Hamburg Germany Pedestrian Traffic Signal Kommt 6d2b8022

National Links: Lessons from Germany

Hamburg Germany Pedestrian Traffic Signal Kommt 6d2b8022

Photo: Tony Webster / CC BY-SA

Every day at The Overhead Wire we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list.  At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to that focuses on urban issues in the D.C. region. They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

Lessons from Germany’s New Pedestrian Plan: Following the blueprint of its successful National Cycling Plan, Germany’s Federal Environment Agency and the German Institute for Urban Affairs launched a 55-page policy framework that lays the groundwork for a national walking plan. It offers seven targets and gie strategies to make streets friendlier to pedestrians. One of the proposed goals is increasing the share of people walking from 27% to 41% in urban areas while cutting pedestrian traffic deaths 20% by 2030. The plan touts slower speed limits, new design standards, and better lighting to achieve this. (Claudia Adriazola-Steil & Alejandro Schwedhelm | The City Fix)

3 Ways to Make Cities More Walkable: While Germany adopts a National Walking Plan, the US lags with its cars-first, pedestrians-later planning approach. The “Avoid, Shift, Improve,” or ASI, model from the Germany’s plan may be a way to remedy that. “Avoid” refers to policies designed to reduce the necessity of long trips usually taken by car, “Shift” encourages use of non-motorized and public transport, and “Improve” reduces car size and considers using alternative fuels. Hopefully, this holistic framework can be applied to the US to achieve its pedestrian safety goals. (Kea Wilson | Streetsblog USA)

How About an $11B Tunnel?: New York City Council is looking to tear down the infamous Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, with a three-mile-long tunnel to replace it. The project would cost as much as $11 billion, according to a new engineering report commissioned by the Council. New York is looking to other cities who have dismantled urban highways for guidance, like San Francisco or Boston with its notorious Big Dig project. Mayor Bill de Blasio and city transportation officials have already rejected the tunnel concept due to financial and logistical challenges, but officials at City Hall say they will review the Council’s report. (Emma G. Fitzsimmons & Winnie Hu | New York Times)

3 Ways to Create Behavioral Change in Cities: A new report from Meeting of the Minds identifies effective relationships, parallel strategies, and communication with target audience for systemic behavioral change in cities. The first item, relationships, is straightforward: cities must built relationships with communities and seriously consider their input to tackle complex urban challenges. Parallel strategies refers to implementing various strategies, like policy reform, film screenings, and public training sessions, to get the public to unite under a common goal. Lastly, communication must be accessible and personable to the public, and cities should leverage social media and other vehicles for public outreach. (Chris Teale | Smart Cities Dive)

New Mobility Only Sustainable with Transit: A new study commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure shows that the efficiency and environmental benefits of micromobility and other new mobility services will only be fully realized if they are integrated into existing public transit offerings. The study examined how new mobility services will develop in interplay with conventional modes of transport in the future and what impact this will have on transport and the environment. From analyzing different hypothetical scenarios on how mobility policy will evolve, the study concluded that mobility concepts must be considered “as a whole” in order to achieve significant climate and environmental effects. (Tom Stone | Traffic Technology Today)

Quote of the Week

“While these initiatives may have a place, they often focus on the public realm at the expense of the smaller spaces of people’s lives. They also do not reflect how safety, or a lack of safety, is understood by different groups of city dwellers. There is no neat match between what crime statistics might say about the safety of an area and how people actually feel fear and safety in that area.”

Claire Edwards discussing in Fast Company how we can’t design crime away from cities.

This week on the podcast, University of Sydney Professor David Levinson joins the show from the Transportation Research Board to talk about access, pricing, and growing cities.

Jeff Wood

About Jeff Wood

Jeff Wood is an urban planner focused on transportation and land use issues living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jeff blogs at The Overhead Wire and tweets @theoverheadwire. He also shares news links daily from around the country on issues related to cities at The Direct Transfer