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Transport transitions - Apr 18

Click on the headline (link) for the full text.

How roads were not built for cars

Carlton Reid, The Guardian
Even the BBC has called me it, so it must be true. Back in 2011 when I wrote this piece for the Guardian I was merely a journo-with-a-book-idea; now I'm a historian. Two years ago on this very blog I wrote:

Many motorists assume that roads were built for them. In fact, cars are the johnny-come-latelies of highways.

I went on to explain a little bit more about my highway history revisionism.

At the time I didn't have a book title. I do now. The title – Roads Were Not Built For Cars – popped into my head, naturally enough, when I was cycling. A bunch of cars were parked on the pavement and a bunch more were clogging up the road ahead. "It's not as though roads were even built for cars," I mused, and I'm pretty sure my eyebrows must have been knotted and my lips pursed as I was thinking this...
(16 April 2013) Link to short intro video at kickstarter

Ageless Cycling

Mikael Colville-Andersen, Copenhagenize
My friend Ole had an idea last year. The elderly who are in care homes need to get out a bit more. They grew up on bicycles. Why not take them for a ride? He borrowed a Christiania pedicab and volunteered to take the residents of a care home for a ride through the city. Talking with them, hearing their stories, showing them their town from the cycle track.

The idea is good. So good that the care home invested in a fleet of the pedicabs from Christiania Bikes. Now Ole took it to the next level and he started a group called Cykling uden alder - or Cycling Without Age. Last weekend they arranged a fantastic bike ride through the city with the fleet of pedicabs and a group of supporters...
(8 April 2013)
Great images at original

Can Europe get its high-speed rail network together?

Ayesha Durgahee, CNN
In Europe, high-speed rail has come to stand for ease and efficiency with point-to-point city center travel where journeys of four hours or less trump airplanes and the hassle of airport security.

Deregulation of the rail industry across the continent has also cemented trains as a viable alternative to short haul flights.

"Airlines have already pulled out of certain routes -- they've given up competing between Paris and Brussels or between Paris and Lyon," says Mark Smith founder of rail website The Man In Seat 61.

"Airlines have been given a run for their money on routes like Barcelona to Madrid, Milan to Rome. They're going to have to retrench and go back to further long distance routes and not even try and compete on some of the short haul they do at the moment."

(17 April 2013)

Targeting transport: guerrilla gardening goes one stop further

Ellie Garwood, The Ecologist
Chives and onions, flowers and trees; these aren’t urban bus stops as you know them. They are little havens of beauty and inspiration; they are art and horticulture, self-expression and community ownership. Edible bus stops across South London are being dug and pruned by enthusiastic local residents, who have been delighted to see their street corners brightened and beautified.

Organisers of The Edible Bus Stop have a visionary goal of one day cultivating each and every stop on the No.322 bus route to create a fully-fledged edible bus line running from Crystal Palace to Clapham Common. The projects not only provide local food for local people, but they also galvanise communities, create a sense of ownership, a sense of local pride and help reduce anti-social behaviour.

Mak Gilchrist, Lambeth resident and Co-Founder of the Edible Bus Stop (EBS) explains how the project started: “It was 3 February 2011 when I first saw a planning notice for a proposal to take the one piece of green space that we had in the neighbourhood and build private houses on it. The plans would have made the pavements narrow, we’d lose our phone booth, we’d lose the bus shelter, and we’d also lose a very mature silver maple tree, which was the one big mature tree in the neighbourhood.”...
(8 April 2013)

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