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Welcome To citytransport.info
Information on transports within and between cities, looking at technologies both well established and new, showing options which provide viable alternatives to traffic congestion and air pollution - topical and controversial issues which bedevil every industrialised nation on our beloved home planet
Our planet is alive with people on the go. Whether the travel is for work, education, shopping or leisure, humankind is a species which cherishes the freedom to travel where and when the individual chooses.
This travel however is not without a cost: every day road traffic collisions cause many hundreds of people to be killed or injured; equally debilitating are the well documented problems which come from air pollution caused (partly) by our vehicles' propulsion systems. And then there is the question of the time wasted by congestion caused when too many people try to travel at the same time and place...
To reduce the number and severity of the collisions what many people see as dystopian anti-travel activists and lobbyists have now heavily hood-winked the general population in to believing that reducing traffic speeds is the one and only answer. For most urban roads they claim that a 33% speed limit reduction from 30 mph to 20 mph (50km/h to 30km/h) is all that is required to make our roads 'safe'. This is patently untrue - motor vehicle related deaths can occur at speeds well below this. For instance, the horribly frequent incidences of pedal cyclists being killed by heavy goods vehicles turning left / right at urban traffic signal controlled road junctions occur whilst the vehicles are travelling well below 20 mph!
The safest solution is via segregation - motor vehicles, pedal cyclists and pedestrians can only have a fair chance of safety when each has their own right of way - well away from the others. Admittedly this is easier to achieve in new-build urban areas - such as the post-war New Towns - and in areas (typically town / city centres) which were rebuilt after WW2. Speed in itself is not an evil - our safest roads are also the ones with the fastest speed limits (motorways) - and it is no accident that they are also segregated / reserved for solely motor vehicles.
For air pollution derived from fossil fuels the problem is that there is too much money to be made exploiting finite 'natural resources' for anyone to seriously address the issues. Of course this needs to change ...
Tearing down the rainforest just to grow crops for liquid fuels represents a disaster of the worst possible magnitude. It is wrong to simply blame poor farmers who see doing this as the only way they can earn sufficient cash to feed their families - instead they should be helped to find better solutions. The biodiverse nature of the rain forests is part of their strength and must be preserved. Growing crops for eventual conversion to liquid fuels tends to be done on a mono-culture basis, this is a sterile culture that is barely even short-term sustainable. The rainforests are our planets' lungs, without them we (mankind) might have some more fuel (and stock market share prices might be a little higher ... for a short while), but we will effectively be signing the death warrants - through a long slow asphyxiation - of just about every oxygen breathing living being on this planet.
The present-day policies of reassigning crops destined for human consumption for conversion into liquid fuels (such as ethanol) is also a perversion - even though the EU and US administrations seem to favour this activity it is extremely harmfull because it reduces overall food supply and risks making what is available unaffordable ... creating starvation ... and helping fulfill ancient warnings of a severe global famine which affect all people of every nation.
One area where agricultural changes would be very beneficial is switching land currently used to grow noxious substances - both 'legal' and 'illegal' - to growing crops which actually benefit people, eg: food.
Our Changing Climate
More and more we are discovering evidence that our global climate really is changing, unfortunately many so called 'environmentalists' see human activity and especially the private car as the major culprit ... yet 900 years ago when the climate of Greenland changed (became colder) and it was no longer able to support farming nobody either blamed human activity or convened intergovernmental conferences that say much and do little - witness some real problems, such as destruction of the rainforests - it was just a natural climatic change such as happens from time to time.
Whilst air pollution caused by the burning of finite fossil fuels is certainly exasperating the situation the real causes of present-day climatic changes (aka: global warming / cooling) include: our solar system is moving to a part of 'space' where the natural energies are different; increasing energies coming from the Central Sun in our Galaxy; and the effects of little known energy waves passing through our solar system from deep in space causing Earth's core to warm up and as a consequence a significant increase in volcanic activity spewing out so called 'greenhouse gases' (mostly under the sea - so unseen). Climatic changes of one sort or another are affecting most planets in our solar system! These topics and how I've come by this information are not for this web site to explore.
That Leaves Traffic Congestion
Some people actually see a 'solution' in limiting or curtailing our freedoms to travel (mostly traffic hating lobby group Luddites and undemocratic wannabe politicians in the Pol Pot mould); while others suggest that new technologies (eg: tele-commuting / working from home) will so reduce the need to travel that congestion will just fade away, perhaps, like the proverbial Cheshire Cat, leaving the big grin until last!
