Student Road Safety Campaign IIT Delhi

A few weeks ago four of our friends lost their lives in a horrific car crash on the road to Jaisalmer. A few weeks later another three were victims of a motorcycle crash in our neighboring institution, the Jawaharlal Nehru University. These events have prompted deep introspection on our campus and some of us met last week to discuss what we can do to do move toward safer roads and traffic management in India.

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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

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

Mobility please, not congestion on our roads

Streets need to be democratized

How many times does the need for being pro-people, environmentally concerned, and context specific, in forming an urban transportation strategy need iteration? Simple – till the job gets done. We need to keep reminding city-building professionals, decision makers, politicos, and most importantly, ourselves – the people – of it, until informed public action leads to transformation of urban planning policy and practice. Today, we bring to you a piece by transportation expert and activist Sudhir Badami from Mumbai, India. He brings us important transportation-related statistics from Mumbai, and argues for a rational and humane transportation strategy for the world-famous “Maximum City”. Continue reading

Rough trade on the streets of Bogota, much like here

Loved by the people for their extreme utility, abhorred by the state as a symbol of backwardness, cycle rickshaws – or pedicabs – are not a new phenomenon in India.  Originally from Japan, the hand-drawn rickshaw was introduced in Simla in India around 1880. It was, then, a vehicle to carry the social elite. By 1950, cycle rickshaws evolved into a popular mode of urban transport. Today, cycle rickshaws provide door-to-door transport at an affordable price to people in urban areas across India. Cycle rickshaws also provide easy employment to those wanting employment. At a time when economic opportunity in the hinterland is dwindling, many village folk come to the city and earn a living by pulling cycle rickshaws. Continue reading

Honk! One really does try to be balanced . . .

We are confidently that this kind of arrogant public argumentation which without an ounce of grace or deeper thought turns its back on strategic thinking, policy and investment in a genuinely sustainable transport system will find its echoes in at least some parts of India. Hence we are pleased to pass it along from World Streets. (“Pleased” being perhaps not the best word.)

Honk! One really does try to be balanced . . . . . . and not allow oneself to get caught in every political elephant trap and querulous carping of those not in office. But there are times when it is necessary to shine the spotlight on a really mean-spirited, disingenuous idea or statement about the important matters which bring us all here. This is one of those cases. We introduce you to a very short video in which Britain’s new transport secretary talks very clearly about his investment prio … Read More

via World Streets