Oh, and there are loads of ladies bikes."It's worth mentioning that I merely asked a question. I never lead the kids on to get them to think too much about such stuff. I only want pure observations. If they don't have any, then they don't have any and I leave it at that. So Felix even noticing the style of bicycles was an added bonus, and an interesting one, too.In the evening on the second day, after we had been riding a lot more around the city, I asked if there were any more observations. Felix had put some thought into it.Felix: "It's like I feel more secure cycling in Copenhagen."Mikael: "You weren't scared?"Felix: "No, no, not at all. I just feel more secure." (Here he used a Danish word "tryg", which doesn't mean safe, but rather indicates a sense of security) "I don't need to worry about pedestrians suddenly crossing the cycle track. And here, the cyclists don't signal when they're turning or stopping like they do in Copenhagen. And the cars don't either."Mikael: "The cars don't signal?"Felix: "Many didn't".Mikael: "Jeroen signalled turns all the time, didn't he?"Felix: "That's just because he was at the front and he was showing us that we're turning because we didn't know the way."Mikael: "But generally you like it?"Felix: "Yeah! It's cool!"Mikael: "What do you think, Lulu?"Lulu: "I like it because I can look around and see the city and the people."Mikael: "Don't you do that in Copenhagen, too?"Lulu: "Yeah, but it's different here because it's another city in another country."Okay. Good point.Lulu: "I don't like those bumpy stones."Mikael: "Cobblestones?"Lulu: "Yeah."Felix had more to offer.Felix: "It's like in Copenhagen I know where I'm supposed to be and where everyone else is supposed to be. Here, I don't know who is coming in front of me all of a sudden. At intersections, some people turn on the right side of you and some turn on the left, cutting in front of you. There isn't a lot of... um... structure."Lulu: "What's structure?"Mikael: "It's like in your room when it's clean and everything is in it's place. The socks are in the socks drawer, your dresses are in your dress drawer and stuff like that."Lulu: "That's not often."Uh no.Felix: "But Copenhagen is a big city. Groningen isn't. Maybe you need more structure in a big city." Mikael: "What about when we were riding on streets with cars and buses? You kept checking back at me and Lulu to make sure we saw the car coming, didn't you? You called out "car!" a couple of times to let us know."Felix: "Yeah, but they weren't going very fast. I was just making sure Lulu was on the right side."Good big brother.The kids loved it. It was a brilliant visit with lovely hosts. The kids even survived my keynote speech and the meetings. They're observations were interesting to me. They come from an orderly bicycle structure with emphasis on space for each mode - like a cleanly designed chocolate wafer that fits the bread and they got to experience random chocolate sprinkles all over the place. It all tastes good, but it's different.On the Saturday morning we headed to Amsterdam to visit friends. We got bikes from our friends at Black Bikes (best place to rent a bike in Amsterdam unless you want to look like a tourist). Felix had his own bike and Lulu and I rode an Onderwater tandem for an adult and a kid. We rode around the city and visited the science museum, Nemo. In the evening, I asked them for their impressions.Felix: "It's kind of like a mix of Copenhagen and Groningen. Copenhagen feels more like a big city. Amsterdam is like a village, but still a bit like a city. I guess Amsterdam is like 60% Copenhagen and 40% Groningen, or something."Mikael: "What else did you notice?"Felix: "Why did we have to push buttons to cross streets on bikes?"Mikael: "Good question."Felix: "We had to watch out for lots of pedestrians, like in Groningen. Oh, and nobody signals here, either. And nobody rings bells here."Copenhagenize the planet. And have a lovely day.
Do you have a business solution that has the potential to deliver large-scale improvements in quality of service, access, safety, environmental impact, and livelihoods in India’s auto-rickshaw sector? The Rickshaw Rising Challenge is calling for applications from Indian business endeavors that have the potential to revolutionize the country’s ubiquitous auto-rickshaw sector – a mode of transport that provides mobility to millions of people, but remains largely unorganized. The Challenge, launched on November 15 by EMBARQ India and the Shell Foundation, is the first platform in India to bring entrepreneurs and private enterprise together with the goal of changing the face of urban mobility in the country.Why Rickshaw Rising?
