1000 Friends of Maryland have documented one hidden cost of Maryland's recent development patterns -- the rapidly increasing school bus budget. Their report, Yellow School Bus Blues, focuses on two issues local governments can control. Local governments' decisions affect the number of students in the county and where these students live. Land use decisions also determine if schools are located so that students can walk or bike to school.
New bike parking facilities in London demonstrate a commitment to get kids on bicycles. Since one in five cars in London's morning rush hour is on a school run, successfully getting students on bikes will reduce traffic; but in the long term, getting youth into the habit of cycling may help ensure better health and less traffic in the future as well.
Turin and Bordeaux found that transportation was key to their cities' urban revitalization, after making notable investments in it despite the common challenges of crumbling infrastructure and an inadequate tax. Mayors from those cities spoke at a conference in Toronto yesterday.
Philadelphia's native non-profit carsharing program is among the most successful in the country. The city benefits from it, too, and not just in reduced traffic: through a collaboration with Philly CarShare, Philadelphia was able to sell off 329 vehicles. Since the program started, the city's estimated saving in lower insurance costs, less use, and less abuse is $6 million.
Trials in the UK showed huge decreases in car travel for only a few million pounds of public spending on "personal travel plans." Under the scheme, households and other organisations are offered personal advice, including a home visit, during which an expert analyses what journeys are made by car and how some could be replaced by other means.
The Energy Committee of Willits, CA's citizen group Willits Economic LocaLization (or WELL) prepared this report to help the city plot a path toward greater energy independence. The process of gathering information for this report provided insight into far-reaching and non-obvious aspects of that city's dependence on readily available and inexpensive oil. Such a report is a good preliminary step in preparing a community.
Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty is a guidebook on peak oil and global warming for people who work with and for local governments in the United States and Canada. It provides a sober look at how these phenomena are quickly creating new uncertainties and vulnerabilities for cities of all sizes, and explains what local decision-makers can do to address these challenges.
London must become car-free if it is to substantially cut carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new report published in prestigious medical journal The Lancet. The researchers claim the Greater London Authority's (GLA) target to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% by 2025 is unlikely to succeed without drastic measures.
As more governments tackle climate and energy issues, bicycles are becoming a hot topic. This Friday we look at three recent bike-related developments: bike parking requirements for apartment buildings in Washington D.C., a new bike "czar" in Boston, and new separated on-street bike lanes in New York City.