Transportation myths and sacred cows restoring our cities


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Discussion of transportation planning for more livable cities

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  • Why I am here…. I believe that what happens in New Haven is key to the future of ConnecticutNew Haven is crucial in many ways – Furthest along in terms of restoring urban life of any ConnecticutAnd there are many to credit including the City Government, the Universities and many of you here in this roomBut observing NH over the last several years what I see is a series of fits and starts – lots of good things but also some mis-stepsWe are here today to discuss how we can take better advantage of some incredible opportunities for moving the city forwardThe Streetcar and Downtown Crossing???? Are not just transportation projects but must be seen as opportunities to heal the scares of past planning disasters
  • Transportation myths and sacred cows restoring our cities

    1. 1. Transportation Myths and Sacred Cows The Restoration of Our Cities and Towns Norman W. Garrick University of Connecticut
    2. 2. Gilbert’s 1909 plan to connect the train stationanddowntown
    3. 3. myth [mith]any invented story, idea, or concept:sacred cowanindividual, organization, institution, etc., considered to be exempt from criticism orquestioning.
    4. 4. Myth 1Traditional Cities areObsolete
    5. 5. Le Corbusier‟s Plan Voisin for Paris c1925 “In the age of the automobile and the skyscraper, the corridor street had become a „dead organ‟ incapable of fulfilling its function. In the Plan Voisin, Le Corbusier analyzed this function into two parts, transportation and sociability,and created two new urban forms to deal with them: superhighways and pedestrian malls.”
    6. 6. Source: Die DisziplinierungDerStadtModernerStadtebau in Zurich 1900 bis 1940 by Daniel Kurz
    7. 7. The Housing Act of 1949
    8. 8. “Our success as a country and as a species utterlydepends on the health and wealth of the cities.”
    9. 9. “America‟s poor treatment of its own cities over the past half century helps spawn many of out most dire problems, from increased inequality to environmental damage to the recent economic collapse.”
    10. 10. Myth 2Networks are no longerimportant
    11. 11. FHA Technical Bulletin No. 7 (1938)Planning Profitable Neighborhoods
    12. 12. According to the FHA thegrid layout wasMonotonousHad Little CharacterUneconomicalPosed Safety Concerns ?
    13. 13. California Cities Study of Street NetworksTwenty-four Cities
    14. 14. Risk of Severe Injury or Fatality* versus Chance of being Severely Injured 30% Higher Chance of being Killed*Given that an injury occurred 50% Higher
    15. 15. 16 In 2005 the USA had14 the highest traffic fatality rate of any OECD Country1210 8 6 4 2
    16. 16. USA Traffic Fatality Rate 1970 to 2005353025201510 5 0 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
    17. 17. Changes in Traffic Fatality Rate in 16 OECD Countries353025201510 5 0 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
    18. 18. Percentage of PeopleWalking, Biking orTaking Transit2% 1% 2% 9% 4% 9%
    19. 19. Odds of Dying in a Road Accident based on Intersection Density* 1 in 200 1 in 500*Given that an injury occurred
    20. 20. Percentage of People Walking, Biking orTaking Transit Effect of Intersection Density for Gridded Network10% 5% 0% < 81 81-144 144-225 225+
    21. 21. Cities with a fine grained network of small streets were much safer and also had more walking and biking
    22. 22. Street Networks are not the only important Networks in Cities For example, Network of Neighborhoods
    23. 23. Myth 3Good Transportation isFast Transportation
    24. 24. Sixty years ago, Lewis Mumford reminded us that the exact opposite of this myth was true when he said“A good transportation system minimizes unnecessary transportation”
    25. 25. What is Transportation for? The purpose of transportation is toprovide access to goods and people
    26. 26. SpeedAccess = Distance
    27. 27. SpeedAcces s = Distance
    28. 28. Access to Pharmacies in Hartford½ Mile
    29. 29. Access to Pharmacies in Washington, DC½ Mile
    30. 30. In Cities, Speed KillsLiterally and figuratively!
    31. 31. Speed Kills Chance of Pedestrian Fatality vs. Impact Speed 100% Chance of Fatality 85 80 60 45 40 20 5 0 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 Impact Speed (mph) Source: U.K. Department of Transportation, Killing Speed and Saving Lives, London, 1987.
    32. 32. Speed Kills Urbanism
    33. 33. Streetcars: Great Access – Great Urban Compatibility
    34. 34. Speedier Travel, not Faster Vehicles This does not mean that we should never try to speed uptravel, but any increase in speed should be done in a way that is compatible with the character of urban places In Zurich, faster transit is achieved by giving the transit priority in many ways
    35. 35. Myth 4Traffic is always growing andwe must accommodate it orthe city will come to a halt
    36. 36. Predict and ProvideStreet and Highway Capacity “With projections indicating fifty thousand cars by 1960, Moot (chair of the City Planning Commission) projected a need for fourteen thousand new (parking) spaces.”
    37. 37. Minimum Parking Standards Most cities require that a minimum amount of parking must beadded for each 1000 sq. ft. of new development or each new job or resident
    38. 38. Sufficient Parking a Must! „With projection indicating fifty thousand cars by 1960, Moot (chair of the City Planning Commission) projected a need for fourteen thousand new (parking) spaces. Mayor Joseph Mruk agreed. Not only would the city build three parking ramps (garages), it would encourage the private development of parking facilities downtown “by assisting in the condemnation and assembly of necessary sites.” The campaign to build parking spaces for twenty-five thousand automobiles began in 1950.‟“The most critical improvement to [neighborhood shopping districts] which could be made at this time is the provision of off-street parking facilities” (City of Harford, 1972).
    39. 39. Growth of Parking in 4 New England Cities Which city has prospered the most?150000125000100000 75000 50000 25000 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
    40. 40. Daytime Population 4 New England Cities275000250000225000200000175000150000125000 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
    41. 41. Persons per Parking Space 4 New England Cities7.005.00 Cambridge3.00 Lowell New Haven Hartford1.00 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
    42. 42. Parking versus People 12 Cities Nationwide 12500 People* Density 9500 6500 3500 6.0 9.0 12.0 15.0 18.0 Parking* per person* Based on daytime population
    43. 43. Parking versus People 12 Cities Nationwide 12500 People* Density 9500 6500 3500 6.0 9.0 12.0 15.0 18.0 Parking* per person* Based on daytime population
    44. 44. The Benefit of Walking, Biking, Transit 12 Cities Nationwide People* Density 12500 9500 6500 3500 10% 30% 50% 70% Walking, Biking, Transit, At Home* Based on daytime population
    45. 45. Transportation Matters!The goal of the modernist was to create cities that worked for cars.We embraced this philosophy in Connecticut, and it failed abysmally
    46. 46. Some Places Developed Transportation Systems that Serve the City, Not the Other Way Around
    47. 47. Planning in an Auto-Oriented World
    48. 48. Streetcars and Freeway Removal1. What are the strategic long term goals of the city?2. Does a particular project advance or hinder these goals?3. How does the project strengthen vital networks in the city (street, transit, neighborhood, regional networks?4. Does the project help reduce the city’s environmental footprint?5. Does the project reduce the long term economic burden for travelers in the city?6. Does the project make the city more attractive and vital over the long run?
    49. 49. Norman W. Garrick