Ringstrasse150 Project Launch

Ringstrasse150 Project Launch

We’re excited to be launching the Ringstrasse150 – Ring Ride project. The project consists of a website with information on improving walking and cycling in Vienna and a mobile phone game designed to increase engagement by linking to the website in the game results screen. The website is available here:

Ringstrasse150

We’ll be working on the website in the next few days to finish the German version and improve the content.

The Ring Ride game is available for Android from the Play Store:

Ring Ride Game for Android

The iOS version will be available as soon as it it approved by Apple.

We have rethought the project since our original idea for a website that would include mapping of improvement ideas. Instead the website now focuses on being a “one stop shop” for presenting information about how to improve walking and cycling in a city – in our case Vienna’s Ringstrasse. We’ll add learning elements to the website later. The main reason we decided not to include improvement mapping is that many cities already have these websites (including Vienna), so we’ll focus on trying to get people to use these existing websites.

If this project is successful similar websites could be developed for other cities following the same model. Here’s more information about the project and what we hope to achieve.

The goal is to increase support for walking and cycling improvements by creating a game (Ring Ride) that will introduce new people to organisations, activities, ideas and resources for walking and cycling in their cities.

Contact us if you want more information.

Public Transport Strategic Planning using Levels

Public Transport Strategic Planning using Levels

I’m making a presentation at SPUR in San Francisco on January 7 on the concept of public transport network level and using it to describe the performance and future improvement of Zurich’s public transport system.

A public transport level is a specific type of service designed to serve a particular market. Service is defined as a combination of vehicles, infrastructure and operating characteristics. A “pure” level is when the service is targeted specifically to one particular market. A “hybrid” level is when a service is targeted to serve several markets. Urban travel is generally described as three markets: short, intermediate and long distance trips.

Campaign poster for Zürich S-Bahn project in 1981. Project approved.

Campaign poster for Zürich S-Bahn project in 1981. Project approved.

Consequently many cities have developed three-level public transport networks: surface buses and trams to serve short trips, rapid rail to serve intermediate trips, and regional rail to serve longer distance trips. Often, by design or for historic reasons, cities have additional levels, fewer levels and/or the levels that are not precisely matched to their markets. For example, two-level networks are often found in medium size cities. Their advantage is lower costs while their main disadvantage is a mismatch between transport mode and market that manifests itself in capacity limitations.

Using the level concept to help analyze and plan public transport service is useful because it focuses attention on matching service qualities to markets. The presentation will use this approach to analyze the success of Zurich’s public transport system and to provide a structure for planning improvements that will be needed to meet rapidly increasing public transport demand. This approach could help other cities (re)design their public transport systems to be more attractive and efficient. More specifically, the approach could show how two-level public transport networks could be a viable option for medium sized cities and large cities with dispersed settlement patterns.

My co-authors Hermann Orth and Ulrich Weidmann are also presenting the paper at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting: A Level-based Approach to Public Transport Network Planning; Session 514: Public Transportation Planning and Development: Food for Thought on Networks Design, Accessibility, and Investment Policy Tuesday, January 13, 2015 8:00AM – 9:45AM Convention Center, 149.

Here’s a link to my slides: A Level-based Approach to Public Transport Network Planning

GreenCityStreets.com now online!

GreenCityStreets.com now online!

(2019 Update) … Information from the GreenCityStreets.com website is now available on https://crowdsourced-transport.com

(Original from 2014) … The new GreenCityStreets.com website is now online and it’s much improved. I’ve made “GreenCityStreets.com” the umbrella name for all my work in the field of using information technology applications to improve public participation. Consequently I’ve described the work that was done as part of the BusMeister project in 2011 and 2012 as the BusMeister project.

The new website will present an analysis of the latest ideas in using information technology applications to improve public participation. It describes the following activities:

The website includes pages on each of these subjects (click the link) as well as blog postings with new ideas.

The website also includes links to our games (BusMeister, Grr-Grr-Bike, Working on the Railroad) and projects.

The website is still a work in progress so check back again in the future and let me know if you have suggestions or ideas. In the meantime, we hope you like the new site!

Janes Walk Vienna Grinzing

Janes Walk Vienna Grinzing

Vienna and Vineyards from Krapfenwaldgasse Wien 1019

Vienna and Vineyards from Krapfenwaldgasse – Grinzing

I’m leading a walking tour from Cobenzl to Grinzing on May 2, 2014, as part of the worldwide Jane’s Walk weekend. Jane Jacobs (1916-2006) was an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. Her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities is required reading for anyone interested in city planning and how cities work.

The walk will start at Wiener Linien bus 38A stop in the Cobenzl parking lot. We’ll walk down the Oberer Reisenbergweg into the centre of Grinzing, head up to the Krapfenwaldgasse (see the view above). Along the way we’ll talk about history, wine in Vienna and Grinzing.

At the end of the walk we’ll stop for a glass of wine and some Heurige food at Jutta Ambrositsch’s Buschenschank in Residence. If you’d like to take the walk by yourself contact me and I can send you my notes for the tour.

Tel Aviv Yafo

Tel Aviv Yafo

I visited Tel Aviv Yafo as part of my work reviewing the CIVITAS 2move2 project in late March. I’d never been to Israel before and it was very interesting and nice. The weather was fantastic, sunny and about 20 degrees for our whole visit.

Tel-o-Fun bike sharing in Tel Aviv Yafo

Tel-o-Fun bike sharing in Tel Aviv Yafo

The goal of CIVITAS is for cities to demonstrate a set of innovative sustainable transportation measures and then evaluate how well they worked so that other cities can learn from their experience. Groups of cities work together to implement similar measures and learn from each other. In Tel Aviv we saw measures for electro mobility, improved traffic control, bus priority, green corridors and bike systems. Our hosts from the city took us on tours to see these innovative ideas.

One of my favourite projects is the green corridors. I learned that the noted city planner Patrick Geddes had developed the original plan for Tel Aviv and had included green corridors around the city. We walked and rode bikes on several of these corridors and they are really wonderful. They reminded me of the parkways in my hometown of Buffalo NY planned by Frederick Law Olmsted. There are one-way streets (one parking lane and one travel lane) on both sides of a wide landscaped median. The median contains a bike path, pedestrian path, play areas, and cafes at the main cross streets (see photo). These corridors are very pleasant and well used, they would be a great model for modern cities!

Pedestrian wayfinding sign in Tel Aviv Yafo

Pedestrian wayfinding sign in Tel Aviv Yafo

We also had a very nice tour of Tel Aviv’s White City. This is the part of Tel Aviv developed in the early 1920s (planned by Geddes). It contains over 2,000 Bauhaus (International Style) buildings. Many of these buildings need renovation, and the city is working on making this happen by working with owners to develop economically possible renovation plans. This portion of the city was recently designated a world cultural site by UNESCO.

Of course, the beach is also nice!

My photos of Tel Aviv on Flickr.

My photos of Jerusalem on Flickr – it’s only about an hour away by bus!

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