The Rickshaw Rising Challenge brings visibility to the untapped opportunity for businesses to provide one of the world’s most pressing needs: sustainable mobility in cities, where over half of the world’s population now lives. India’s urban population alone is over 391 million, and on track to grow by an additional 200 million by 2030.
How we move in our cities – in India and elsewhere – impacts everything from health and income to how we work, play, and live, making the present the ideal opportunity for business to transform how we think about transport.Private enterprise in sustainable transport
The last decade has seen a major shift in businesses’ role in solving some the world’s most complex problems, but urban transport challenges have traditionally been left to the public sector. In India, increasing pressure on urban infrastructure due to rapid population growth and increasing private motorization is driving the need for new solutions in urban mobility.
It is more important than ever to support and engage private sector enterprises that are advancing innovations in sustainable urban mobility. With virtually every country in the world becoming increasingly urbanized, we need solutions that make intermediate, public, and non-motorized modes of transport accessible, affordable, safe, and desirable for all urban residents. Although EMBARQ experts estimate that the current private investment in transport worldwide is about $500 billion, only $179 billion of that is going to developing countries. Further, spending by development institutions on transport is $14 billion total, but only $3 billion on sustainable transport.India’s auto-rickshaw sector: an opportunity for innovation
Integral to the intermediate public transport (IPT) sector of Indian cities, three-wheeled auto-rickshaws comprise between 10-20% of daily commuting trips. However, the unorganized nature of the sector poses serious challenges, including poor quality of service for passengers, poor safety and environmental performance, and low income for drivers.
EMBARQ India’s comprehensive work in this sector reveals that there are significant opportunities to develop viable business models to organize the sector into fleet services and use innovative technology solutions to improve quality of service, reduce emissions, improve safety, and increase driver earnings. Entrepreneurial initiatives in the auto-rickshaw sector do exist in terms of fleet operations, engine and fuel technology, smartphone applications for user information, and driver training services, but so far these businesses haven’t been able to scale-up – that’s where the Rickshaw Rising Challenge comes in.Rickshaw Rising Challenge: Helping business help India
The key to enabling business initiatives in sustainable transport to scale and achieve widespread impact is creating an environment that includes early-stage financial, technical, and business support, in addition to pushing for reforms and innovation in government regulation. The partnership between EMBARQ India and the Shell Foundation combines these conditions through the Rickshaw Rising Challenge.
The immediate goal of the Rickshaw Rising Challenge is to support businesses that will transform the auto-rickshaw’s competitiveness as a safe, efficient, and sustainable travel option, as compared to private motorization. The larger goals are for the Challenge to act as a catalyst to jumpstart a movement of entrepreneurs to develop sustainable transport business models, and for the Indian Government to recognize and enable the important role private businesses can play in the urban transport sector. Situated within a broader effort to leverage more funding from the national government and private sector for sustainable urban transport, the Rickshaw Rising Challenge offers a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship between the government, entrepreneurs, and investors to promote in sustainable transport in India.
Interested participants can learn more about the Rickshaw Rising Challenge on its website, and should submit an application before December 20, 2013 for a chance to secure up to US $50,000 of funding and 6-months business support.
Jyot Chadha is a Fellow at EMBARQ India who works to develop strategies for EMBARQ India to engage with entrepreneurs and the private sector. She conceptualized and led the launch of the Rickshaw Rising Challenge, and can be contacted at email@example.com.
This is the third part of a three part series. See also "Has Britain had progressed over the last six years?" and "Has London progressed over the last six years?". Now I look at Assen, where things have gone somewhat differently. One of the first infrastructure photos I took in Assen. We have priority over the road at this junction, as we do at most junctions. Since I took this photo, the David Hembrowhttp://firstname.lastname@example.org://www.aviewfromthecyclepath.com/2013/11/has-assen-progressed-over-last-six-years.html