The covid-era lockdowns were real eye-openers, showing us what life would be like with just very light traffic and some local governments took advantage of the lack of traffic to reallocate road space away from through / non-local traffic. But this reduction in road traffic was only short-term and as life returned to normal the traffic levels increased again. In some areas the covid-era road closures proved to be so unpopular with local people that they were reversed. But not everywhere - in other areas local people wanted to retain their low traffic networks (LTN) as they saw them as reducing through traffic very considerably and hence making life easier - and safer - for local people to travel on pedal cycles. Both adults and children.
The reality is that there will always be a need to 'physically' travel and the ethos of these pages is about looking at solutions which neither compromise our freedoms to travel nor adhere to the current fashion for so called 'solution ideas' which in reality do nothing more than screw users of motorised transport (including buses) - too many of which solely rely on the principle of extracting money from their wallets. In pursuance of these aims this site explores over 10 types of public transport alternatives - as well as issues such as parking, congestion charging, road safety, etc...
Another reality is that travel always involves passing through other people's local neighbourhoods. In some areas people who live on (or close to) main roads (ie: roads intended to carry through traffic) so dislike the through traffic passing through 'their' area that they would close the roads - if they could. These people do not realise that the goods they buy in their local shops would have travelled on main roads which pass through other people's local area before reaching the shops in their area, and that if everyone did this then no shops anywhere would have anything to sell.
The situation is only slightly different for quiet and often narrow local roads - often local shops thrive because of people passing through who stop for just a few minutes to make a purchase - without the through traffic the local trade will be insufficent to keep the shop open. Also, multi-drop delivery driver businesses can be seriously affected if roads are closed and if the delivery driver has to constantly return to the perimeter roads - instead of travelling through the local area in one simple journey. Especially if this noticeably increases the time it takes to make all the deliveries and the business needs extra staff and vehicles to complete the daily schedule of deliveries in a timely fashion - meaning that the cost of running the business increases and these costs result in higher charges.
15 Minute Cities - Freedom To Travel
In recent years a concept that has often been discussed as a way of reducing the amount of road traffic is the 15 minute city. In theory this is a great idea - everything a person might need for a comfortable and happy life is within 15 minutes walking time from home. Especially smaller towns and villages are likely to already offer this. To an extent this is also possible in larger conurbations. This concept is somewhat controversial, because it is often promoted by people from multinational corporate organisations whose true intent is not to improve the quality of life for the general population - but rather as part of a longer-term plan to virtually end travel outside of one's local area - except with pre-arranged permission. Especially if this travel is by private car. .
Also related to the concept of Freedom To Travel is the importance of not having big brother keeping tabs on you; with electronic 'smartcards' poised to revolutionise road tolling and public transport fares & ticketing systems there is a need for a legal right for travellers to have the option of 'smartcard' tickets which - like paper tickets - do not record the holders' identity. Naturally these tickets should cost the same as any other ticket. One only has to look at the past 70 years of history - especially in Germany and the former Soviet Union - to understand how countries with 'internal passports' (which is what 'smartcards' are destined to become) usually stifle personal freedom - and not just within their own borders. Had the technologies been available in times past then these countries would likely have used them to emulate present-day CCP China with its Social Credit System.
In the English speaking world we are not (currently) required to carry our 'papers' at all times - (in Britain) we had them during WW2 and experience after the war when the police used just checking your ID as a cop-out excuse for stopping and harassing innocent people (especially motorists) points to why we really are better off without them.
To many people's astonishment the wartime 'internal passport' system was almost reinstated here in the UK during the early 2020s covid pandemic, albeit under the guise of vaccine passports. One of their first uses would have been to prevent people who had not accepted one (or multiple) covid vaccination injections from leaving their homes - even the legally permitted daily one hour exercise was to be denied to these people. Even more peniciously, for these people simply going out to buy food would have become a criminal act. Here in the UK the First Ministers of the Scottish and Welsh devolved governments were especially keen on making vaccination passports compulsory. Many Westminster government ministers (and opposition party leaders) were also keen on this scheme, but not the Prime Minister of the UK - who was concerned about the human rights issues.
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E & OE.