Weekend leisure: Bollywood Bicycle Boogie’s back

Take a break. It’s the weekend. And even if you have seen some of these before, let’s invite you to take your head out of that fat report and come with Navdeep Asija and me to the movies in India, the Bollywood Bicycle Boogie. The idea behind World Streets has from the beginning been to seek out and share universal lessons, from specific times and different places but which, with a bit of thought, can open up our eyes, ears and hearts to many things, including with a bit of luck to ourselves and our own limitations and quirks. For this Sunday’s musing Navdeep brought us a packet of Bollywood films for your weekend viewing pleasure. Let me turn over the word to Navdeep so that he can explain it for himself: Continue reading

Recognizing the importance of promoting green entrepreneurship in the auto-rickshaw sector in Indian cities, EMBARQ India will be organizing an entrepreneurship summit on February 9-10, 2012. This summit is planned to serve as the platform for discussions between entrepreneurs, investors, experts and regulators/decision makers on the challenges and opportunities in promoting green entrepreneurs (providing fleet DAR services), forging partnerships between investors and entrepreneurs, and creating the enabling regulatory and policy environment to initiate and scale-up such services that can achieve “triple-bottom line” benefits in this important urban transport sector in Indian cities. Continue reading

Promoting Green Entrepreneurship in India’s Auto-Rickshaw Sector

Rammohan Prattipati posted in The Streets of India. 5:02pm Jan 16
India has been witnessing a trend of rapid increase in personal motorised vehicles, in the backdrop of inconvenient public transport systems and unsafe roads for pedestrians and cyclists. As planners look to devise policies to reverse the trend amidst concerns on safety and climate change, there could be some lessons from the Netherlands, which adopted policies to encourage cycling.Business Linecaught up with Mr Roelof Wittink, Director, Dutch Cycling Embassy, a public private body that promotes cycling, during his recent trip to India. Excerpts from the interview: Continue reading

How the Netherlands encourages use of bicycles?

Towards Carfree Cities X: What happened in Guadalajara from 3 to 10 September 2011?

From the Editor’s Desk:
This year’s World Carfree Network Conference was organized by the dynamic and fast growing city of Guadalajara, under the title Towards Carfree Cities (Hacia ciudades libres de autos), and with the support and management of two local activist groups, Ciudad Para Todos and GDL en Bici. I was invited to provide the opening keynote address on the topic of “Better Cities with a Lot Fewer Cars”, to kick off a weeklong festival of events, discussions, and presentations in the context of their program. My chosen themes were (a) deep democracy and (b) the need for immediate action. I was wonderfully received and learned a lot during my busy week with them. Continue reading

Weekend leisure: The Bollywood Bicycle Boogie

Take a break. It’s the weekend. Get your head out of that fat book and come with Navdeep Asija and me to the movies in India, the Bollywood Bicycle Boogie. The idea behind World Streets has from the beginning been to seek out and share universal lessons, from specific times and different places but which, with a bit of thought, can open up our eyes, ears and hearts to many things, including with a bit of luck to ourselves and our own limitations and quirks. For this Sunday’s musing Navdeep brought us a packet of Bollywood films for your weekend viewing pleasure. Let me turn over the word to Navdeep so that he can explain it for himself: Continue reading

Breathing the lovely morning air in Delhi traffic

GUEST POST.  “Anyone who has sat in traffic in an Indian city knows what it feels like to be blasted in the face by the exhaust of a neighboring vehicle.  Despite the potentially important health risks that may be involved with such encounters, relatively few studies have measured in-traffic air pollution in developing world cities, where the combination of congested traffic and high-emitting vehicle fleets make “in-your-face” exposures a feature of everyday life.” Continue reading

Budget of 2011 in India: What could they be thinking?

While one face of the government sulks and spoils, the other dares to act. The budget making exercise this year in India is an evidence of this. There is progressive grassroots decision to discourage polluting diesel cars and encourage public transport and bicycles in India’s capital city of Delhi, which is in sharp contrast to the reactionary non-visionary action at the national level.   Anumita Roychowdhury reports from Delhi. Continue reading

Message from Dhaka on wrong-minded modernization of transport

World Streets is all about casting a broad net over transportation issues and approaches in cities around the world — reporting on the good, the bad and the ugly –  so that we can learn from each other. Today’s communication by Syed Saiful Alam from Dhaka  reports on a familiar Third World policy disagreement about a popular and very important transport mode which is providing affordable, environmental, and efficient mobility for  almost a third of all trips in the nation’s capital.  Seven days a week, on demand service when you need it, and with heavy use by women and children.  If you have a look at what is going on their in this all-too familiar tussle of ideas and authority, we bet you will learn something for your own city from Dhaka. Continue reading

City as a time capsule: Urban highway construction mania still booming in 2011

Transport planning and policy in Lahore Pakistan today, as reported by public policy consultant Hassaan Ghazali, looks like something out of a moss-covered time capsule: a tawdry reminder of  the kind of old mobility thinking, interest-wrangling and mindless investments of taxpayer money that challenged and in many cases helped destroy the urban fabric of cities across North America and in many other parts of the world half a century ago. It would be nice to think that such a time was long gone. After having paid the high price cities like Seoul, Portland, Paris and many others have managed to reverse the perverse trends of the much-heralded Urban Highway Age. But as Ghazali reports, it’s 2011 these ideas are alive and breathing fire in Lahore and many cities across the Subcontinent. And, sad to say, in many other parts of the world as well.  How can we get this message out and do our bit to reverse these trends?  Well, by reporting on it. Continue reading

Managing Two and Three-Wheelers in Asia

Drivers of two-and three-wheelers are vulnerable to road accidents and deaths, and are exposed to high levels of air pollution. Two and three-wheelers remain important modes of transport in many Asian countries and cities now and in the future, and contribute to a large share of GHG emissions, air pollution and traffic congestion.

The project aims to encourage greater inclusion of two and three-wheelers in national plans and policies for urban planning, transport and environment, to address these issues.

Activities include:
• Preparation of a report to provide policy-makers and city authorities in Asian countries and cities updated information on issues relating to the increasing use of motorized two and three wheelers, including the various policies and regulations that have been and are being implemented by various Asian countries and cities.
• Preparation of a report for the Philippines focusing on alternative technologies for replacing 2-stroke three-wheelers

Donor: PCFV, CAI-Asia Center, PCA

Duration: November 2008 – December 2010

CAI-Asia contact: Bert Fabian, bert.fabian(at)cai-asia.org

download full report here.

Honk! New Delhi. Diesel cars dearer on eco concern

New Delhi: Buying diesel cars is going to get costlier as Delhi government has proposed a 25% increase in tax at the time of vehicle registration. The move, aimed at curbing the growing number of diesel-run vehicles in the city will also boost revenue. The focus on environment-related issues is evident in this year’s budget, as exempted tax on the purchase of bicycles (costing up to Rs 3500) and other ecofriendly products. CM Shelia Dikshit also reiterated her plans to clean the Yamuna.

Environmentalists say that this will send a strong message and discourage people from using diesel-run vehicles. “This is going to neutralize the incentive diesel car owners enjoy because of cheaper diesel prices. There was an urgent need to actively discourage the use of diesel cars as it is gross misuse of the subsidy provided on diesel,’’ said Anumita Roychoudhury, executive director and head of air pollution team at Centre for Science and Environment .

In Delhi, nearly 1000-1200 cars are registered every day of which nearly 30-40% are diesel-run cars. In the past few years, there has been a shift towards bigger cars. And experts attribute this shift is due to the introduction of dieselrun cars. Once approved in the assembly, the proposal will come into force from April 1. “The subsidy on diesel is there because it is used for agricultural purpose. But the growing number of diesel-run cars clearly indicates that it is being misused by big car owners,’’ said Professor Mihir Deb, director, School of Environment Studies, DU.

Environmentalists are happy that Delhi government has taken such a bold step to bring down air pollution level. Government also removed VAT from cycles, lanterns, petromax and kerosene-stoves.

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- Team TOI. Relayed by Pallavi Pant

The Battle for the Streets of New York City

The Battle for the Streets of New York City What was the song? "If you can do it here you can do it anywhere. New York New York"? Well there just may be something to that. Here is some of the latest on how the proponents of more and safer biking in New York City are using social media to gain support from the citizen base, while at the same time an irate lobby is doing its best to keep the streets as they were and, as they hope, ever shall be. Amen Sister. (BTW, this is by no means a unique conflict. It could be your city.) … Read More

via World Streets and the New Energy Spring

Seize the moment: A Street Code for Porto Alegre

Seize the moment: A Street Code for Porto Alegre Dear Porto Alegre and Brazilian Friends, With all due respect, I propose that you give some thought to organizing to get strong citizen and multi-party support to exact “appropriate compensation” for Friday’s horrible, dumb and indeed tragic event on the streets of your beautiful city. I would imagine that this is a one-time, not to be repeated opportunity to get something very important and far-sighted out of a shaken city administration. Timing is everything in cases like this. You should thus be able to exact what you need today far better than just one week ago. Or a month or more from now once the heat has dissipated. So go for it!

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via World Streets (A world changing before our eyes)

What can we learn from the murderous attack on cyclists in Porto Alegre Brazil on Friday?

What can we learn from the murderous attack on cyclists in Porto Alegre on Friday? Porto Alegre Brazil. 25 February 2011. At least forty people were injured when a mad driver slammed his car into a pack of more than 100 cyclists in the city of Porto Alegre in Brazil. The cyclists, mainly young people, were staging a peaceful demonstration calling for a reduction in the number of cars on the streets. The 47-year-old male driver fled the scene of the incident Friday evening and was later arrested after authorities found his his abandoned car over the weekend.

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via World Streets (A world changing before our eyes)

Chandigarh: City for 500,000 now has 800,000 vehicles

Awaiting the necessary gathering of forces that will make India Streets a useful free-standing addition to the still far too spare sustainable transport tool kit of the Subcontinent, and since a growing number of people check in here regularly for news and views, perspective and inspiration, we are occasionally reprinting particularly thought-provoking articles from the Indian media which we feel can only benefit from a larger readership. This article on mindless car glut in Chandigarh just in from The Times of India yesterday (thanks to Vinay Baindur for the good heads-up). Continue reading